Doctor Vivian Balakrishnan summed it up quite nicely recently when asked by The Sunday Times how SMEs should participate in Smart Nation activities. He said and I quote "Don't just (use the funds to) buy a computer. Seriously think about revamping and upgrading your capability and your innovative potential." Being in the business of helping businesses, we've seen how these grants are not delivering the outcomes that businesses hope for. Below are some tips on how businesses in Singapore can make the most of the government grants.
1. Prepare a great proposal
Grant submissions are are often accompanied by project proposals without a comprehensive analysis of what problems are being addressed, how it will impact the existing business operations and what solutions are available. To address this, review and understand your end-to-end operations and processes. Assess which areas are priority and determine how much appetite the organisation has for change.
2. Choose the right vendor
Businesses will often turn to software vendors to provide them with expert advice. If you're unsure of which vendor to choose conduct a Request for Proposal (RFP) where multiple vendors submit their proposal to meet your requirements. Look for vendors that provide integrated solutions, good change management and support processes. This allows you to partner with the right vendor not only for the solution but for really knowing what your business needs.
3. Avoid creating silos
Silos are created when systems and processes work within themselves with very little or very manual integration or interaction with others areas. Under the current way grants are structured businesses may inadvertently end up with a silo solution. To avoid this, develop a detailed roll-out plan that is broken down by phases. The grants can be used for each 'phase' of your plan. Therefore even though each grant submission will be separate they will align to the overall objectives.
Businesses in Singapore are fortunate that the government provides these grants and subsidies to help them through the fledgling stages. However like anything it shouldn't it be taken for 'grant'ed (pun intended).
Looking for templates to help you with your grant proposal? Drop us an email and we'll be happy to send one.