Business is a team game

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There will be many functions within businesses such as production, operations, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, logistics, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. If any process is ignored or incomplete, the business will not run smoothly.

Businesses that do not fulfill this technicality, tend to fail, unless changes are quickly made. Even one man shows, such as a fledgling legal practice require an assistant to handle documents, court papers, court appointments, banking transactions, and many more.

The most basic of any start up must at least have a bookkeeper to keep accurate track of all incomes and expenses, failing which the company could within a year, fall into bad times.

If a business start up is based on a single person’s idea and he or she is passionate about his or her idea, and feels it is a viable business to venture into, he or she ought to find some like minded people to talk it over before pursuing the idea. This is for them to discover other factors for which they may not have thought off. It is so easy to ignore possible red flags in one’s desire to start a business. Another person will help, even if he or she is not of the same mindset.

To grow a business, one must build the team carefully. A prerequisite in taking a person in is, he or she must be a team player, willing to listen to other opinions and accept differences. Even if just one person does not pull his or her weight for the team, the business is doomed.

Remember all you budding entrepreneurs, always be on the look out for team members.

Good luck!

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Starting a business

Ever since humans discarded hunting for food, commerce has prospered to support us in all areas of our life. Some choose to work for others, while some work for themselves. Many will find starting a business an attractive proposition. There are many businesses one can begin and each industry has its uniqueness. But one of the aims of each one of these is to provide sufficient income for the business owner to pay for all the commitments of the business and to provide for his personal expenses.

Is it easy to start a business?

The answer is of course it depends on what type of business you venture into. Small businesses and big businesses differ in many aspects. The complexity increases as the business gets bigger in terms of financial requirements, staffing needs, infrastructure, promotion, and many others.

The smaller businesses will be the easiest to start. Being easy to start means, competition will be plentiful. The person who provides the best value for the products or services will eventually survive. Thus many businesses fail in the first year of operations, regardless of the size of the business.

How do we ensure the success?

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There are many functions within businesses such as production, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. Thus it is technically a team play.

Other success factors include sufficient back up by financially strong parties to help tide matters until profitability is attained. These may be individuals or financial institutions. Many forms are financing are now available. Experts in finance will also be a team member.

How do we put all these together?

A business plan will certainly come in handy. Do not believe anyone who says he has it all in his head! Many other factors must be covered. Some businesses require licensing. Requirements of town councils may sometimes be a necessity. Environmental safety could also be a factor.

Starting a business is easy but ensuring its success require more work and a professional business plan writer would certainly assist.

Good luck!

27 October 2014.

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My Oxide Green Diary

I met my son after lunch recently. I have not met him for a while. The first words my son spoke to me were not the usual salutations we exchange as Muslims. Instead he asked, “What’s with that bright coloured diary?”


My son and family know me as an ultra-conservative, reluctant to try new trends in fashion and usually dressed in plain colours like grey, blue and earth shades. My wife tried to change that and bought me a dark green material for a shirt. Well, I duly got it made. My daughter felt I wasn’t quite comfortable with the dark green colour, and chose a lighter green material also some time back. Well they are both made into fine shirts and are still in my cupboard, looking quite pristine! J

So, bright green is a colour not associated with me.

So now I need to explain to my son how I ended up buying a green coloured diary.

As is a common denominator among businesses, earnings are quite important. Non-profit organizations and such likes often claim to profit marginally, although we are all aware of many cases where charity is a money making process! I shall not go into that.

If a company has strong mass appeal and its main clientele are the glamorous people of this world, than a product may only be worth RM200, but is sold at RM2000 to a strong base of purchasers.

These are the top brands of the world such as Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Louis Vuitton, etc. Now look at brands such as Olay, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Lancome which pays millions of US Dollars for their Brand Ambassadors. Does it not make you wonder how much they really make?

As a consumer, I refuse to be forced to buy products which are greatly over-priced. Do you think I am being a cheapskate? Whatever you may believe, I try my best to buy things at less than the actual recommended retail price.

So, as I explained to my son, I have always used organizers and diaries so I would not be hassled by unexpected events. These items can be expensive unless one buys the generic ones or one at Daiso. Daiso diaries are in Japanese, so one has to guess what is actually printed on the diary. So the cheaper diaries won’t do. Thus, the expensive ones are usually the better ones.

I used to follow the Franklin Covey system when I was working. These I found were extremely helpful. They have daily sheets for every day of the year.  Franklin Covey sells yearly diaries and 18-month diaries which either starts in July or January. Often I would go in September or March to buy them as they would be at a discount. Often the discount is as high as 50%. Thus I would be paying half price for an 18-month diary. That means I pay for at a value of a 9-month diary for use for 15 months! Is that not worth it?

Now, as I get older I do not have appointments every day. So I use other diaries. But still the same principles apply when buying a new diary. So two weeks into January I went looking at those slightly more expensive diaries. Alas, they don’t have them in my favourite colours anymore.  Well I need to be organized so I bought my bright oxide green diary at half its original selling price, two weeks into January!

Two thoughts come to mind.

One is as an individual my concern is not to waste money. It doesn’t mean being a cheapskate, but getting the best value for what one pays.

Another is as a businessman. One must maximize one’s income and the pricing mechanism is key in a business success. One doesn’t sell an item RM110 if its production cost is RM100, because the selling price needs to cover for advertising, packaging, transportation, storage and many more.

I shall write articles for these two thoughts in two websites:

  1. for my personal opinions, thoughts, etc., and
  2. for my business ideas, systems, etc.

Feel free to comment on these sites.

First uploaded February 2013.

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