7 Ways SMEs Should Grow


It is the goal of every business to grow sustainably – some may attempt to grow at 10X levels, while others are fine with adopting a more relaxed pace of growth. Whichever your choice may be, you will struggle to manage and grow your business without adequate systems support.

You may wish to check out our related post Are Scattered System Solutions Holding Your SME Back?

In this post, we will outline potential issues that growing businesses face and the variety of scaling options that are available.

Don’t squander even an economic downturn to get ahead. When the economy picks up, your team will be ready to actualize your business goals with confidence and vitality. For Singaporean companies, there are a number of programmes that they can participate in to get the right help to take their businesses forward as outlined in the Singapore Budget 2016.


Growing Pains

When your business evolves organically, you adopt solutions as and when needed to support your business workflows. This organic adoption may lead to a state that we call Paralysis by Scattered Solutions.

Very few entrepreneurs have the experience or foresight to start right and avoid taking their growing business through painful changes of migrating from one system to another.

Many business owners assume that they are unable to afford all-in fully integrated solutions covering the entire range of business workflows necessary to support CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Sales & Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Procurement, Production, Service Management, Financials & Banking and Real-Time Analytics.

The affordability issue was valid until very recently, thanks to the cloud-based offerings from data centers and solutions providers like SAP with their SAP B1 Cloud solution. Let’s look next at a variety of potential scaling solutions that are available today.


Potential Scaling Solutions:

1. Number of Users

With a cloud solution such as SAP Business One (SAP B1) Cloud, you only subscribe for the number of system users you need. You are able to pay a small price for full functionality – a secure, fully-maintained solution which allows you to integrate and streamline all your key processes, even with a single user.

With costs spread out over each month or year, risks of large and sudden capital outflows are avoided, and your total cost of ownership (TCO) is significantly reduced.

SMEs who want to start small and yet still have affordable and convenient options open to them as they scale, will benefit from opting for a cloud solution like SAP B1 instead of going through pricey and time-consuming migrations every couple of years.


2. Variety of Workflows

Start with the workflows that your business needs right now and turn on modules as needed when the variety of your workflows expand. Have comfort in knowing that the system will adapt to your growing needs. You will not need to migrate to another product and take your team through a painful change management process.


3. Number of Business Units

If new subsidiaries are created or companies are acquired, they can be brought onto the same platform without extensive effort. There are also apps available to support inter-company transactions.


4. Mobile Access to Company Data

Have you checked out our review of the SAP B1 Sales App? Not just your sales representatives will benefit from having access to your company data on the go. Empowering your delivery personnel, executives, and of course yourself to make decisions and complete business processes away from the office is invaluable, and in fact a requirement these days.

With SAP’s increasingly flexible price plans, you are even able to purchase mobile licenses for users who do not require desktop access, at a mere fraction of the price of a professional license.


5. New Sales Channels

Is your business already carrying out transactions online? If you’re in the B2B (business to business) industry, you may not think this is relevant.

Focusing too much on the situation “now” instead of looking at all the changes around you and accepting them could take you out of the game faster than you think. Your customers “now” may not want to move online just yet, but you had better be ready when they are.

Did you know B2B online sales made roughly $559 billion in sales 3 years ago, more than double of the B2C market? Forrester Research forecasted $780 billion in sales within the United States alone in the past year, with $1.13 trillion projected for 2020.

You simple can’t stick your head in the ground and avoid moving online. Your customers’ expectations for the perfect digital experience are only going to get higher, and major players like Amazon are only going to get stronger.

It’s with this mindset that we partnered up with SANA Commerce, the top B2B eCommerce platform right now.


6. Extended Customer Service

What do you do when you need help with a product or service? I don’t know about you, but I avoid the pain of going through a call centre when I can.

It can be frustrating to convey messages over the phone, thanks to language barriers, a bad connection, or simply not even being able to call in after office hours. Email takes too many days, and FAQs don’t provide personalized information and documents.

Guess what does? ZiZu. Our self-service solution could be your next sales rep, and promises to offer you futureproof commerce.

You can solidify your relationship with your customers by empowering them to get all the information they need in a self-service portal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This, coupled with the ability to analyze your customer’s behaviour, could make you a power player in your industry.


7. Integrate to national platforms

The National Trade Platform is planned to facilitate electronic data sharing between your business, your partners, and the government. With this platform, businesses only have to provide information once, which will then be shared with those authorised to access it (ie. your service providers and partners), and can be used for official purposes such as trade regulatory approvals and customs clearances.

The reduction of man hours spent on administrative tasks is projected to save about S$600 million a year, and the platform is also expected to ease the movement of goods in and out of Singapore.

Check out our Budget 2016 post for more on this year’s announcement.


Move into the cloud

Want to scale on a budget?

We have been testing our affordable cloud-based solutions on several platform service providers and will launch in the near future, so subscribe below to keep yourself updated with a chance at a free trial, discount code, and further information!




For companies that prefer a CAPEX solution, please get in touch with us to start a discussion of how we can help you to grow.


Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.

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