[This is a sponsored article with Boost.]
If you’re an SME owner or just someone looking to venture into business, you would have seen the difference having an online presence makes, particularly now.
In consideration of the challenges businesses are facing this year, the government has launched a few initiatives targeting SMEs. The government is also working with Boost as one of the service providers (through Celcom) via the SME Digitalization Grant to help businesses digitalise and expand.
This grant is part of the PENJANA initiative and organisations like Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), SME Bank and Ministry of Finance (MOF) are also part of the SME Digitalization Grant.
What Is The SME Digitalization Grant & How It Works
With the SME Digitalization Grant, a business will be exposed to Boost’s 9 million customer base, and the grant will also assist with helping the business craft the right campaigns for advertising to grow their business.
For example, Boost has a Micro SME digital starter pack that only requires the SME to pay RM1,000 upfront, and the government will match the payment of RM1,000.
Depending on the package you choose, the government will match 50% of that amount of up to RM5,000 too.
Because it is a matching grant, it requires you to put in some money upfront. This gives you access to a digitalisation experience worth up to RM200,000.
This basically means business owners can take advantage of Boost’s Business Solutions. You’ll also be enrolled in Boost’s in-app digital marketing solutions.
To further assist the businesses in growing, Mohd Khairil Abdullah, the CEO of Boost said: “We’re emphasising on building up a robust and trusted e-wallet ecosystem for the SMEs and become an enabler for them to transform digitally with the necessary tools, resources and expertise.”
Here’s a quick breakdown of what the RM1,000 you spend on the MicroSME pack gets you in return.
Get Started On The Boost Platform
Through the Boost Business App, you’ll be introduced to a boatload of features that’ll assist in transitioning your business online.
Your customers can pay for your products or service using the app, so there’s no need to rely on physical payments, which could end up lost through fraud or theft.
Boost users can also search for your business through the app, giving you a new pool of people you can reach. As of October 2020, Boost reported they had 9 million users and about 135,000 merchants. There’s also been a 100% increase in active users in August 2020 compared to August 2019.
If you are still operating your store physically, Boost can also provide you with a pack of QR codes that you can display on the storefront.
Easy And Safer Way To Collect Payments
It’s not just all focused on app listings. By equipping your business with Boost Payment Link (see more details here), you can simplify payment requests to your customers.
The link can be sent through WhatsApp, e-mail or regular messages. When the customer clicks on it, they’ll automatically launch their Boost app with all the merchant info filled in so all they need to do is just pay.
Boost assured us that the Payment Link feature is secure and the customers will not be able to alter the payment amount. In fact, since the MCO started again in KL, Boost saw a 21x increment in the number of transactions performed through Boost Payment Link.
Supporting Local Micro SMEs To Reach Wider Audiences
To increase your reach further, Boost will also list your business onto their Boost Marketplace.
It’s a listing platform where users can look up a business’ address, contact details, operating hours and additional info.
Let’s say you’re a chicken rice seller. An interested customer can then look for your business on the marketplace and make an order by calling your business number.
You can then prepare the order and the customer can pay for their food via Boost Payment Link or pay via Boost when they come to your store. If you wish, you can also have the order delivered straight to the customer via your preferred delivery partner.
Helping You To Market Your Business
The right marketing techniques can help you bring in a steady stream of customers, and Boost gives you access to in-app promotions, shout-outs or through other digital means.
For example, the Micro SME Package entitles you to marketing solutions such as being showcased on the Boost app, social posts, electronic direct mail, ads and you’ll get listed on Boost marketplace too.
Note: If you opt for a higher-tier package, you’ll get longer marketing durations and impressions.
As you know by now, customers love cashbacks too. You’ll gain a certain amount that you can utilise in your business, offering users cashback with a minimum spend.
Using the chicken rice example, if you were to sell two dishes of chicken rice, priced at RM15, you can then provide your customers paying via Boost with a RM2 cashback, to encourage the customers to return to your store.
Protect Your Business With A Micro Insurance
In the package, you’ll also get a micro-insurance for your business to safeguard your income from disruption in case of accidents, hospitalisation or death. If you’re hospitalised or disabled, you’ll get reimbursement for up to RM1,000 for utility bills.
You can also opt to get assistance via micro-financing solutions, subject to terms and conditions.
Are You Eligible?
To apply for the SME Digitalization Grant, your business will need to fulfill a few criteria:
- 60% Malaysian-owned business.
- Registered under the relevant laws of Malaysia.
- Has been in operation for at least 1 year:
a. If your business has been operating for 1 year, you’ll need to have a minimum sales turnover of RM100,000.
b. For a business operating for more than 2 years, you’ll need to have a minimum sales turnover of RM50,000 for the two years.
If you pass those criteria, you just have to go through a few steps to apply:
- Submit your interest here.
- A Boost representative will reach out to you.
- Celcom will invoice you for the payment. Once payment has been made on your side, send proof of payment to Boost and Celcom.
- Celcom will then help you claim the grant.
- For more info on the SME Digitalization Grant, click here.
- Find out what we’ve written about Boost in the past here.
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Featured Image Credit: Boost