There are various startup schemes and government grants provided by the government in International Business Park Singapore that you can benefit from. There are a number of business support grants for companies to help them overcome obstacles in their growth. Overall aim of these grants is to help businesses in capability upgrading and internationalization.
Government knows the important role that its startups and SMEs play in its economy and hence support these entities with business support grants. Financing is one of the most fundamental aspects of starting and growing your business. There are hundreds of government grants available for small businesses that help in saving money, lowering startup costs and helping grow your business.
Business support grants are small amount of seed money that further the goals of federal, state, or non-profit organizations. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to repay it. Most business support grants in International Business Park are awarded to help launch a start-up or new business, with the aim to generate jobs and stimulate the economy. There are fewer grants available for established businesses.
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Government can assist businesses in two ways- financial help and administrative support. Understand what government grants are available to businesses. Grants are available to sole traders, partnership, limited companies and social enterprises.
Now grants aren’t just government funded as more and more organizations develop grants program in International Business Park. Grants are now offered by government, private agencies, universities, corporations and humanitarians.
Business grants are available in all kinds of forms. Generally, business support grants are either a direct grant, equity finance or a soft loan. Direct grant is money given to your new business to cover startup essentials such as investment in equipment, training or reaching new markets. Equity finance, not strictly a grant, offers reduction in income tax on investment made in new businesses. Soft loans are actually loans with lower interest rates and more generous terms than other lending.
Training and development (also labelled as "learning and development") is always acknowledged as crucial to the success of any business; both in-house and outsourced; whether training courses, on-line learning or executive coaching. Conversely, it is often the first area to feel the cutbacks when times are hard. As a busy executive, it can be challenging to balance the responsibility for developing your team with reducing budgets and focusing on the bottom line. However, think positive, it may not be your responsibility only.
So how do we define training and development (or T&D for short)? How about: equipping people with new skills, knowledge, attitudes or experience which they are then able to apply to their workplace and careers? That's a nice, broad definition which we can break down into three broad categories:
* what people need to do their job as it is today;
* what people need to do their job was it will be tomorrow; and
* what people need to do the jobs they want in the future.
From this we see that T&D can equip people to do their job, stay abreast of the changing requirements of that job and also help them in their career progression. Therefore, there are clear immediate benefits to the business (the first two categories) and definite future benefits to the individual (their career.) Of course, the individual also benefits from being well-trained in their daily role and the business benefits from developing its own future executives in-house.
At this point, we might want to question this word, "training", which tends to suggest activity geared towards a specific task or role. It also implies a process that is done to the individual rather than being something that they can fully engage with (after all, dogs are 'trained'.) Perhaps the better and more inclusive term would be "learning", which suggests a wider range of options (including mentoring and coaching) and also, perhaps, a wider range of applications.
Returning to the issue of responsibility: if the benefits are shared, shouldn't the responsibility also be shared? Traditionally, a manager might appraise each team member (sometimes in secret), personally decide what they needed by way of improvement and then prescribe the appropriate off-the-shelf training course. This is a Doctor model, where the manager acts as authority, diagnostician and decision-maker. Within limits, it can be efficient and it certainly saves time, but the lack of involvement of the individual can lead to lack of engagement with the training and therefore a lack of benefit.
These days we see more of a Coach model in which the manager and individual discuss the training needs and make decisions together. The coach guides the individual through the process of identifying and meeting their development needs with an emphasis on which solution will suit both them and the business. Those with particular potential, the 'rising stars' may even manage their own development allowance or budget and be free to seek tailored coaching outside the organisation (on the understanding that the results are applied within the organisation.)
Ask yourself how it works in your workplace. Do individuals have development objectives? Are they imposed or agreed? How are development options chosen? Is the criteria solely business efficiency or does it also take into account the individual's learning style? Is there support available to apply the learning to their role? Are they coached through their career development?
So think positive and engage your team in their own learning. The key factors are: involvement; discussion; business needs and personal aspirations; not just "training" but "learning"; and joint decision-making. That can mean joint success for you and your people.
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Many programs can assist small business to access professional advice and support in critical early stages of establishing a business. While there are a lot of grants available, getting a business support grant from the government can be a challenge. Government grants are often complex with lots of processes and stages, and each grant will have its own requirements and criteria for applying.
While being awarded a grant is winning, they are notoriously hard to acquire. Not only are grants programs highly competitive, they can take months to process. Aside from finding one you’d be eligible for, you have to compete with other companies for the same. The other downside is that grants usually come with specific instructions on how you can use the money.
A grant for companies in International Business Park Singapore can give your business a huge leg up and can be a great alternative to traditional finance. To apply for grants, first become familiar with the process. Eligibility for grants will vary depending on the grant in question.
Do your research. Identify programs that are a match for your business. Apply for the grant and submit eligibility requirements. Keep in mind that you’ll need to meet certain criteria to be eligible.
Suzie was a new hire business-to-business sales representative. She had just completed the company's two-week basic training course. After the training, her sales manager met with her.
"Suzie, congratulations on completing the training," he said. "Remember, you have three months to make your quota. We have provided base salary, cell phone, laptop, desk and car allowance. Now go sell something!
What does Suzie do next? She probably will run around like crazy, trying to find anyone who might have the slightest interest in buying her product, while the quota clock relentlessly ticks. What did the company that employed Suzie miss? It failed to understand the fundamental difference between marketing and sales. This misunderstanding may cause Suzie to waste a lot of time, the company to incur unnecessary expense, and adversely impact operations. Here is what every business should know:
• Marketing is about finding prospective buyers with a need, want or desire to which you can sell. Marketing is finding.
• Sales is about helping an identified prospective buyer fill a need, want or desire from which they benefit. Sales is filling.
If this distinction didn't hit, go back and read it again. It's that important.
By having Suzie find her own prospects (someone that may have interest in buying), the company has placed the marketing responsibility on her shoulders. You may think, well that's what salespeople are supposed to do.
That's the common misconception. About 50 percent to 70 percent of a salesperson's time is spent trying to find a prospect. That's mostly wasted time. If Suzie's "finding time" could be re-allocated to "filling time" - being in front of more prospects, selling, she probably would close more business.
Without any certainty that Suzie will make a sale, the company will invest at least $3,000 in hiring, time, salary, equipment and car allowance before Suzie begins seeking sales prospects. If she's fired after three months, the company will have to go through the entire process again, resulting in additional expenses.
Here is a quick example on how expenses can add up. By placing the "finding" burden on the sales rep, a company will wind up replacing 30 percent of its sales force every three months.
Suppose there are 10 sales people on staff. That means spending $36,000 to hire new sales people in a 12-month period. Perhaps that company may be better off taking that $36,000 and investing it into marketing to find new customers.
Without business owners or executives realizing it, the sales / marketing misconception can cause flaws in a business plan as well as operational issues.
Here's an example. In the 1990's, telecommunications was exploding. Many new companies hired armies of sales reps, who had to find perspective customers and sell them.
They were given three months to make quota or be fired. Each day, they had to bring back 50 business cards - walking into businesses where they didn't know anyone - to prove they had satisfied their cold-calling requirement.
Sure enough, every three months, 30 percent of the sales force was fired.
What happened to these companies? Some went bankrupt while others eventually were rescued in buyouts. These were all well-funded companies. But the top executives failed to understand the distinction between marketing and sales.
What was the Marketing Department doing if the sales reps were doing marketing? Well, it thought it was doing marketing. In one case, it spent a lot of money hiring a well-known sports figure and holding fancy parties for big customers to attend, where they could hobnob and get an autograph.
Also, the Marketing Department was busy analyzing the kinds of customers that sales was selling.
Marketing is a vast area. But at it core, it needs to find people to turn into customers. Otherwise, marketing has probably drifted off into analysis dreamland.
Here's an example in which marketing hit a home run for a startup company.
To kick off sales efforts, the marketing manager found a shopping mall that was hosting a local business day. Space was purchased at the mall show for $500. A mailer was sent just before the show, inviting residents and business owners to stop by the table to enter a drawing for a free gift. The mailer cost $400. Sales reps greeted people who stopped by the table. The result was 30 new customers. The event was a big success.
Go through all the business cards that sales representatives have given you and look at their titles. If it says "sales representative," call the rep and ask them if they have to find their own prospects.
But if it says "marketing representative," you can bet the company is confused about the distinction between sales and marketing. Make sure that the mixed-up company isn't yours, whether you're a one-person operation, small business or large organization.
Each scheme is different. Check you meet the general terms and conditions. Talk to the grant body to assess chances of success. Read grant objectives carefully. Have a great business plan.