Lean SME Setup requires mindset re-orientation, creative and technologically alignment of business. It is easier for a startup embark on this journey than for a decade old business.
Firstly start up usually has no past baggage to address (people not required to relearn) as there is no past to talk about. Secondly start up usually has limited resources and capital, therefore are force to be creative. Lastly there is no history to refer back or parallel run to change the way the business operate.
Let us assume a startup with total 3 co-founders with limited capital, but a vision to provide accounting services to SMEs. We shall assume we are talking about how we can have a lean and scalable infrastructure for growth, yet affordable.
Office: We will register the company with a corporate secretarial service with virtual address as we will be working from cafe, home or client’s premise. Charges for using virtual office address starts from $10 per month.
Phone System: You may consider Cloud Phone System allow you to have an office number like any other company, with auto-attendant to help you route your calls and you can download a mobile app to let your mobile phone double up as your extension phone. This may set you off at $38 monthly.
Accounting: For the company without business, we can consider waveapps, which is free cloud accounting solution which allow you to even bill your customer and collect payment via credit card. However, in the long run, it might be better for accounting company to get Moneyworks Datacentre with the help of PSG Grant from government which may cost around $3,600. This allow you to create unlimited company files to manage your clients accounts and for you to access from anywhere.
Email and website: We can get a simple hosting service with domain which cost as low $380 per year estimated to be around $32 per month. With Gmail personal account you can get 15GB free storage to share document among the 3, plus it comes with Google Sheet, Doc and Presentation.
Document printing and scanning: We can get a HP Multi-Function Print-Fax-Scan for less than $300.
Mobile Phone: I would assume everyone has their mobile phone, therefore to keep cost very low, we can subscribe to TPG mobile (pay nothing for now) or sim-only plan from $0 per month to maximum of $20 per month which would give your enough data and call minutes as we will be using office extension app in the mobile phone to make or receive our business calls.
Excluding miscellaneous cost, we sum up to a total of one-time setup cost of $680 (Printer and domain hosting) and a monthly recurring of $48 per month excluding toll call charges.
Lean SME setup starts from mindset change and it is definitely not a dream too far away.
Hope this article gives you some ideas to venture into something with the right start and also for those who are thinking of how to engage into digitisation.
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