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How to Become a Tech Enabled Business Owner

It’s no secret that using technology effectively can significantly benefit your small business by a wide margin. Yet, in a recent survey run by Deloitte, 40% believe that digital tools are not relevant for their business.

Do you know the level of digital engagement of your business?

Source: Deloitte Access Economics (2017)

Source: Deloitte Access Economics (2017)

If you are “Basic” or “Intermediate”, it’s time to put some serious thought into technology investments for your small business. On average, digitally advanced small businesses earns twice as much revenue per employee and experience revenue growth that is four times higher.

Here are some ways to use technology for your business in 2019.

Improve your team management

Use a tool such as Monday.com to simplify the way you work with your team. The tool lets you manage workload, track projects, and communicate with people more efficiently, unblocking back-and-forth processes.

For a free alternative, you can get Process Street, which is available absolutely free for a limited time only (compliments of AppSumo).

Fix your inbox

If you have more than zero emails in your inbox, you are not practicing proper email management (that’s right anything more than zero). Inbox Zero is an email management technique that allows you to declutter and keep you organised so you avoid wasting time unnecessarily (think of the number of times you keep opening the same read email). Consider using the Gmail app on your phone. They have a nifty feature that allows you to “swipe” your emails to quickly archive them. You can also set certain emails to automatically come back at the appropriate time (eg. to follow up with someone).

Manage your finances on the cloud

If you’re still juggling manual journal entries or financial spreadsheets, you are dealing with unnecessary complexity. Xero is a cloud based accounting service that provides full suite accounting. As a small business owner, you can get started with their entry plan, which is the Xero Early Plan, which comes with invoices and quotes, monthly bills, and bank reconciliations. Larger small businesses can consider the Xero Growing Plan.

Slacking off

Use Slack to avoid slacking off. By far, one of the most important tools for any small business, Slack allows you to collaborate faster and more seamlessly within your team and with external vendors. Their numerous integrations allow you to pull in any other services you use (eg. Dropbox, Xero, etc.) seamlessly.

It’s time to start embracing technology and becoming a digitally-savvy business owner. Consider the above areas as a launching pad to improve your overall productivity and gain back control of your time.

Kevin Veitia

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How to Be Self-Employed

Over 223 thousand residents in Singapore consider themselves self-employed with more increasing every day. Structural changes in today’s economy is making the move possible. Whether you are making the leap to self-employment from your current employer or looking to start something on your own straight out of university graduation, here are some key things to do before you make the plunge.

Interview yourself

While being your own boss means you can throw your CV in the rubbish bin, you would be inadequately prepared for the real challenges of running your own business if you do not ask yourself these 3 key introspective questions.

Are you able to work alone?

Especially in the early days when things are tough, you will be constantly second guessing whether you are doing the right thing or not.

Do you offer something where there is a demand?

Supply and demand are in balance even in the self-employment market. You need to assess whether you have something to offer with your self-employed occupation. It never hurts to sharpen your own skill set by spending a few years at someone else’s small business so you gain the confidence and experience that’s needed.

Can you handle rejection?
Having thick skin is crucial as you will face rejection, whether you are raising funds from investors or selling to customers. Turn every rejection into an opportunity to gather feedback and learn more about how you can improve.

Prepare for a rainy day

Becoming self-employed means you abandon the comfort of a steady paycheck from an employer. While everyone hopes that things go according to plan, real business work is often volatile with ups and downs in cash flow coming into your pocket. Be sure to calculate a realistic budget for yourself, that covers both your personal expenditures as well as business ones. Do not cut your budget too drastically, otherwise, your personal satisfaction and quality of life may deteriorate if you go from eating out to making ramen for yourself every meal.

Look to set aside a minimum of 6 months of cash before you even consider moving to self-employment.

Do your homework

You need to understand everything when you are on your own, from business licenses to tax filings.

At a bare minimum, understand how business taxes work. IRAS offers a start-up kit for new sole-proprietorship and partnerships.

If you are a foreigner, be extra careful not to flout the rules on manpower regulations. Freelance work is only applicable to Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. If you wish to set up something on your own, you will need to apply for an Entrepass or set up a local company (requires at least one director who is an ordinary resident of Singapore).

Being your own boss is extremely rewarding.Taking the first step is always the hardest part but rest assured you’re in good company. This is the reason why the number of people seeking self-employment keeps increasing.

So start now by interviewing yourself, preparing for a rainy day, and doing your homework.

Kevin Veitia

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The 5 Biggest Money Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Small business owners are known to be scrappy and have the tenacity to weather any kind of storms. While some failures are fairly minor and can be quickly course corrected, making a huge making a huge financial mistake can create an unexpected drag to cash flow, hurting your ability to pay off vendors on time or even make payroll. In some cases, even the most promising business can be brought down with accumulated debt making it even harder to around things around.

Here are 5 major financial pitfalls to avoid when running your small business:

1. Combining your personal and business expenses

Failing to separate your personal expenditures from your business expenditures creates significant complications not convenience. Accounting and tax reporting also becomes more complicated down the road.

This would also mean that you do not have a limited liability entity to protect your personal assets from business creditors.

It is highly recommended that you open a separate business bank account to managing your small business finances. Consider a reputable professional organisation such as Corporate Services to assist you with your company incorporation in Singapore.

2. Not planning for future tax liability

All companies in Singapore are liable to pay corporate tax under the Corporate Tax Act.

Also, if your small business generates over S$1 million in turnover, you will need to be GST-registered as well. Be sure to check the IRAS website for the latest business tax information.

3. Incurring credit card expenses

credit-card

This is particularly dangerous if you plan to incur credit card expenses without clear visibility on future revenue, exposing you to huge credit card bills. The convenience of credit cards make them all the more tempting to use but the financial damage from compounding expenses and interest charges is significant.

Consider using a debit card if you need a card payment option as this allows you to avoid leveraging your financial position unnecessarily.

4. Not having a clear budget

Doing the heavy lifting on building up some form of financial forecast for your own business is prudent. When times are tough, a detailed budget gives you visibility to where you can trim costs. You will become more financially disciplined and accountable to your shareholders (even if it’s just yourself).

As a bonus, keeping your financial plan up to date will also give you flexibility to raise capital as this is a key deliverable and requirement to any successful capital raise.

5. Not funding your business properly

Some entrepreneurs are die-hard bootstrappers (self-funding your business without external capital). This is prudent in some cases but also a drag in situations where the business needs larger amounts of capital to take advantage of the right opportunities.

In some instances, going into debt is a prudent way to accelerate growth, especially if the funds are poured into positive return opportunities. Raising debt also gives you ample cash to navigate downturns as opposed having too low of a cash balance which may affect proper business decision making.

With these financial insights on money mistakes, you will be more equipped to navigate around avoidable financial mistakes that others have made.

Kevin Veitia

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3 Ways to Advertise Without Spending Any Money

Marketing is the lifeblood for growth for many small businesses. Yet, many owners throw everything at the wall - flyers, social media, commercials - often overspending by a significant margin without the commensurate return on marketing.

The key is finding the right channels that can deliver consistent and positive return on investment (eg. the amount you amount you generate for every dollar of marketing you spend).

But what about advertising your business for free? Getting additional customers without any incremental cost will actually make your overall business more cost effective as your blended marketing cost comes down. And lowering the overall cost of your marketing will allow you to do even more.

Here are some ways to market your business without breaking the bank:

1. Publicity

This is often associated with expensive PR campaigns to generate attention. But did you know you can actually generate free publicity with the right media outlets?

Publications such as The Straits Times are constantly sourcing relevant topics and content for their readers. The best way to get some initial exposure is to follow the writers that cover your industry and to reach out to them when you have something interesting to share.

Try sponsoring a content for your existing customers enticing them to fill out a customer survey, one that you think will provide insightful feedback. You can share the results with your favorite media outlets. Publications love these kind of surveys and will help you share it with their readers in a meaningful way.

2. Community service

People love businesses that are active participants in the community and have a genuine interest in making a positive impact on those around them. Word of mouth comes naturally to organisations that are actively involved.

Why not get involved today with something you are personally passionate about? There’s a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in Singapore. Consider a team event with your staff to do some volunteering together. This is a great opportunity for them to get together and share a common mission in helping the community.

Depending on your budget, you can also consider donating a portion of your sales to a charitable organisation.

3. Guest speaking

Editguest-speaker-jenfi.jpg

This is one of the most underlooked opportunities to advertise your business. Events organisers are constantly on the lookout for interesting people from diverse backgrounds to feature as their guest speaker.

Look for events that have attendees from your target audience. Participating regularly will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and provide additional social validation of your business. In fact, what often happens is once you become a guest speaker, you often get more invitations from other event organisers as they know you are willing to participate.


You are now ready to start looking for opportunities to generate free exposure for your business. As a small business owner, you carry the vision of your brand with you. Stay passionate and make sure you go the extra mile when engaging with those who want to learn more about your brand at these venues. You never know, they may become your best advocates tomorrow.

Kevin Veitia

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Is the Google Small Business Tool Worth Using?

Google has launched Google for Small Business with the goal of enabling small business owners to leverage more digital tools to grow their business. Apparently over half of small business owners are unaware that these tools even exist.

The website prompts you to fill out basic information about your business, such as your company name and website, and ask you questions about your goals: growing your online presence, getting more customers, among others.

After submitting the responses, you get a personalised step-by-step plan. For example, Google may encourage you to use Adwords to boost your presence and start a YouTube video channel to attract an organic audience. You also get tips on how to improve your search results.

Useful or not? Your mileage may vary depending on how familiar you are already with Google’s suite of products. Although it’s Google centric, it’s a great place to start for newcomers and you may end up learning something new. It’s encouraging to see Google continuing to invest in initiatives for small businesses.

Get started today.

Kevin Veitia

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Half of Small Businesses Struggle With Financing

It is getting harder and harder these days to obtain adequate capital as a small business owner. Only half of SMEs were even eligible for financing last year.

In most cases, the lack of cash flow and low annual sales volume lead to automatic disqualification for the small business loan applicant.

If your business generates less than $300,000 in revenue and you have less than a $100,000 cash balance, you may need to seek alternative financing options as your likelihood of obtaining business credit is low.

Click here for the original story from the Singapore Business Review.

Kevin Veitia

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SAAS

How Jenfi helped to increase marketing and scaling business development initiatives.

About A School For Tomorrow

A School for tomorrow is a global education network that supports students, educators, and school leaders to thrive in a new world environment. A School For Tomorrow supports the work of CIRCLE – The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education in providing research-driven personal, professional and school development programs designed to prepare human beings to learn, live, lead and work in their world.

Founded in 2020

https://www.aschoolfortomorrow.com/

Q. How is Jenfi helping you obtain your goals?

Most notably, the funding that has been provided by Jenfi has allowed our organistion to increase marketing and scale business development initiatives. 

It has been an extremely positive experience working with the entire Jenfi Team. They have been extremely helpful, and were able to work with us closely and understand our marketing needs. I look forward to continuing our relationship with Jenfi.

Matthew Donlon, Business Operations and Development -- A School For Tomorrow

Challenge

A School For Tomorrow needed funds to improve their marketing efforts, increase marketing spend and scale business development initiatives.

Solution

Jenfi and A School For Tomorrow worked together to understand the company's marketing needs. Jenfi’s support allowed A School For Tomorrow to increase meaningful leads to their website, bringing down their cost per lead while also increasing their marketing return on investment. 

X Company in Numbers

2

Investments

Marketing

Use Of Funds

56%

Revenue Growth

$300K

Amount

How fast can your business grow with dedicated funding?

SAAS

Jenfi enabled us to fund significant revenue-generating initiatives

Bolton Remote

Founded by Patrick Linton in 2013, Bolton Remote is one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Bolton Remote is a global workforce scaling service, focused on building support teams for growing tech companies in a way that is better than "traditional" outsourcing.

Founded in 2013

https://www.boltonremote.com/

Q. How is Jenfi helping you obtain your goals?

QUOTE ABOUT JENFI GOES HERE

POINT OF CONTACT, JOB TITLE -- Bolton Remote

Challenge

Bolton Remote have over a decade of experience helping technology companies scale their customer experience teams. They quickly reached a point where they needed to scale more quickly. Growth funding is always a challenge, especially in the current climate. Scaling businesses can be challenging, but Jenfi helped accelerate Bolton Remotes efforts to fund revenue-generating initiatives successfully.

Solution

Jenfi provided funding with a great customer experience to aid with revenue-generating initiatives. The speed and simplicity that Jenfi operated were beneficial and helped Bolton Remote save time while achieving their goals. The Jenfi user interface is intuitive and easy to pick up quickly, which aided the efforts further.

X Company in Numbers

2

Investments

Marketing

Use Of Funds

56%

Revenue Growth

$300K

Amount

How fast can your business grow with dedicated funding?

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