Bahasa: Lain-lain

In business, one of the most fundamental elements to manage is your cash. The cash flow position of the business plays a huge factor in the survival of the business entity. Cash flow is a measure of cash coming into the business versus cash going out; it is essentially money available to cover operating expenses including short-term bills and emergency expense obligations, and for reinvestment to perpetuate business growth. As a critical aspect of business operating activities, cash flow is the lifeblood of all businesses. The healthier the cash flow, the better the finances of your business. Poor cash management could end up putting even profitable companies out of business. Your income statement may appear healthy but if you are not managing your cash flow well, profits are worth nothing if cash is not coming in. Without adequate cash on hand, a business may not be able to earn money, run operations smoothly and invest in assets that it needs, such as new equipment and inventory. It may have to look to alternative loans with undesirable interest rates that cost more than a traditional loan to make up for cash shortfalls.

Without a doubt, maintaining a healthy cash flow is one of the major challenges in business. It is not an easy feat, but it can be achieved with good cash flow management. In today’s uncertain economy with ever rising interest rates, effective cash flow management is particularly essential in the financial management of small businesses, as well as, new and growing companies. Many small businesses are having cash flow problems, where they spend more money than they earn, because as a result of their limited financial training, they fail to look at their financial statements carefully until problems become too big to handle. New and growing businesses, also, generally, experience cash flow problems because they have yet to build up the reserves needed to cover receivables owed to them.

If you happen to be on the same boat, struggling to keep afloat in a stormy sea of financial woes, do not despair any further. By adopting prudent business practices and changes that are outlined here, you can improve your cash flow and steer into calm business weather for a smooth sail towards sustainability and growth.

Increase Incoming Revenue by Focusing on Sales. Strive for higher sales by selling more goods or services. Employ the right sales people, provide them with proper training and give them clear, specific sales goals which they are accountable for achieving. You should also enhance profit margins by reasonably increasing selling prices. Generally, customers will not oppose a hike in selling prices if it can be justified through improved products, value-added services and speedier delivery.

Reduce Costs. Cut, cut, cut! One of the ways you can reduce cash outflow is to cut down on your operating costs wherever possible. You should keep a tight watch on your sales force’s expenses by giving them a spending threshold and deduct excess from commissions.

Cash Flow Projections are a Must. Get a clear picture of where your cash flow stand. Foreseeing cash flow needs is half the battle in dealing with cash flow issues. You should prepare cash flow projections for next year, next quarter and, if you're on shaky ground, next week. An accurate cash flow projection can alert you to trouble well before it strikes. Most financial professionals will tell you that projections rank next to business plans and mission statements among things a business must do to plan for the future.

Minimise Bank Balance. Do not keep too much extra money in your bank account; keep only the necessary minimum. Invest the bulk in credible investments with more competitive rates so that you will have a “contingency plan” to fall back on to should you encounter challenging times ahead.

Manage Receivables Well to Improve Cash Flow. You should employ stronger, more efficient debt collection policies in order to decrease the time between sales and when you receive payment. Perform mandatory credit checks on all new credit-basis customers; impose deposit payment for all orders; issue invoices promptly; and follow up immediately if payments are slow in coming. For slow-paying customers, you should institute cash on delivery (c.o.d.) policy. Offer incentives for prompt payment to customers, like discounts or bonus, which will motivate them to pay bills quickly. Ultimately, you must get your products to customers faster if you want to improve your cash flow.

Monitor Expenses. When you are managing a growing company, you have to watch expenses carefully. Don't be lulled into complacency by simply expanding sales. Whenever you see expenses growing faster than sales, examine costs thoroughly to find places to cut or control them. Then, take quick actions before things start to spiral out of control.

Negotiate Terms with Suppliers and Vendors. If your clients are required to pay within 30 days, your terms with your suppliers and vendors should be similar. Make payments more slowly. Take full advantage of creditor payment terms. Always pay within the payment terms and not early. Take advantage of the 30-day grace period. Keeping a good relationship with your suppliers and vendors is essential, in case you ever need to extend payment deadlines. Don't always focus on the lowest price when choosing suppliers. Sometimes more flexible payment terms can improve your cash flow more than a bargain-basement price.

Reconcile Monthly Bank Statements. You should always reconcile your monthly bank statements so that you are on top of your disbursement in order for you to control your cash flow. Do not manage your cash flow using the bank balance. Bank balance and cash balance are two different forms of cash. Rarely will the two ever be the same. And sometimes banks do make mistakes.

Secure Bank Line of Credit in Good Times. You're a normal entrepreneur who can't perfectly predict the future. Sooner or later, you will foresee or find yourself in a situation where you lack the cash to pay your bills. The key to managing cash shortfalls is to become aware of the problem as early and as accurately as possible. Set up a business line of credit with your bank when your business is doing well financially. This allows you to borrow money up to a preset limit any time you need it. Since it's far easier to borrow when you don't need it, arranging a credit line before you are short is vital. When your business falls on hard times and you need money instantly, the bank will be less likely to want to extend credit to your business. By securing the line of credit when times are good, you are providing a safety net for the future when you may need it.

Consider using Factors. These are financial service businesses that can pay you today for receivables you may not otherwise be able to collect on for weeks or months. You will receive less than you would otherwise from your receivables, since factors demand a discount, but you will eliminate the hassle of collecting and be able to fund current operations without borrowing.

Asset Leasing. You may also be able to raise cash by selling and leasing back assets such as machinery, equipment, computers, phone systems and even office furniture. Leasing companies may be willing to perform the transactions. It's not cheap, however, and the downside is that you could lose your assets if you miss lease payments.

Move your Inventory. Monitor your inventory turnover levels to ensure that products are continually moving out. Determine what is selling and what isn't. Discontinue products that are not moving or have become outdated. Talk to the supplier about buying them back or substituting with a different product line, and if all else fails, sell them at a discounted price to generate at least some revenue. Explore the possibility of implementing a "just in time" ordering system that allows you to receive merchandise faster, eliminating the need to carry excess stock.

Continuity Sales. One of the most exceptional ways of controlling and improving cash flow well into the future is by employing continuity sales or services. It is simply a contract to purchase products or services on an instalment basis for a fixed period of time. The best example is a magazine subscription. You get more money upfront and your customers get better deals in the long run in terms of lower rates and convenience.

Start managing your cash flow effectively now! Tackle your cash flow problems, and free yourself from worries so that you are better able to focus on ways to grow your business and to embark on generating higher earnings!

In today’s globalised world of business, every business entity, new or established, has a vision of going global by venturing into export markets. The wealth of opportunities in going beyond borders are limitless with all translating into expansion of customer base, enhanced sales growth and increased profits. Here are some tips for exporting success:

  1. Getting ready for exporting
    -Before you think about exporting it is wise to conquer the local market. The most successful exporters are well established and have a strong customer base at home.
    -Once you've established a strong presence in the local market, it is time to learn the basics of exporting. There are many new terms and concepts you will need to understand, but at the same time, there are plenty of people who can help you along the way.
  2. Export strategy
    -It is essential to develop an export strategy before launching into an overseas market. Your strategy should identify your export aims and the resources you need to achieve them. You'll need to analyse your business, the export environment, your product and service offerings and potential markets. You should also develop plans to implement your strategies and ways to evaluate their success.
  3. Networking opportunities
    -Your business contacts can make or break your exporting endeavours. By making the right contacts you can learn more about your industry and meet potential customers.
  4. Market research
    -Market research is about finding out what drives a market and how to access it. In researching your export markets you'll need to find out about import duties, distribution channels, regulations, market size and growth. You also need to develop a “feel” for the market which includes knowledge of how buyers operate, potential barriers to market entry, what your competitors are doing and the dynamics of business meetings.
  5. Export marketing
    -Export marketing is about building relationships and making a good impression. Use your networks to make contact with buyers in your export market and ensure your support material provides relevant, accurate and substantial information. This could include letters, brochures, emails, faxes and websites. It's also important to take the time to learn the business etiquette of the culture you are dealing with.
  6. Visiting the market
    -Once you've identified your new markets it's time to visit them and start building networks on the ground. Visit your markets before committing to major agreements with prospective agents, distributors, or other business partners. You might also want to consider visiting major trade fairs in the target country.
  7. Risk management
    -Venturing into international markets will expose your business to a new range of risks so it's a good idea to review your risk management strategy. New risks could include foreign exchange exposure, legal issues, political stability, shipping, customs clearance days, quarantine and standards regulations.
  8. Getting financial assistance
    -Market development and getting ready to export can take a lot of time and money so you'll need to manage your cash flow carefully
  9. Freight and logistics
    -Establishing an efficient and effective freight process is crucial to good exporting. Most exporters use a freight forwarder but you will still need to learn the basics of shipping terms, pricing and documentation.
  10. Sales leads
    -Receiving your first genuine enquiry is an exciting moment. Make sure you've developed procedures to handle leads professionally. This could include a commitment to respond within 48 hours and developing an email format to promote your business. You will also need to check their bona fides to ensure they are a genuine client and that the transaction is secure.
  11. Legal issues
    -There are plenty of legal issues to consider once you start exploring overseas markets including import and export regulations, patent and other intellectual property registrations, product liability, bilateral sanctions and the differences between legal systems.

With the 11 tips shared in this article, we hope that it will be useful for the growth of your business in the global market.

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It was a celebration filled with glamour and glitter against the elegant black and gold theme of the evening when the crème-de-la crème of SMEs in Malaysia were announced. Reaching for the moon to be among the stars had indeed paid off for the winner. Eyecon Group Sdn. Bhd. bagged the top spot at the Enterprise 50 2012 Award dinner held recently at One World Hotel on 9 November.

Enterprise 50 is an annual award programme that honours the best 50 SMEs in the country. Sydney Cake House came in as the first runner up and Goodnite Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. took third place from among the top 50 SMEs.

This is the 16th successful year that E50 Award had revealed another 50 SME gems in the country. Since its inception in 1996, the E50 Award had been opened to all home-grown SMEs annually. However, in 2012, participation in E50 was by invitation only. More than 400 companies that had been evaluated and rated four stars and above, under the SME Competitive Rating for Enhancement (SCORE), were invited to participate. The focus this year was to give greater recognition to companies that were well positioned for the future, competitive, resilient, and capable of facing global challenges in true entrepreneurial spirit.

The E50 Award is a mark of entrepreneurial excellence and so far, it has attracted 1,673 participants and established an alumni of 511 companies. Augmented with a mark of recognition and invaluable endorsement, 40 of these companies are already listed on the Main Board of the Malaysian Bourse, while 12 companies are on the ACE Market.

This year, manufacturing was the most dominant sector that had participated in E50. It comprised 40% of the nominations which was a 6 percentage point increase from 34% last year. The nomination from other sectors such as Services, Healthcare, Consultation, and Interior Design recorded a 14 percentage point increase from 8% to 22%, followed by Professional Services with a 2 percentage point increase from 12% to 14%. Lastly, Real Estate/Construction recorded a 6 percentage point increase from 4% last year to 10% this year.

Bumiputera-led companies recorded a 210% increase in their participation from 10 companies in 2011 to 31 companies in 2012. This year saw an emergence of successful women-owned companies that are innovative, competitive and resilient, a testament of the conducive business environment in Malaysia that recognises the importance of women’s diverse roles and broad participation in the main stream of national development towards achieving a high-income economy.

Each of the E50 winners had received a trophy and a certificate, and was automatically nominated for the Industry Excellence Award (AKI) and the National Productivity Award. In addition, the winners would also be featured on the E50 homepage and enjoy media coverage from Business Times, Media Prima and Malaysia SME.

The guest-of-honour at the E50 Award dinner was Y.B. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, who had presented the awards to all of the winners. The function was also attended by Y. Bhg. Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohamed Al Amin Hj. Abdul Majid, Chairman of SME Corp. Malaysia; Mr. Tan Theng Hooi, Country Managing Partner of Deloitte Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.; and Y. Bhg. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim, Chief Executive Officer of SME Corp. Malaysia.

The E50 Award was jointly organised by SME Corp. Malaysia and Deloitte Malaysia, with the support from their strategic partners namely RHB Bank Berhad, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Business Times, Media Prima Berhad and Malaysia SME.




Business-to-Business e-Commerce or B2B e-Commerce is a term that is used for electronic market transactions between business organisations or companies. It covers a broad spectrum of applications that enables an enterprise or business to form electronic relationship with its distributors, resellers, suppliers and other partners.

B2B e-Commerce offers a range of benefits for buyers and sellers:

· Lower procurement and distribution costs as it eliminates the need for a mediator / middleman.
· With advancement in technology, electronic marketing is able to reach farther and wider markets for greater access to buyers and sellers locally and globally.
· Quicker reaction to customer inquiries
· Reduced capital commitment and less overproduction
· Error elimination throughout the ordering and production process
· Quality improvements in customer-service
· Worldwide access to up-to-date product information

B2B e-Commerce is one of the fastest growing sectors of the small business industry. It is also one of a possible solution to help SMEs, especially small businesses, to compete not only with their competitors in the industry but also with larger companies globally.
With the internet fast becoming the world’s most important source of information with a growing influence on consumer behaviour and decisions, it has become a platform for all types of businesses to promote and sell their products and services. With SMEs being the majority bulk of businesses today, the electronic commerce industry is expanding rapidly as more and more SMEs are adopting B2B e-Commerce. This, in turn, has resulted in the establishment of an increasing number of e-commerce firms catering to the needs of the SMEs, and thus, creating more jobs in the economy.
The adaptation of B2B in business transactions helps improve the speed of communication between buyers and sellers at reduced costs. This helps to open up new business opportunities both locally and globally. With the ability to enter international markets at a minimal cost, SMEs now have the opportunity to compete with bigger companies.
The e-commerce technology works well as a selling tool as it also helps the SMEs to generate more sales through its ability to better outsource unprofitable segments of business. It can help to outsource products that are not selling well, which conventionally requires effort, time, and costs to implement. However, through B2B, some of the costs can be reduced so that the company can focus on other areas of the business like product development. Additionally, with the usage of this technology, the product development, product processes, and business / market intelligence will see better improvement in due time.
SMEs will also be able to understand the market better as there will be direct interaction between buyers and suppliers online. For buyers, with the elimination of a mediator / middleman, direct purchase of materials as well as the establishment of a relationship with suppliers will result in reduced cost. With reduced costs, there will be greater savings for buyer companies that will, in turn, result in better bottom lines.
SMEs have always been struggling with labour intensive processes of running a business that adversely affect efficiency, productivity and organisational growth. With B2B e-commerce, SMEs benefit tremendously by reduced usage of time and resources through transactions done online. B2B e-commerce also allows SMEs to streamline warehouse, call center and other functions that have the potential to become choke points in the company's efforts to achieve targeted growth objectives.
B2B e-commerce allows SMEs to have the opportunity to leverage technology as a competitive advantage in the ever changing global economy. By using the right strategies, it can serve as a powerful weapon to enhance brand appeal, reduce the cost of operations and increase sales. Furthermore, it gives realistic and achievable targets for SMEs to achieve in improving and gaining better experience with their business customers. For today’s SMEs, B2B e-Commerce is the key to small business revitalisation and success in today's multichannel marketplace.

When you start a business, one of the most important ingredients is to build networks that will come in handy as you grow your business. The merriam-webster dictionary defines networking as the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions. By looking at the definition, the term networking seems like an easy feat to achieve, however there are strategic techniques to apply when building your networks.

In this article, we will be sharing with you 10 effective techniques for successful business networking. An effective business networking is one that links individuals based on trusts, relationship building and to some even acts as walking advertisements for each other. When you start a networking relationship, the first thing that you must remember is sincerity and trust. Trust and sincerity are the two fundamental elements in any relationships formed in life. So, ensure that what you are trying to build with the other party is an honest relationship.

Secondly, remember your goals when you attend a networking meeting. Once you have set your goals, it will help you identify the groups that you would want to be associated with. This will help narrow down the time and people that you may need to meet during the short period of time during the networking meeting. Thus, in this way you get to grasp as much as possible during the meeting.

When you are engaged in a networking session, you need to be observant. As an observant person you would be able to notice the tone and attitude of each member in the networking group. Analyse the group that you are in, whether they are supportive of each other or if there are competent leadership.

During the networking meetings, always ask an open ended questions. By doing so, this will give you the opportunity to open up discussions show that you are also interested to listen to their conversation topics. In a way you will be able to notice those that may have an interest to build the relationship with you.

The fifth technique, always portray yourself as a powerful resource for others. This will in turn make you seem as a strong resource and people will remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, and names of other people. This way you will be visible to the people surrounding you. For the sixth technique, aside from having a vast resource of knowledge, you should also hold volunteer positions in organisations because it will be great as it will keep you even more visible and in return, you should give back to the group you are in.

The seventh technique that we would like to share with you is, to have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes you special or different from others. When you have shown that much needed clarity and confidence to others, it will be a much easier mission to get referrals, where you can easily articulate to others.

You should also be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. This will help to avoid that awkward situation where someone asks a question and the cricket sounds are heard. When you are presented with a referral, follow through quickly and efficiently. By acting on this it reflects on the person that gave the referrals to you as you should always honour and respect them and this will ensure that your circle of referrals will grow.

Lastly, call those that you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Try to express that you enjoy meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas. This way, you can ensure that the relationship you are building with them will be one that will last for a long term.

These techniques are served merely as a general guideline to help you build a sustainable networking relationship. Networking meetings may vary from time to time and as good businessmen, you should be observant and adaptable to any given situation. We hope that the information here will be able to help you in your business endeavours.


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Kuala Lumpur Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur.

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Talian Faks: 03-2775 6001

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