From networking to government grant, I’m back with more.

Four months into my new job has been a challenging period; or at least it was challenging enough to prevent me from doing what I enjoy, to write. Looking back, my last blog post was to wish everyone a happy Lunar New Year. Regretful. Especially when I’m noticing that my blog visitors have increased, but having no new content for the past four months just isn’t a wise thing to do.

My new challenge

Yes, I have a new job after the Chinese New Year holidays. I was given the opportunity to work as a Senior Account Manager of Maxias Pte Ltd. In a full digital agency, I jumped right in to what I do best: to develop and manage websites. Apart from getting used to the new company’s culture, processes and policy, I was expected to take over ongoing projects from my predecessor. The lucky thing was the chance to work again with Art Director, Farik Osman, whom we have worked together for a couple of years back in Ad.WRIGHT. Nothing beats working with someone you know, which reduces the time to understand each other’s working behavior and strength.

Business Networking Institute

Among the many things I’ve learned at Maxias, I was introduced to BNI: Business Networking Institute. Something I wish I would have known earlier. It was definitely an eye opener.

Imagine this. I was in Maxias for only a week and my boss, Glenn Lim, went for a one-week reservist, and he asked me to attend this BNI session as his proxy. The next thing I know, I was supposed to arrive at YMCA Orchard at 7:30am, in the middle of the week, and to give a 1 minute sales pitch to a room full of business man and woman. Definitely, something challenging for me.

As of my understanding, BNI was an organization originated from the US. It was a structured way of allowing a group of business person to gather every week early in the morning, no matter rain or shine, to give each other referrals or business opportunities. I might elaborate further in future posts. However, it is an interesting platform to meet and understand more people from various industries. As of the time of writing, I am applying as a member of one of the chapters. Now awaiting confirmation.

Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC)

Apart from this amazing discovery, we’re also proud to announce that we have finally gotten approval from IRAS (in an email) that content management system (CMS) is covered under the PIC grant.

For those who are not familiar, PIC grant is a government initiative, administered by IRAS, to help businesses in Singapore to improve their productivity and innovation. Website design is never listed as one of the expenses that one could claim under the PIC. But we managed to propose the idea that CMS would help boost business’ productivity by automating certain processes online; like e-commerce, booking-systems and information distribution.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your website to do more for your business, to automate certain aspect of your business, it is the right time to do so. Not only can you claim the 60% cash rebate from IRAS to fund your project, you can also claim under PIC Bonus for an extra cash rebate on top of the PIC.

To put things into perspective, if you’re to embark on a productivity and/or innovation project with a value of $5,000, you might get an $8,000 cash rebate from IRAS. On the other end of the spectrum, the project could be valued at $40,000 and the eventual expenditure is just $1,000.

Parting words

This is what I always hope for, to spread useful news, articles or tips to as many people as possible. From introducing BNI for anyone who are interested to expand their network to the ability to get funding for a potential productivity boost, I really hope you’ve picked up something. If you need any further clarifications on the above, feel free to contact me and I would be more than willing to share.

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Johnny Koh

A project manager and a brand strategist, I have over six years of experience in advising businesses of various industries as well as the public sector in their branding and communications need.

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