Intelligent SME.tech Issue 20 - Page 57

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APAC

TECHNOLOGY IS THE KEY TO SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH

Singaporean small businesses that leverage technology are more likely to experience business growth , according to global professional accounting body , CPA Australia . Around one-third ( 36.4 %) of Singapore ' s small businesses grew in 2021 , a slight increase from 35.5 % in 2020 . This result was affected by COVID-19 , increasing costs and challenging economic landscape .

Among businesses that grew , 58 % found their investment in technology last year made their business more profitable . These are among the new findings from CPA Australia ' s annual survey of small business issues and sentiment across 11 Asia-Pacific markets , including Singapore .
Over four in 10 of Singapore ' s small businesses surveyed reported that more than 10 % of their revenue came from online sales . It was also found that 58.1 % received more than 10 % of their sales through new payment technologies . However , the survey found that one in five of Singapore ' s small businesses are still not using new digital payment options , while around a third did not earn any revenue from online sales .
According to the survey , the top four factors that had a positive influence on growing small businesses in Singapore were :
• Customer loyalty
• Improved business strategy
• Technology
• Cost control
" Small businesses should continue to invest in technology to improve their ability to reach customers , improve customer satisfaction and increase efficiency . This will drive their profitability higher ."
As businesses invest more in technology , cybersecurity is an area that small businesses will be susceptible to . In the last six months , 34 % reviewed their business cybersecurity protection , while nearly three in 10 expect to be cyberattacked this year .
" Small businesses will not be spared from costly cyberattacks and have to manage cyber-risks to protect their operations and maintain their reputation ," added Loh .
The growth outlook for small businesses in Singapore remains cautious due to global political tensions , supply chain disruptions and rising costs . Just over half of businesses surveyed ( 53 %) expect their business to grow in the next 12 months .
CPA Australia recommends that Singapore ' s small businesses consider the following measures :
• Focus on investing in technology to meet changing consumer behaviour
• Utilise social media to learn more about potential customers
• Seek professional advice �
" In an uncertain business environment , it ' s important for small businesses to focus on the fundamentals of a business – increasing value and satisfaction for the customer while managing costs ,” said Max Loh , CPA Australia ' s Divisional President for Singapore .
" An increased focus on technology is one way that small businesses can achieve long term growth . The government has a number of grants available that businesses can access to assist with the costs of adopting technology , such as the SME Go Digital programme .
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