Helping Medium Businesses Thrive Through Digitalisation
28 Jul 2022 • 3 min read
Even before the pandemic struck in 2020, Medium Businesses had been taking advantage of digitalisation long before it became necessary. Across all sectors, businesses of all sizes are equipping their employees with digital tools because incorporating digital technologies into their existing business models could increase productivity, create new revenue streams and reduce transaction costs. The digitalisation of business can also improve the supply of information and communication between staff, suppliers, and networks.
Today, most employees of medium enterprises have access to computers and digital tools that offer many benefits to their businesses. Nevertheless, despite the advent and availability of digital tools to enhance various aspects of running a business, scaling up remains a challenge. According to SME Corp Malaysia, as at December 2020, micro-enterprises made up 78.4% of Malaysian small and medium businesses, while in contrast, medium businesses comprised only 1.6% of SMEs. Digital adoption among SMEs lags behind that of larger enterprises, according to the World Bank Malaysia, despite their being the backbone of the country’s business environment.
Digitalisation of SMEs can be a complex task but it can help these businesses integrate into global markets while reducing transport and border-related costs. In addition, it significantly extends the scope of trade services as well as facilitates access to various types of resources such as finance (for example, peer-to-peer lending) as well as manpower recruitment and training.
Moreover, by increasing and enhancing their digital presence and operations, these businesses could access more government services, which are increasingly being made available online. Digitalisation also supports innovation and greater access to innovation assets, as well as enables enterprises to analyse their own operations in new ways to improve business performance.
Success story: Siti Khadijah Telekung
It never occurred to Padzilah Enda Sulaiman that she would become an entrepreneur, much less produce telekungs.
Nevertheless, she observed that many Muslim women found it difficult to find well-designed, comfortable, and well-fitting telekungs. In 2009, she started Siti Khadijah (SK), a home-grown business that aims to ensure that women would have better, more comfortable telekungs that also improved their experience when praying. Although her intentions were sincere and her goal well defined, her business hit a rough patch when 200 telekungs that were already sewn did not receive the kind of response she expected. The prices of the telekungs were perceived by customers and the public to be too high.
This challenge did not deter Padzilah. Instead, she decided to run promotional and marketing campaigns on various platforms, including print magazines, online forums, and websites. Thanks to these efforts, the Siti Khadijah brand has become increasingly popular among Muslim women who value comfort and telekung designs that are not only beautiful but also unique and exclusive. The company now has over 40 boutiques nationwide as well as in Indonesia. It aspires to become a reputable and leading global brand in the modest lifestyle niche market.
How unifi Business helps medium businesses increase productivity and sales
Padzilah is pleased with unifi Business’ stable and reliable connectivity as well as the digital solutions that have enabled her telekung business to stay at the top of its game. Promoting its products on social media and the cari@unifi marketplace has helped the Siti Khadijah brand thrive by improving its online visibility, sales leads and reputation. These solutions have also allowed the brand to penetrate the global market.
As an apparel business owner, Padzilah recognises that going online offers growth opportunities. In addition, she is happy that unifi Business has provided an SME consultant to offer support and hands-on guidance for any issues that arise. Additionally, through webinars, digital lessons and masterclasses conducted by the unifi Business Club (uBC) for unifi Business customers, they can benefit from advice as well as free business tips and ideas.
This article was contributed by The Edge
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