Do you know that the Singapore government actually funds up to 80% for branding projects? This special grant is called Enterprise Development Grant (EDG). The government agency in charge of EDG is Enterprise Singapore (ESG). In the recent 2020 recession budget, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that for this year 2020 alone, EDG will target to support 3,000 EDG projects!
So how do you actually get this special grant for your company?
Here are 4 simple steps:
1. Ensure Your Company Qualifies for EDG
Don’t waste your time or anybody’s time. Make sure your company can actually qualify for EDG in the first place. As stated on ESG’s website, EDG has a minimum criteria: a registered Singapore company operating in Singapore with minimum 30% local ownership and “be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project”. That sounds simple enough. It seems almost 99% of all Singapore SMEs will easily qualify for EDG. Not quite so.
The last phrase “be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project” is vague. What do you mean by “financially viable”? Unfortunately or fortunately, depends on how you view it, there are no hard figures from ESG. However, our more than 4 years of experience in handling EDG applications as well as interacting with ESG allows us to assume the following:
– You should be more than 3 years in operation. Generally, EDG is meant for established SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).
– You should have more than 5 headcount. It’s about jobs creation too.
– Your last year’s revenue should be more than $400k.
– Project sum should be about 10% to 20% of annual revenue.
Caveat: We have heard of exceptions to the rule. In fact, ESG reiterates that every application is on a case-by-case basis. So, you can still apply even if you do not meet the assumptions above. However, if your company fulfils the stated ESG criteria as well as our assumptions listed here, great! Read on.
2. Know Exactly What You Want From Branding
What do you want out of a branding project? It must not be simply a logo. You can easily get one done over at Fiverr or with a poly student on holiday.
First off, a branding project means you are serious about your business in the long run. More importantly, you believe that your brand is an important lever to grow your business, both locally and internationally. Branding represents long-term strategy and commitment.
What do you hope to achieve from branding?
Do you want a proper branding system to name your products (aka product nomenclature)? Or do you want to find out how your employees really feel about your company (brand culture)? Do they really believe in your vision and values (brand alignment)? Or do you need help in creating a new consumer brand for your business (brand naming) and launching into the marketplace (go-to-market strategy)?
It is important from the start to clearly define your goals. It is equally important to define indicators that mean success for you. Branding is not fluff. It can be measured, quantified and defined.
3. Hire the Right Consultant For the Job
Ok, here is where we make our sales pitch. It is inevitable. Bear with me for a while if you have another 5 minutes.
Firstly, ensure that the branding consultant is certified. Only certified consultants are approved to take on branding projects. At Firefish, our consultants are certified under TÜV SÜD PSB and recognised by ESG. We know how to navigate through the paperwork and guide you to the light.
Secondly, check on the consultancy’s track record and experience. We have been in business for more than 20 years with clients such as Microsoft, HP, BP, NUS, NUH and Intel. Right now, we are focused on helping our local SMEs. Our desire is to use what we have learnt over the years to help you transform your brand and grow your business to the next level.
Lastly, ask how they get the job done. Are they brand specialists or simply management consultants? Are they outsourcing certain portions to other countries? Do they know how to game the new digital world?
At Firefish, we are branding specialists with our proprietary branding framework known as Brandgrammar (which originated from research in National University of Singapore). Our brand consultants work with our in-house business analysts, designers and copywriters to craft a customised branding solution to meet your exact needs.
Finally, as digital natives, we buy, eat, drink and live in the Internet. We know how the Internet actually works. We will help you to deploy the best practices in digital, using best-of-breed digital platforms and channels to push your brand into the viral stratosphere and beyond.
Sounds good? Just one last step.
4. Have a chat with us over a cuppa coffee!