In today’s competitive, volatile, and uncertain market, businesses need every advantage they can get to stand out from the crowd.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, several trends are immediately apparent. Customers are looking for digital businesses that offer safety and convenience, while merchants look to digital solutions to increase productivity and drive customer growth.
Advantages in going digital include a competitive advantage, being able to collect key analytics, as well as the ability to sell to a wider audience. But more than that, going digital means staving off irrelevance and missing out on the future.
In line with this, the Government’s PENJANA initiative, designed to help businesses ride the COVID-19 wave, is also actively encouraging more local businesses to expand their online operations. Several organisations have also established digitalization grants for SMEs, in keeping with the Government’s goals to get more SMEs digital.
Digital solutions span more than just e-commerce – they also include digital marketing and customer growth solutions. In the age of social media, anyone with a Facebook profile or Instagram account can be a potential customer. In addition, digital financing solutions enable quick access to finance for SME expansion.
Starter Packs for Digitalization
With this in mind, Boost aims to help SMEs to digitalize their business with affordable starter packs that offer them simplified solutions to enable them to kickstart their digital journey. These packages were carefully curated based on the needs of SMEs to give them a head start in giving them an online presence, or supplementing their offline business with an online presence as well.
With these packages, it helps to prepare merchants, especially in today’s climate where having an online presence and using digital tools is the key to sustaining a business.
These digital starter packs start from as low as RM2,000, with benefits starting at RM15,000 to as high as RM200,000. They include everything an SME needs to start the digital journey, including business payment solutions, digital marketing solutions, platforms to drive repeat sales, and digital financing.
In addition, the digital system will be managed by Boost from end to end. Benefits from digitalization, such as growth and retention of new users will be done through system features, while SME owners can focus on growing their business and delivering the best service for their customers.
Financing the Digital Journey
Many SME owners don’t have the means, knowledge, or experience to undertake a digitalization exercise – hence their hesitation, especially now when saving cash is of utmost importance. However, the long-term survival of the business must be taken into consideration.
That said, with the Boost SME Digitalization Grant, the digital journey need not cost the earth for SMEs. Through the PENJANA program, Boost e-wallet services can be integrated into a simplified e-commerce solution for merchants to adopt in their daily operations.
Merchants are able to claim up to 50 percent of the program through the grant, up to RM5,000. Furthermore, with zero percent Aspirasi Assist Microfinancing, SMEs can obtain four tiers of grant packages: MicroSME, Basic, Premium, and Gold. These packages are suitable for SMEs at every stage of their business life-cycle:
Eligibility for the Program
Before signing up for Boost’s SME Digitalization Grant, the following eligibility requirements need to be fulfilled:
- The company is at least 60 percent Malaysian-owned equity.
- The company has been in operation for at least 1 year.
- For companies in operation for at least 1 year, a minimum annual sales turnover of RM100,000 is required.
- For companies in operation for more than 2 years, a minimum annual sales turnover of RM50,000 (for the preceding 2 consecutive years) is required.
- The company is registered under the relevant laws of Malaysia.
With the Boost SME Digitalization Grant, entrepreneurs can drive their businesses in a new, digital direction, enabling them to gain more customers as well as increasing their productivity. SMEs are here to stay as the main engines of the Malaysian economy – and they, more than ever, deserve to go digital.