There is no doubt that 2023 is a very volatile year for Malaysia’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Following positive growth in 2021 and a slower but improving outlook in 2022, MSMEs must be ready in 2023 to take action at the right time to survive and thrive.
And the experts at Alliance Bank’s economics team would agree as despite a domestic tailwind in the early parts of the year, they remain cautiously optimistic for growth in the market.
But if you want to be prepared for the year ahead, then read on to learn more about the challenges and growth opportunities that you need to focus on as a business owner.
Concerns about cash flows and access to funding
Going into the next few quarters with a sense of preparedness is a good first step for your business as you are already on the lookout for the main concerns and challenges that lie ahead.
In a survey conducted by Alliance amongst Malaysians MSMEs, a recurring point that many enterprises see as a main concern is the ability to ensure proper cash flow and easy access to secure funding.
Cash flow issues and how businesses are overcoming them
Lack of working capital and insufficient cash flow tends to be a major barrier for businesses to push for growth. This is mainly due to MSMEs being a lot smaller in size and scale.
And with 42.9% of MSMEs surveyed expecting cash flow to be an issue for their business in 2023, it might seem that having enough cash to grow your enterprise might be an issue that you want to keep an eye on.
But how are these MSMEs planning to overcome their cashflow issues? It ultimately comes down to five main ways:
- Taking a business loan
- Raise funding through investors
- Tap into personal financing (personal loans, credit cards, etc.)
- Explore peer-to-peer (P2P) financing
- To borrow from family or friends
Of the five ways, taking a business loan stands at the top of MSMEs’ choice at 68.8%, which indicates that a bank loan is still the preferred choice when it comes to solving cashflow issues.
There are still barriers to getting funding from banks
While most businesses surveyed would prefer to get funding from banking institutions, many also reported facing challenges in the process.
In Alliance Bank’s survey of Malaysian MSMEs, there are certain barriers that they’ve cited which make it difficult for them to secure loans through the traditional banking method. This range from “too-high interest rate” as a key barrier to gaining access funds to lengthy application processes and complicated loan structures.
Another barrier that MSMEs face is the lack of accessibility via online channels as most brick-and-mortar banks have been slow to adopt fully digital processes.
As part of the bank’s overarching goal to double total SME loans within the next five years, Alliance Bank lets you apply for collateral-free financing (up to RM200,000) for businesses with at least 1 year of operations and RM50,000 annual sales.
Check out how you can solve your cashflow problems easily online with Alliance Digital SME Express Financing.
What should your business focus on for 2023?
Despite the challenges and barriers, MSMEs in Malaysia are set to continue their growth in the new year by expanding on areas that you should also prioritise.
With the increase in revenue that businesses experienced in 2021 (67.2% recorded increase in revenue) and in 2022 (71.6% recorded increase in revenue), there are expectations for continued growth and expansion this year.
But which area are businesses focusing on? Here’s what the MSMEs surveyed focused on:
Expanding into new markets: The key message for MSMEs in 2023 is to be prepared for opportunities to expand. And with an overwhelming majority of enterprises set to expand into new markets for the next two years (2023 – 2024), it’s a key focus for any business owner.
Keeping up with digitalisation: For the next two years (2023 – 2024), many MSMEs expect digitalisation will play a bigger role in driving revenue growth as it will be a way for businesses to introduce new products or services, incorporate them into their existing systems, and as a way to push into new markets.
Prioritising ESG business models: Sustainability and social responsibility are becoming major factors for Malaysian MSMEs with almost half rethinking their business models to incorporate more Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.
Alliance Bank Digital SME goes in-depth into the plans and digital investments for MSMEs in Malaysia in their survey report, Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise (MSME) Business Outlook 2023.
Download their report here to learn more about what business owners are planning for 2023.
Alliance Digital SME lets you focus on business growth
Let your business grow to its full potential with Alliance Digital SME. Create an Alliance Business Current Account and gain access to a wide range of financial solutions and personalised advisory services for your business.
And if you need a little cash flow boost, Alliance Digital SME Express Financing offers a fast and easy way to get funds for your business with a collateral-free business loan of up to RM200,000*.
Make 2023 an Ong-Some New Year with Alliance Digital SME
Want to make the year of the Rabbit even more awesome?
Create a Business Current Account between now and 31 March 2023 and enjoy amazing benefits and cash rewards from Alliance Digital SME as part of their Ong-Some New Year promotion!
All you have to do is open your Business Current Account here with a minimum of RM500 deposit and maintain the account for at least 3 months to get the following cash rewards:
|Cash Rewards||Monthly Balance |
For Business Current Account
On top of the cash rewards, you also get to enjoy the following benefits:
- Exclusive access to partner’s offers via BizSmart® Solution
- Fee waiver on BizSmart® Online Banking
- Simple, fast and hassle-free online application
So what are you waiting for? Check out Alliance Digital SME Ong-Some New Year and Kickstart your business growth today!
*Terms and conditions apply