Take advantage of their grant offer immediately.
According to research, almost 60% of the world’s population is online. We see people staring at screens without being aware of their surroundings. Teens texting on their phones instead of chatting with their peers. In this increasingly digitalised world, going digital is no longer a buzzword. It is a necessity. If you’re operating an education centre and are still managing your workflow manually, how do you prevent yourself from falling behind?
As a tuition centre owner himself, our founder, Darren, realised a few years ago that the old way of filing papers and updating Excel sheets is no longer a viable solution. In order to thrive, we needed a better system. That’s why he came up with AOneSchools – a management system that streamlines administrative tasks for education centres. Back then, switching to a completely new way of doing things was nerve-wracking, to say the least. We did not have many precedents to refer to, and resources were scarce. Developing a brand new software and convincing other centres to give it a go was a daunting experience. However, in the past couple of years, other industries have started catching up. More and more digital solutions have popped up in our country, and now, we are proud to see that even the government is starting to realize the need to make a change.
In Malaysia’s 2020 Budget presentation, the Ministry of Finance announced that it will provide a new grant initiative, to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country adopt more electronic solutions in their operations. They called it the SME Digitalisation Initiative.
What is the SME Digitalisation Initiative?
As mentioned above, the Malaysian government is hoping to encourage local companies to incorporate modern technology to manage their businesses. The SME Digitalisation Initiative is a grant to give these enterprises a boost. A 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company will be awarded to eligible businesses that purchase digital service(s) from designated provider(s). For example, as a music school owner, you’ve decided to subscribe to an electronic point-of-sale software for RM8,000. With this grant, you can get up to RM4,000 of the fees subsidized by the government. This allows you to upgrade your operations without taking on too much financial risk. No fees are required for the application, and the grant will be valid for a period of 5 years beginning from February 17 2020, or upon reaching 100,000 applicants, whichever comes first.
What can you purchase with this grant?
The Ministry of Finance has identified 7 types of services that the SME digitalisation grant can be used for:
- Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS)
- Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
- Digital Marketing / Sales
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation
- Remote Working Solutions
- Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS):
An electronic point-of-sale system, or e-POS, is a software that can help companies manage sales and cashflow data efficiently. One of the biggest time drains for education centre owners, whether it be tuition centres, sports academies, or art schools; is having to deal with billing and cash management. Having to track each student’s enrolment, fee information, and payment method; not to mention tracing fees collected through online banking to match them to the right payees… these tasks can make even the most organised person want to pull their hair out. One of the most rewarding feelings of being an educator is being able to watch students learn and grow under your tutelage, but even the most passionate of teachers can feel like drowning at times when dealing with financial paperwork.
At AOne, we recognised this problem early on, and strove to develop a solution for it. With our software, you can rest easy knowing that invoices are being generated automatically to students, based on the packages that you offer. There is even an in-app payment feature available, so you won’t have to process payments every month – or worse still, go through a pile of cash deposit and bank-in slips to figure out which students they came from. When customers make payments through your app, their receipts will be issued automatically, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your freed-up time doing things you love.
2. Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System:
To operate an education centre, you not only have to manage your students, but also the teachers that you employ. If you think organizing student data is hard, try tracking teacher payroll. Going through attendance records, calculating employee hours, totalling payment amounts – these could easily take up days of an administrator’s time. That is time that could be better used for marketing your business, preparing for lessons, and thinking up ways to better serve your students. If you employ many teachers and need a solution for this tedious process, consider getting a software that simplifies it for you.
3. Digital Marketing / Sales:
A business without customers is just a hobby. A good digital marketing service provides solutions for you to promote your school to a wide range of students, and helps you manage advertisements effectively.
Procurement software offers a more competent system for businesses to purchase and sell supplies. This includes sourcing suppliers, corresponding with them, and performing transactions through the internet.
5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation:
As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” As enterprise owners ourselves, we know that doing taxes can be the death of us. Accounting used to involve calculators and lengthy ledgers; but if you’re still doing that, it’s time to level up. An accounting software can help educators manage their books efficiently, which makes filing taxes a lot easier as well.
What about ERP? ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is software that can handle multiple functions within an operation, such as product planning, development and manufacturing, warehouse management, financial management, sales and marketing etc – all in a single system.
Since most enterprises have their own operating systems, ERPs are often customised to suit each business’s needs.
6. Remote Working Solutions:
Since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), citizens have grown used to the new normal of working from home. While challenging to adapt to at first, remote work has gradually become a regularity in our lives. A good number of AOne’s clients switched to online teaching during the MCO period, and many mentioned that it was a tough transition. For companies used to offline operations, having to pivot online in such a short time can be extremely difficult. Therefore, the government included remote working solutions, such as software that enables effective data exchange and communication between remote staff, in the SME Digitalisation Initiative to ease the process.
Even before COVID-19 hit, e-commerce has taken the world by storm. Pioneers like Amazon and eBay have shown us how easily goods can be purchased with a few clicks of a button. With their success, other businesses have followed suit, whether it be clothing retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, even food services. Now, with stringent rules on social distancing, the ability to buy goods online has become an integral part of our lives. E-commerce digitalisation services allow SMEs to use technology to sell their products online, while providing them assistance in fulfilment, marketing, and other activities.
What are the companies affiliated with this grant?
You can browse through the list of approved vendors here: https://www.mybsn.com.my/formdownload?formDownloadId=2112
How do you know if you are eligible?
You can apply for this grant if:
- At least 60% of your company is owned by Malaysians.
- Your company is registered under the relevant laws of Malaysia, and is classified as a small or medium enterprise.
- Your business has been in operation for at least 1 year.
- If your company has been in operation for 1 year, you are required to have a minimum annual sales turnover of RM100,000 for the first year.
- If your company has been in operation for 2 years or more, you are required to have a minimum annual sales turnover of RM50,000 for the preceding 2 consecutive years.
How can you apply for this grant?
For those of you who are eligible, you can go through the following steps to submit your application.
- Appoint 1 to 3 approved vendor(s) to provide digitalisation services to your business.
- Compile the following documents for submission:
- Completed SME Digitalisation Initiative Application form (downloadable at https://www.mybsn.com.my/formdownload?formDownloadId=2111 )
- Copy of Identity Card or Passport of Director(s) / Partner(s) / Proprietor(s), whichever is applicable
- Copy of business registration licenses (CCM, Form A/B, Form 24 & 49 and M&A or any similar forms under the Companies Act 2016)
- Audited financial statement for the last financial year and the latest management account (if any) or evidences of sales turnover (if any)
- Company’s bank statement for the last 2 months
- Company’s profile (if any)
- Invoice/billing and service agreement from authorised vendor listed by MDEC
- Any other information and documents as and when required by the bank
- Submit the documents above to any of BSN’s (Bank Simpanan Nasional) branches. You can search for the nearest branch from you here: https://www.mybsn.com.my/location.xhtml?menuId=6
- Keep in mind that only the SME is authorised to complete and submit the application documents. Appointment of any third party for collection and submission to the bank is not allowed.
- Before applying for the grant, you will need to pay the price after deducting the subsidised amount from the grant to your service provider(s), and submit proof of payment to the bank.
- When your application is approved, BSN will make a direct payment of 50% of the total invoice amount, or up to RM5,000, to your appointed service provider(s). Depending on the total invoice amount, this payment may be made in one lump sum or in stages, based on the bank’s discretion.
For more information about this initiative, visit https://www.mybsn.com.my/content.xhtml?contentId=1561
Digitalisation is a process that all businesses have to embrace in order to thrive. Here at AOne Schools, we strive to support you in your efforts to do so, by providing solutions and resources that can help you grow. If you are interested in finding out how we can assist you, please feel free to contact us or schedule a demo.
It’s time to leave the days of manual paperwork behind, and start using a more elegant system for your education business.