Home-based businesses are feeling the pinch after transitioning to rampant, but still prefer online platforms

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The Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions have led to the emergence of many home-based businesses. – Photo Pxhere.com

By Milad Hassandarvish

Saturday, June 18, 2022 3:15 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 – The Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged movement restrictions since 2020 have seen a boom in home-based businesses.

Through many online shopping platforms, many home-based businesses including food and beverage industry have sprung up and achieved tremendous success in the past couple of years.

However, following the transition to the endemic phase and the reopening of all business sectors, it seems that consumer attention is shifting from home food providers to restaurants.

malaysian mail spoke to a few home-based business operators to better understand the challenges they face in staying afloat as the consumer buying trend shifts again.

The transition to the endemic phase saw more people dining out and visiting malls.

The Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions have led to the emergence of many home-based businesses.  - Photo Pxhere.com Photo by Firdaus Latif

The Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions have led to the emergence of many home-based businesses. – Photo Pxhere.com Photo by Firdaus Latif

Slowly but surely

While the transition to the endemic phase has been prosperous for many businesses, it has reduced revenue from home-based businesses that have drawn consumers online during the travel restriction period.

According to the owner of Garlic & Chilli KL, Mohammad Fareez Mohammed Khairi Tan, sales started to decline after restaurants reopened compared to the lockdown period.

“Competing with restaurants is very difficult, but we are doing our best to promote our brand now.”

Shuyu Bakery owner Lim Sze Teng has also seen a drop in revenue over the past few months after all business areas reopened and restaurant dining began.

Shuyu Bakery experienced a drop in revenue during the rampant phase but continues to run its business from home and on the Sama-Sama Lokal platform.  — Photo courtesy of Shuyu Bakery

Shuyu Bakery experienced a drop in revenue during the rampant phase but continues to run its business from home and on the Sama-Sama Lokal platform. — Photo courtesy of Shuyu Bakery

“This presents challenges because customers have more food choices and they may not buy from us as often.

“I worry that customers will forget about us because we are not a well-known brand and it is difficult to retain customers without promotions.”

Dolly Bakes KL’s situation was however quite different after the government allowed the events to continue.

“I get larger orders to cater mainly for weekend parties.

Dolly Bakes KL owner Nur Nazreen Adriyana Roslan bakes cakes for her customers.  — Photo courtesy of Dolly Bakes KL.

Dolly Bakes KL owner Nur Nazreen Adriyana Roslan bakes cakes for her customers. — Photo courtesy of Dolly Bakes KL.

“Fortunately, people still need cakes and we also have customers ordering for their offices,” said owner Nur Nazreen Adriyana Roslan.

Dolly Bakes KL offers scrumptious cakes and desserts.  — Image courtesy of Dolly Bakes KL

Dolly Bakes KL offers scrumptious cakes and desserts. — Image courtesy of Dolly Bakes KL

Maybank Sama-Sama Lokal remains the preferred method for door-to-door sellers

Despite the decline in sales that some of the home business operators are facing, they still prefer to stick with their way of operating as the benefits outweigh the challenges.

Fareez said working from home provides schedule flexibility as he can spend more time with his family while running the business from the comfort of his home.

Additionally, he stated that being a home-based business means no rental commitment.

“Leveraging a third-party platform to sell our products really helps make our job easier in terms of getting exposure and getting new customers.

“Sama-Sama Lokal is the only third-party platform we currently use and we are really grateful that the promotions and campaigns have really helped increase our sales.”

Lim also said she prefers to keep her business from home as it minimizes expenses.

“It’s less risky than starting a physical business.

“You can also have flexibility and adjust working hours.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Nur Nazreen said one of the biggest benefits of having a home-based business is that she can run her bakery and be with her children at the same time.

“As a mother, I have the opportunity to bake and frost the cakes with my children.

“It’s a more laid back environment and the cakes will have house vibes and flavors.”

Similarly, Lim and Nur Nazreen operate their business using Maybank’s Sama-Sama Lokal platform.

They both said that the platform was user-friendly and gave them good avenues to build and grow their customer base while running their home business.

“As a business owner, we always try to maximize our profits while offering reasonable prices to our customers.

“It’s a win-win situation for my customers because they can also enjoy my homemade cakes at discounted prices with a promo of the month from the Sama-Sama Lokal platform,” Nur Nazreen said.

Sama-Sama Lokal is Maybank Malaysia’s commission-free digital platform for SMEs, neighborhood traders and home-based businesses.

The platform was launched in April 2020 during the first movement control order with the aim of helping small businesses in local neighborhoods such as hawkers, sundries and family restaurants.

The platform helps merchants have an online presence and market their products or services to a wide audience, including Maybank’s own customer base.

In addition, the bank does not charge any registration, installation or transaction fees.

This means that traders can keep all winnings.

To learn more about the platform, surf to here.

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