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[ 11-11-2014 ]
M’sian SME confidence highest in four years
A survey of 100 Malaysian SMEs by Sage Software reveald 66% of respondents to be confident of future prospects, says managing director Michael Cho.

A survey of 100 Malaysian SMEs by Sage Software reveald 66% of respondents to be confident of future prospects, says managing director Michael Cho.

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Business management software supplier, Sage Software Sdn Bhd, said its survey of 100 Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SME) revealed that 66% of respondents to be confident of future prospects.

Its annual Sage Business Index showed SME respondents were also forecasting an average increase in headcount of 2.1 employees.

Sage Software managing director Michael Cho said: “The sentiments amongst those surveyed are certainly consistent with growth projections of the country, with a more optimistic view than ever of the coming year.”

One key challenge for decision-makers was finding the right talent, Cho said.

“Previous approaches to the lack of talent were to simply outsource and increase headcount. Businesses were also strapped with the lack of resources coupled with higher wages and salaries,” he added.

The Sage Business Index anticipated future growth, especially for businesses operating beyond the domestic market, as 68% of survey respondents reported an increase in average turnover of 2.9%.

However, many respondents felt they were not supported in their ambitions to grow their exports. 

“Only 40% SMEs surveyed said they received the required support from the Government to grow exports. Respondents listed greater financial incentives as the main form of Government assistance required.

In the meantime, Cho stressed that growth required increased output, and Malaysia’s SMEs need to increase efficiency and productivity. One area would be accounting processes that involve sales, expenses, cash flow and purchases.

“As many of ours SMEs do not have in-house IT departments or full-time accountants, businesses should look at standardisation and generating the right information for good decision-making, essentially doing the right things and doing them right,” said Cho.

The Sage Business Index also showed that SME attitudes towards risks had changed since 2013. A total of 46% of companies surveyed described themselves as ‘risk-seekers’, whilst 35% said they have become more risk averse over the last seven years.

The Sage Business Index 2014 is the fourth year of the survey in Malaysia. On a global level, the survey interviewed 13,710 companies in 18 countries.

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