Lack Of Finance No Longer An Excuse Not To Brand

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The Malay Mail Online

Limited Financial Not An Excuse

Following last month’s article on what branding en-compasses: this week we talk about funding your SME branding needs. There are many stages to brand building. For smaller SMEs, the priority would be to Inculcate brand culture and determine its brand identity. SMEs with more established brands will need to communicate consistently to secure higher mind share and association. Especially for local exporting brands trying to compete in foreign markets. To gain popularity and to be identified as a preferred brand. SMEs can utilize branding tools like advertisements, exhibitions, product packaging, and sponsorships. In store promotions and other efforts.

Funds are required for these activities but most SMEs can’t spare the money even when their products and services are in good as or even better than other international brands. What options do SMEs have to access financial resources? The most viable option is to capitalize on financial assistance provided by the Malaysian government which has introduced many brand and marketing related grants and loans to lessen financial burden of SMEs.

How do grants work?

Government’s financial assistance in terms of grants is mostly on reimbursement basis. The grant recipient will need to spend first then claim the

amount according to the terms of respective grants. SMEs need I understand this to allocate sufficient budget for the related eligible expenses. A common misconception is that once the grant has been approved. The respective government agencies will award the approved grant amount beforehand for them to spend

Applying for the grants Understanding the guide-lines of respective grants and applying for the appropriate grants helps minimize processing time. Below are 3 areas to consider when applying for government grants:

  1. Eligibility
  • Must be an SME – All the grants in the table are solely available for SMEs

except for the Brand promotion grant where bigger companies can also apply.

  • Official definition for SMEs In manufacturing is annual sales not exceeding RM25 million or full-time employees not exceeding 150.
  • Official definition for SMEs in services sectors Is annual sales turnover not exceeding RM5 million or full-time employees not exceeding 50.
  • At least 60% equity of the SME should be held by Malaysians.

2. Identifying the right grant

  • SMEs are highly recommended to look into its operational needs

on what expenses need government support before applying for a grant instead of exploring what grants are available then think of was to spend it

  • The grants must be used to support SME branding strategies instead of changing brand strategies to be eligible for the grants

 

3. Submission

  • Required forms and documents must be complete and follow up be it online or phone calls to the agencies
  • We have to have considerate that these agencies have a high number of applications to process and they are trying their best ability to assist SMEs.