Managing An SME in Lockdown [ReVeAL]

April 17, 2020

Its been 14 days since the lockdown in Singapore begun and to say that businesses have slowed down would be an understatement. Where busy hawker centres and cafes used to be, now remains stacked chairs and darkened rooms. It is odd to see the once bustling streets of Singapore turn into a ghost town but social distancing was a necessary evil that needed to be employed in order to stop the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately, as a business owner, the lockdown has not been kind.

Difficulties of an SME

ThinkVAL is considered an SME (Small to Medium Entreprise) which means that we do not have the luxury of spare resources - a critical aspects of any business that have become scarce in this time. As such, we are always finding new ways to optimize and manage resources that we have. This means that we are constantly thinking of innovative solutions that allow us to minimise cost while achieving higher outputs so that any spare change that we manage to acquire can go into our core business activity of bettering our products and offering.

To do this, many SMEs tend to rely on a single individual to carry out multiple roles and handle a variety of tasks at one go. While it may sound like a good idea for cost optimization, this phenomenon often leads to mistakes and blunders attributed to human error which will further derail any form of success that the business or project aims to achieve. Unfortunately, situations like these are unavoidable for small businesses. After all, we are almost always in an “all hands on deck” mode that keeps all employees busy throughout the work day.

But while it is unavoidable, it does also cause problems in terms of collaboration. Since all members have different responsibilities and specialties, the company’s data is often split into multiple datasheets that are held and updated by different individuals. While it splitting the work may seem smart, it always leads to inaccurate analysis driven by dirty data. And, in our current data-driven economy, this puts SMEs who handle their data that way at a severe disadvantage.

Lending A Helping Hand

They often say that ‘no man is an island’ and it rings especially true for us SMEs. After all, we cannot afford expensive resources such as experts in fields not relevant to our business. However, just because you are not a tech company does not mean that you can go without technology or tech support. Now, this is where other SMEs come in. The SME community is a helpful and innovative bunch. The idea of ‘SMEs helping SMEs’ has become a prevailing philosophy in this community. Thanks to this, partnering with another SME for a reasonable price is always achievable and beneficial for both sides.

Fortunately, with the advancements in technology, more and more tasks no longer need to be done manually. For us, this is a critical feature that we must exploit. That is why, in our quest to give all businesses the tools to succeed, ThinkVAL has made sure that our all-in-one database, VAL, is able to automate tasks on a cloud-based platform which allows all of your employees to update and store your company’s data in a single accessible location. This, in turn, not only frees up more time for your employees to work on more important tasks, but also ensures that your company is able to better track and analyse the success of your projects.

In this time of need, small businesses are on a life line. Thus, we need to stick together. So, if you need a helping hand with your company’s data management during this downtime, start using VAL’s FREE plan to track and manage your team’s tasks now. As always, you can contact me and the staff at ThinkVAL to help bloom your business through the power of data

Cheers, Melvin Wang Founder of ThinkVAL

About the author

Melvin is the founder and managing director of ThinkVAL with 14 years delivering large scale projects in banking. He has a passion in using technology to create solutions that would aid in removing low-value repetitive tasks and solutions that would increase efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.