SME360: Household & Commercial Services – Business as Unusual: Best Practices and Strategies for the New Normal

Sun Jenn Hwan, MD Setia Builders Sdn Bhd & Systematic Living
Han Liang Siew, Operations Director HTG Services Sdn Bhd
Kevan P’ng, HR & Operations Manager Encore Sdn Bhd

1. Demand up, Supply & Manpower down
Amongst the well-documented global issues with the supply chain, local industry has also struggled with dwindling manpower due to regulatory restrictions. Therefore, businesses have to be adept at managing their own manpower to avoid burn out, and more importantly – manage their clients’ expectations, especially on big jobs with longer timelines.

2. Shifting to e-Commerce is an Investment
The shift is often seen as an unwanted expense, but if the right steps of taken can be the investment needed to level up a business. But, be mindful – the shift to digital is  more than just website development. Business owners should factor in consideration of graphic design, branding, product cataloging and user experience among many other factors of a website that could maximize opportunities. To adequately communicate your business’ experience online and serve customers effectively, if can take upwards of 1-2 years to develop. But according to the panelists’ experience, it’s well worth the effort. Industry insiders believe virtual retailing is the next step of innovation, so entrepreneurs should keep an eye on this.

3. Managing Employee Welfare
With all panelists sharing their difficulties acquiring more manpower and effectively managing their existing human resources, business owners should remain mindful of their employee welfare. In addition to having an updated and scrutinized Business Continuity Plan in place for situations like the pandemic, effort should also be put into using technology and software that streamlines processes and makes use of tools like video-conferencing instead of human movement; and avoiding use of overtime work to minimize staff burnout and accidents.

4. Letting Demand Drive the Business Direction
In many cases, listening to your customers’ and clients’ demands can be a great source of big ideas on how to make your business more profitable. And for this, there is often no better way to gather data than by letting your customers engage with your brand online. By introducing new concepts, ideas and designs on social media, your business can gain important insights in what the customers may like and be willing to spend on in the future.

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