With most coronavirus restrictions being lifted, businesses are in full swing to reopen and rebuild their operations. Singapore hopes to get its economy back on track after experiencing a technical recession last quarter due to insufficient external demand and stringent COVID-19 “Circuit Breaker” measures.
Since late 2019, COVID-19 has infected over 4 million people around the world, wiped out hundreds of thousands of lives and crippled global supply chains. In a matter of weeks, industries such as manufacturing, tourism, aviation and many more were adversely hit by the drop in demand as a result of workplace closures and COVID-19 restrictions.
In order to stay relevant in a post-COVID-world, companies must reconsider their current operations and revamp their business models instead of going back to ‘business as usual’. From financing options to operational adjustments, here’s how businesses in Singapore can prepare for a post-COVID-19 economy.
1. Leverage on Support Programmes
The government and many organisations have rolled out various financing measures and programmes in Singapore with the aim of helping businesses better respond to the pandemic. For instance, at ETHOZ, as part of our Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP), we’ve collaborated with Enterprise Singapore to give companies access to working capital for their business needs.
Under the TBLP, qualified corporations can receive a loan of up to $5 million with the interest rate capped at 5% per annum. This would mean that businesses will have sufficient funds to invest in inventories, equipment, training programmes and satisfy day-to-day operational costs. To learn more about this, visit Enterprise Singapore website to find out more about the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP).
2. Telecommuting is The New Normal
Many have predicted that telecommuting will last beyond the pandemic, and there are a few reasons why. Research has shown that employees are more positive and productive when telecommuting and working remotely as compared to working from traditional office spaces. Not only does it offer flexibility to employees, but it also reduces commuting time.
However, working from home can be a double-edged sword, given that there are possibilities of cyber threats as cybercriminals know that when more people are communicating online, it’s easier to deceive people to gain access to their private and confidential information.
To fight cybercrime, businesses should conduct frequent updates, ensuring that operating systems and browsers are up to date with the latest cyber security software. Also, it is necessary to install firmware updates on hardware such as printers to prevent falling for the latest threats. We also strongly encourage businesses to educate and train employees on the company security policies and how to spot phishing scams.
3. Put People First
According to COVID-19 Consumer Research, more than 64% of the workforce around the world is experiencing a great sense of fear and anxiety over their personal job security. Thus, companies should constantly seek feedback from employees and offer them a voice to share their concerns and worries.
Companies can consider leveraging on the government measures implemented to help businesses cope with COVID-19 such as sending their employees to government-funded in-house and SkillsFuture courses. These initiatives equip them with relevant knowledge and expertise that will help to enhance their skill set, and give employees a greater sense of confidence as they work through the current economic climate.
4. Sustaining Cash Flows
According to Harvard Business School, the average small business has sufficient cash reserves to last for only 27 days. Poor cash flows are one of the biggest killers of companies.
To ensure a steady stream of cash flows, the first step is to understand what your current cash flow position is and determine how long your company can operate under such conditions. Next, examine your cost structures and identify the activities and resources that are vital and the ones that are not mandatory in keeping your business running.
Monitoring your accounts receivable and getting your customers’ commitment to the payment date can give you a peace of mind that you’ll receive the payment on time. Other methods of generating revenue include selling unwanted assets to others and forming strategic collaborations with other firms to gain a larger pool of customers and increase sales for both firms.
Prepare for a Post COVID-19 Economy
While it is challenging to survive post-COVID 19 economy, strategies and actions need to be taken. We hope that this article has helped you generate ideas to prepare for a post-COVID-19 economy. Should you have any enquiries related to financing your business or the Temporary Bridging Programme, do not hesitate to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!