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MICHAEL CHIANG LEADING THROUGH INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP
PROFIT MAX YOUR BUSINESS LAW OF ATTRACTION TO BUILD A TEAM
5 OCTOBER 2018 THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS (#100 MIYE) acknowledges bold, creative and innovative young Malaysian entrepreneurs below age of 45, who set the standards of Malaysiaâ€™s enterprising spirit. If you are one of these outstanding personalities who run incredible ventures, we want to honour you at The 100 MIYE 2018 Gala Dinner with the publication of our book.
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Leading Through Interpersonal Relationship
12 Signs To Avoid In Manipulators When It Concerns Your Business
Financing for Business Expansion
Branding It The Right Way
Different Games That Different People Play
Hiring Job Hoppers
A Guide To Conducting A Job Interview
ProfitMAX Your Businessg
5 Important Questions to Ask When You Interview A Financial Advisor/Planner
Progress of Pakatan Harapan’s “10 Pledges in 100 Days” Manifesto
Choosing The Right Business Mentor
Getting Out of Financial Trouble
What You Need To Know About Crowdfunding
How Can I Use The Law of Attraction (LOA) To Build My TEAM?
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Two Degrees Rule of Separation
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On The Cover
MICHAEL CHIANG Founder of 4U Institute of Interpersonal Relationship
I first heard about this idea of “Six degrees of separation” when I was cutting my teeth in journalism at the New Straits Times years ago. This theory, which exemplifies the concept that all “living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps” was interesting to behold. To put this in the context of a nutshell, you just have to know six people – and – you’re connected to the rest of the world. And of late, I’ve come to notice that this very concept has taken on new form – with Kuala Lumpur’s entrepreneur scene being just like that or even more so intrinsically linked. In fact, while attending a recent event - much to my amusement – a celebrity and beauty queen remarked how here – it is more like a two degrees rule of separation where everyone is somewhat connected to the industry via people – friends and entrepreneurs they know and can relate to. And, while being a social butterfly may take you to certain places – there is definitely no discounting the value of sheer hard work to plough ahead to ensure ventures are successful. That is the task of every entrepreneur – to ensure that money rolls in – even as they stride forward with ambitious plans for their businesses. It is never easy though being an entrepreneur – but herein is what separates the Masters from the masses. Behind the curtain of achievements is no doubt – endless struggles and challenges. Just as a conductor of an orchestra would have devoted a lifetime and countless hours spent honing his skill – just for that special few hours of performance – so too are the successful entrepreneurs who – behind the scenes - have invested their time and energy to overcome mountains of obstacles. And for this, we have reason enough to be grateful for trials and challenges that are gifts in themselves in chiselling diamonds in the rough as they were and shaping one to emerge as successful champions in the end. August, being the month we celebrate Merdeka – reinforces the importance of independence and freedom. For entrepreneurs – gratitude should be the order of the day as they have an abundance of resources and opportunities at hand – if only they are quick and savvy enough to grab them. A key lesson in leadership extraordinaire is exemplified in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – being the world’s oldest serving Prime Minister. At 93, he is living proof that everything is possible in this land flowing with milk and honey – and may we add - an abundance of opportunities and budding entrepreneurs. Till we meet again – Here’s a resounding toast of Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! YVONNE YOONG EDITOR
Property Insight Malaysia
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Although every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, neither the publisher, editors, writers nor employees or agents can be held liable for any errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions. The contents of this publication do not constitute investment advice. It is intended only to inform and illustrate. No reader should act on any information contained in this publication without first seeking appropriate professional advice that takes into account their personal circumstances. We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage, whether directly or indirectly, incidentally or consequently arising from or in connection with the contents of this publication and shall not accept any liability in relation thereto. The views by our contributors expressed here are their personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect Property Insight’s views. The publisher does not endorse any company, organisation, person, investment strategy or technique mentioned in this publication unless expressedly stated otherwise. The publisher does not endorse any advertisements or special advertising features in this publication, nor does the publisher endorse any advertiser(s) or their products/services unless expressedly stated to the contrary. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying and imaging without the prior written permission of the publisher.
news & events BMW Malaysia Presents the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance for the first time in South East Asia. BMW Group Malaysia unveiled the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, a new icon that exemplifies the brand’s new definition of visionary mobility and progressive luxury for the first time not only in Malaysia, but in South East Asia as well. “Luxury has a whole new meaning. At BMW, we understand this as the ability to have time for you, for other people, and for other things. Luxury is the ability to define an experience,” says Harald Hoelzl, Managing Director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia. “This new luxury was first unveiled at the BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion through the BMW Concept 8 Series early this year. Now, we are proud to once again share this vision of progressive luxury through the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance,” he adds.
MINI Malaysia Introduces The New MINI MINI Malaysia, the most sophisticated compact premium automotive brand in the country unveiled the New MINI for the very first time for the generations of the New Malaysia. The New MINI represents the latest and finest of the technological and design excellence of a car brand that has had an iconic appeal that has been transcending generations since 1959. “The MINI of this generation is the perfect companion to explore every corner of a new and progressive country with unparalleled ease, meeting modern and premium needs with style to stand out and be noticed,” says Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications of BMW Group Malaysia.
Affin Hwang Investment Bank Launches First Bursa Approved Islamic Securities Selling & Buying Negotiated Transaction Affin Hwang Investment Bank is the first bank to be approved by Bursa Malaysia as an approved supplier and user under the Islamic Securities Selling and Buying Negotiated Transaction (ISSBNT) model launched by Bursa Malaysia. Working with Bursa, it has further boosted Malaysia’s position in the Islamic Capital Market industry by providing market participants with a shariah compliant alternative to conventional securities borrowing and lending activities. As a Bursa Approved Supplier and User, Affin Hwang Investment Bank can undertake the buying and selling of shariah compliant securities for its own account as well as administer large beneficial owners ISSBNT activities as an agent (Wakalah).
MRCA Celebrates In Style Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) successfully organised its Council Installation Night recently. The historical night was officiated by Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Bin Ismail, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs representing the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah. The prestigious night attracted over 1,000 attendees from various retailing sectors and retail-related industries. The inauguration ceremony witnessed the swearing in of new Council Members followed by a series of musical performances from a line-up of artists. The newly elected Council Members will be spearheading the association for the 2018- 2020 term with the expansion of the retail and franchise industry for the upcoming years especially in the area of retail digitalization. Themed “An Evening at the Musicals”, the installation night celebrated the contribution and support of patrons, advisors, President Council and members of the previous term. From 2016 to 2018, the association has achieved solid growth in terms of membership benefits with growing numbers of odd members from 209 to 450, to date. Datuk Seri Garry Chua was re-elected as MRCA’s President for the second term, based on his achievements and contributions for retail and franchise industry.
Raising A Toast To 176 Avenue’s New Addition Line-Up with Official Partners - Whisky Brand Glenfiddich & Redken Brews Celebrities, entrepreneurs and guests mingled at the maiden launch of Barber at 176 Avenue at Bukit Bandaraya in Bangsar and raised a toast to official partners - whisky brand Glenfiddich and Redken Brews - the official men’s product line for barbers.
Leading Through Interpersonal Relationship BY JEFF TAN
Being an entrepreneur is not just about leadership and management, as the reality is it also requires one to master interpersonal relationship, a real skill that the leaders must possess to maximise effectiveness in their role. Professional and training guru in interpersonal relationship and organisational behaviours Michael Chiang shares on this matter with Entrepreneur Insight. He says that it is not easy to define leadership, but an individual who has real leadership abilities will always have someone working towards the same goal with him or her, while putting aside benefits and remuneration. “Possessing leadership abilities helps entrepreneurs reach their objective and fulfil their expectations. A real leader recruits talents and assist them to build careers.” Chiang, who is also the Founder of 4U Institute of Interpersonal Relationship, clearly points out that “leading” and “managing” are two different subjects, but most people are unclear of the difference. 4U Institute of Interpersonal Relationship is a regional institute which has a reputation for 22 years of excellence and pioneering in behavioural study. “What is leadership? What is managing? Leaders take on challenges and decide on the direction for an organisation. In contrast, managers strengthen the direction for steady progress. “A leader decides ‘what to do’ and ‘why something is worth doing’, but a manager chooses ‘when to do’ and ‘who to take on which tasks’.”
As a leader, you must first understand the job function of each position as well as the matching talents and characters. Nowadays, getting the right person and placing them in the right job should be the first consideration when it comes to talent recruitment.
Recruiting talents is part of an entrepreneur’s responsibilities. Chiang shares his perception on this important matter. “There are two types of talents – those who are useful and those whom you like. Entrepreneurs often lack the suitable tool to identify the right talents, he says. “The talent recruitment system I designed can help entrepreneurs match talents with the right characters to suitable job positions with precision, and not be affected by external recruitment factors.” Speaking on retaining high performers in an organisation, Chiang says most companies use the same approach of giving increment and awarding bonus, but these are just part of what employers should do. “It is important to know in human nature that not everyone focusses only on remuneration. Some employees like to have a sense of accomplishment, some likes to be respected, while others prefer to be noticed.
I noticed many companies are too focussed on skills and knowledge training or so-called hard skills for their employees. These companies neglected the importance of nurturing good habits and attitude among employees, as well as helping them build relationship with clients.
“For different employees, we should use different ways to lead and motivate them. When an employer gets this right, he or she will be able to retain all performing employees,” he explains. Employers should also consider using an equity incentive plan to retain high performing employees. By using this plan, performing employees will not think of themselves as mere employees because they will be rewarded when the company earns profits, says Chiang. Another good option is to give recognition to top performers through a “Board of Honours” or “Board of Heroes” where they can be learning examples to other employees, he states. Additionally, employers can also carry out a goodwill gesture of visiting high performing employees’ parents and thank them for nurturing their children into talents. “Respecting employees’ parents make employees feel appreciated in front of their parents, which in a way helps the company to retain them,” he says. On the matter of training for employees, Chiang says that many companies in Asia have a limited scope which only focus on skills and knowledge training. “Based on my 20 years of experience in professional training, I have always put forward the ‘SHARK’ theory.” He states that a comprehensive educational training should have five elements and “SHARK” stands for Skill, Habit, Attitude, Relationship and Knowledge. “My theory includes the training of skills, nurturing good habits, building positive attitude, building relationship with clients, and learning job-related knowledge. “This increase the risk of helping other companies to train ‘employees’ (where they might leave and join another company one day). I think this is a problem faced by many companies.” He stresses that there are three main requirements for an individual to qualify as a leader. “First, a leader must build a sense of responsibility and honour in his or her team. Second, a leader must also lead by example. It is important for a leader to be capable of delivering what is expected from team members. I belief this will earn the trust from employees and unite them.
“Third, is to put in effort to build a learning organisation, so that employees in the organisation sees learning something enjoyable and continuously adopt innovation. Last but not least, leaders must know how to identify and manage talents by placing them in the right position or you can’t hold them for long,” he says. A learning organisation has knowledge competitiveness, because its employees will always be learning and digesting new knowledge, and make improvements accordingly, he adds. Asked on why some leaders achieve success whereas some others fail, Chiang says, “Among leaders, there is a saying of ‘success is achieved for a reason, but we might also fail because of the same reason’.
“A leader might be capable of fulfilling responsibilities due to his or her character at the beginning, but at a later period if no suitable adjustments to the leader’s character are made, it might result in failure,” he adds.
“Having a successful career is one of the most important goals in life for many of us. However, I feel that no entrepreneur will be willing to pursue a great career while sacrificing his or her family.
He opines that leadership demands of today requires leaders of to have a system which will remind them to adjust and make corrections whenever suitable.
“That is why we must make a choice in life, especially in today’s high-stress society. I suggest entrepreneurs to choose quality over quantity. They should set aside time to focus on spending quality time with family members.”
Chiang also shares his views on company culture. “In my opinion, a company that has not establish its corporate culture will still be able to maintain business operation, but not for long. “Having a good corporate culture is the cornerstone of a company’s sustainable development. Furthermore, among jobseekers, a rookie focusses on the remuneration, a veteran looks at the organisation, while an expert shows high interest on a company’s corporate culture.
Chiang stresses that entrepreneurs must focus on three important matters, which are to help the company gain high revenue, decide on the operation direction, as well as put in effort to recruit and retain talents.
“Employers will draw the attention of a rookie who has just entered the job market by offering an attractive salary. In contrast, an individual with more than 10 years of working experience will first study the structure and internal communications in an organisation.
“Many business owners think that having capital, good business model and product is sufficient to lead them to success, but they are soon hit with setbacks. The key reason isbecause they did not prioritise in forming a strong and capable team of employees.
“However, an expert will find out how a leader uses corporate culture to drive operations in a company.”
“No matter how good your business model and product are, you will not be able to promote a product without a good team which has members who understands each other well.”
He says that a good corporate culture should include three important characteristics. “First of all, the corporate culture must have its own significance and values. It must also be simple where employees can understand it. “Furthermore, when the culture is applied within the company it should be changing the lives and values of many employees.” A good corporate culture benefits a company by helping it to retain talents, strengthen its organisation structure and have stable operations, he states. Business leaders including entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on their work to manage operations and employees. Nevertheless, it is also important for them to maintain work-life balance.
He says that a good option for entrepreneurs is to allocate two days out of their monthly schedule, where they put aside work matters and only concentrate on accompanying their family members.
He says that a group of people that doesn’t share the same thoughts is just like a gathering, whereas a group of people who connects and share the same thoughts makes a real team. Based on his years of training experience, Chiang noticed that the biggest wastage and cost among companies is not hiring the right and suitable employees. “It is crucial to place the right person in the right position. Replacing an employee in unsuitable positions means time has been wasted and no real progress gained,” he states.
Michael Chiang is among the very few professional education and training guru in Sinosphere that exhibits complete mastery of theory and practice as well as adept in demonstrating, speaking, teaching and writing. He has accrued 22 years of experience in professional training with number of trainees exceeding 100,000 spread across Taiwan, Hong Kong and China as well as Singapore and Malaysia. His classes are noted for its interactivity and creativity, filled with his unique understanding on human nature and have inspired many students.
BRANDING IT THE RIGHT WAY BY JEFF TAN
Branding is important to companies as it is a deciding factor of brand popularity and it helps brands build relationship with consumers. When Taiwanese leading copywriting guru James Tang was recently in Malaysia to conduct training sessions organised by 4U Malaysia, Entrepreneur Insight spoke to him on his thoughts and insights on branding.
about it. This shows the social media platform is closely connected to our daily life. To be influential, brands will need to rely on opinion leaders (influencers) on who can create trends. “If a brand’s comments, suggestions and activities are followed and reposted by many consumers, it proves that the brand is influential,” he asserts.
“When deciding to purchase a product, the first thought in consumers’ mind is if they have heard of the brand, because an unfamiliar brand is akin to a stranger to them.
Sharing his advice on branding for start-ups and young companies, Tang says that the continuity of branding efforts is crucial.
“A company’s branding initiatives would include advertising, branding campaigns, and public relations. These initiatives create interaction with consumers,” he says.
He laments that many companies are keen when they just start to push out branding initiatives, but 80 per cent of them eventually give up.
He adds that when consumers are familiar with a brand and trust it, chances of consumers purchasing the brand will increase. As a result, it will be easier for a brand to gain more revenue and survive in a highly competitive market.
“Many clients expect to see increase in sales and revenue within a short time of carrying out their branding efforts. However, this is impossible because it takes time for a brand to gain popularity.
To qualify as a good brand, a product must first have a considerable high level of brand popularity. “The more people have heard of your brand, the higher your brand popularity is.
“In some cases, when clients are not seeing improved revenue after spending on advertisements and branding activities, they start to doubt the effect of branding efforts. Then, after four or five months, they pull the plug out on all branding initiatives.”
“Secondly, your brand must be influential. For example, Facebook recently had a glitch and many users were complaining
He stresses that the impact of branding can only be seen in the mid to long term, and continuous effort must be put in before
reaping the results. Many smaller companies face the challenge of carrying out branding exercise on a lean or limited budget. Tang gave the following three pointers as solutions: Firstly, companies should choose a unique and interesting brand name which would give consumers a strong indication of a product’s function or purpose. He quotes the example of a Taiwanese mineral water brand, which goes by the name that literally translates to “Drink More Water”.
Traditional Brands Expected to Decline Speaking of branding trends in the next three years, Tang expects to see a decline of traditional brands and in contrast, he predicts that brands highly related to personal relationship will rise. According to the 2017 Top 10 Global Brands report, brands ranked in the top five are closely related to our daily life. “For instance, Google which was listed on the top spot is a search engine many of us use every day. In second spot is Apple, which is a smartphone brand with a huge number of users.
Secondly, Tang adds that another way to work on a limited branding budget is to highlight a product’s unique selling point although he says there is a precondition, which is to find a unique selling point that cannot be replaced by other brands.
“Among today’s brands, whichever connects closely to consumers’ daily life and boasts of higher usage frequency, will have higher brand influence. This is evident in Facebook’s case, which came in fifth on the list,” he says.
“Many companies make the same mistake in their branding exercise – talking about a selling point which other brands can also relate to.
He predicts there will be more young, smaller brands with high relevance to our daily life making their way into the top end of the list.
“Another way for a company to highlight its product’s selling point is to be the first to shout- out its benefits,” he explains. He adds that there is an air-conditioning brand in Taiwan named “No Dripping Water”, which emphasises the selling point of no water dripping out of its product.
“Conversely, if old brands lose their ability to communicate with the younger generation and interact with people, their brand influence will gradually wane.”
“In Taiwan, users of air-conditioning units producing dripping water will be slapped with fines. ‘No dripping water’ became the consumers’ first impression of the brand,” he states. Last but not least, a brand should leverage on its emotion-related inner selling points to differentiate itself from the external selling points of other products. He believes this will help a product to win consumers’ hearts. Citing an example, Tang says, “In Taiwan, there is an agency brand named Sinyi Realty, which is in the business of trading real estate. The agency applies the inner selling point of ‘faith’, to indicate that they will help clients to complete real estate transactions with honesty and credibility.” He points out that when doing branding, inner selling points can be transformed into an additional value. And sometimes, values are extended out from inner selling points. “Facebook has a very strong inner selling point – community relationship. It basically just looks like a tool, but it is influential,” he quips. “There is a strong relationship of trust and sharing between people. This has paved the way for Facebook to become a revolutionary media which is more powerful than TV, in the era of new media. It was all made possible by Facebook’s value.”
There is a wave of branding migration to digital media, causing significant impact on conventional media, such as newspapers and TV stations. This shows that the form of disseminating branding message is changing, says Tang. One of the main reasons for companies allocating more budget to digital media is their ability to disseminate messages or information at a faster speed as compared to conventional media, he explains. “Earthquakes and tremors happen in Taiwan quite frequently. Sometimes, before the meteorological department announces earthquake alerts, we would have read related posts on Facebook. Most times, messages or information are posted on social media before they reach the news portals.” He opines that “being fast” is a key factor in branding, because a brand owner will emerge as an opinion leader on social media by posting the latest information faster than competitors. The second factor behind the branding migration is accuracy, states Tang. “Back then, advertisers could only track the effect of branding through TV ratings. But now, online platforms such as Google and Facebook have backend support which stores big data. “Through these data, advertisers can have a clear idea of when the target audience viewed their posting, viewing length time, as well as their age group and areas they come from.
main feature “This allows advertisers to be more precise in the control of advertising budgets. They will be able to better gauge the return of investment from money spent on advertising,” says Tang. “However, we should not solely rely on data analysis. As advertisers we should also depend on our intuition to a certain level. Results of data analysis will only be presented after the purchasing process.” He reminds companies with plans to develop new products to not just focus on big data, but also concentrate on observing current trends. Big data and intuition must complement each other, he states. On the other hand, the lower advertising cost of digital media is another factor for the branding budget migration. “When I was still working in an advertising agency, my colleagues and I always joked that advertising on TV, newspaper and magazines is a rich man’s game. For example, in Taiwan, it used to cost advertisers NT$1.5 million to produce a TV ad, and to broadcast it would require another NT$15 million.
keep up on pace with technology development.” He says that advertisers used to be told that branding is not much of a big matter, because as long as they have budget to spend, they will enjoy brand longevity. Yet, with the decline of many bid brands in the past 10 years, he realises that brand popularity and a big budget do not guarantee the sustainability of a brand. Kodak is an example of a big brand’s decline, he asserts. According to him, the brand invented the digital camera technology, but being concerned that introducing digital cameras into the market will affect its film market, Kodak kept its digital camera tech as a secret. It proved to be a bad move by Kodak because digital cameras still made its way into the market and gained popularity, making film more irrelevant to mass consumers by the day. Now, Kodak has faded out of the consumer photography market. In this digital age, Tang highlights that brands must always be alert and cautious in their brand management. It is also important to maintain close interaction with consumers on social media, he adds. “Currently, why are more companies allocating more budget to manage fans page? This is because the fans on your fans page are your brand’s biggest supporters. “If brands neglect interaction with fans on social media, they risk being marginalised. A big brand would become a marginal brand, which is a danger to the brand,” he warns. Sharing his biggest hope on the industry, Tang says that he would like to witness old brands take up innovation and transform themselves to be more relevant to the younger generation.
“Now, advertisers can place an ad on social media for between NT$10,000 to NT$20,000. Furthermore, the ad can be customised based on an advertiser’s requirement. This has empowered smaller brands to be on an equal footing with bigger brands,” he elaborates. Touching on the biggest mistake he made which is related to branding, Tang says that it was his perception of big brands do not die, when he was young. “This was because our memory and impression on big brands are so deep. Additionally, some of these brands have sales channels throughout Asia. At that time, I thought if they are cash rich and is popular, big brands will not die. “What I did not expect was that a big brand can die out of the market within two years, due to a single bad incident or failing to
“Based on my many years of branding experience, old brands are the hardest ones to bring about change upon themselves. This is because old brands carry burden and restrictions with them. “Old brands know the importance of being relevant to the younger generation, but usually this is also their biggest challenge. They face the burden of having a doubt – whether they will be able to survive in the market after ditching their old image and adopting a new look,” he explains. Brand experts face many obstacles when giving suggestions to old brands, such as new brand name and logo, they revert to using their old branding strategies. “I would really love to see an old brand dump away its burden and adopt a fresh, young look to present itself. This will make them more attractive to young consumers,” he concludes.
A Guide To Conducting A Job Interview Recruitment is an essential part of a business organisation, be it a small enterprise, large corporate or multinational corporation. It is a process to fill vacancies to ensure there is enough workforce. Job interviews are an important process in a recruitment effort, but some small enterprises might not have a human resources department to guide them along on this. Hence, here are some tips on how to prepare for and conduct a job interview: 1. Write down a list of questions that directly relate to the job’s responsibilities. John Dooney, manager of strategic resource for the Society for Human Resources Management advises interviewers to list the key responsibilities of the position, if they don’t have a job description. They should also draw up a list of questions that relate to those responsibilities. 2. Ask behavioural questions An example would be “tell me about a time when you...”. Ask the interviewee for specific examples of past performance and behaviour. Previous successes are a good indicator of future performance. 3. Spend twice the time on homework as you do on the interview Many people only glance at a resume a couple minutes before the interview, which will not result in a good job interview. You should spend time to review candidates’ resume and prepare your interview questions. By doing so, you are showing the candidate you have taken the time to ensure a productive interview. 4. Thoroughly explain the process to every interviewee Candidates selected for interviews should know exactly what to expect: date and time for the interview, venue of the interview,
and who will be involved in the interview. Make sure there are no surprises, no tricks, no uncertainties, and no loose ends. 5. Outline the interview structure for the candidate First, give a brief description of the company, and then outline the job duties. Finally, ask the applicant questions. After that, the candidate will have the opportunity to ask you questions. This sets up the parameters of the interview, keeps you both focused, and gives the candidate an idea of what to expect. 6. Avoid talking too much during the interview process Dooney suggests hiring managers should talk only about 30 percent of the time. They should allow candidates time to describe their skills and qualifications during the interview. Besides that, the person conducting the interview must make sure he or she have covered all questions and haven’t missed anything. 7. Extend professional courtesies Offer candidates a glass of water and ask if they had difficulty finding the place. Be punctual. Consider giving them a tour of the office. 8. Watch nonverbal signals Just as you are looking for eye contact and appropriate dress, the candidate is looking for those unspoken signals from you. Be sure your tone of voice is appropriate and professional. Clearly articulate the job’s duties and the company’s mission. Dress as you normally would and pay attention to manners. You are a representative of your company and department, so make sure your actions reflect this. 9. While being polite and professional, don’t get too friendly Job interviewers should keep all questions job-related. If you spend the interview chatting, you risk making a hiring decision because you liked the candidate as opposed to whether the person is truly qualified for the job. 10. Follow up on interview results Let candidates know whether they got the job by email or phone. This is one more way of extending a professional courtesy and gives the interview process closure.
Progress of Pakatan Harapan’s
“10 Pledges in 100 Days” Manifesto In the 14th General Elections of Malaysia on 9 May 2018, the Pakatan Harapan coalition won the majority number of parliamentary seats to form a new government. It marks the end of Barisan Nasional’s 61 years rule and first change of government in Malaysia. Pledges were made in Pakatan Harapans’ election manifesto and it has been more than three months since the new government was formed. Entrepreneur Insight looks at the progress of Pakatan Harapan’s “10 pledges in 100 days” manifesto. 1. Abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Status: Achieved The GST was zero-rated effective from 1 June 2018, but parliamentary approval is needed to formally dismantle the unpopular 6 per cent consumption tax and bring back the Sales and Services Tax (SST).
The government’s plan is to implement the SST beginning September 2018.
2. Stabilise the price of petrol subsidies Status: Achieved On early June, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the federal government has allocated RM3 billion to subsidise fuel prices for 2018, while maintaining the retail price of RON95 and diesel for the rest of the year. 3. Eliminate unnecessary debts that were forced on Felda settlers Status: Not started 4. Introduce Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions for housewives Status: In progress
The government has yet to finalise the mechanism which will enable housewives to be given a two per cent contribution of their husbands’ monthly Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that there were several technical matters to consider including laws related to the fund before the Pakatan Harapan pledge could take off. The government had earlier suggested channelling two per cent of the husband’s monthly contribution to EPF to housewives while the government tops up the contribution up with RM50 each month. 5. Streamline the minimum wage nationally Status: In progress According to a news report, the minimum wage in the country is expected to be increased within the next couple of months and will be implemented and standardised across the board for all Malaysians and foreign citizens. Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said this was following the completion of the review on the 2016 Minimum Wages Order by the National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC). He also explained that the minimum wage would be reviewed every two years, before finally peaking at the RM1,500 rate as promised by the end of Pakatan Harapan’s current term as government. 6. Restore Sabah and Sarawak’s autonomous rights, as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Status: In progress De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong revealed that the cabinet has agreed to the formation of a special cabinet committee on the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said the committee will study and propose corrective measures in relation to the following matters:
• The status of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 in the context of current legislation; • Efforts to improve the people’s understanding towards the Malaysia Agreement 1963 through the education system; • Implementation of the concept of federalism across the three territories - Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak; • The rights of Sabah and Sarawak to natural resources as well as oil and gas; • Administrative matters that can be delegated to the states; • The amount of allocation that is within the rights of Sabah and Sarawak; and • Amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution. 7. Restructuring PTPTN higher education fund repayment and abolishing blacklisting policy Status: Achieved The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has permitted borrowers with salaries below RM4,000 a month to defer repaying their study loans, by going through a registration process. The government also repealed PTPTN’s blacklisting policy, where all PTPTN loan defaulters has been removed from the immigration blacklist. Blacklisted individuals are not allowed to renew their passports and are barred from leaving the country. 8. Set up a Royal Commissions of Inquiry into scandal ridden institutions Status: In progress The Pakatan Harapan government has pledged to establish Commissions of Inquiry to investigate, separately, the misdeeds in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), and Tabung Haji.
The Commissions will also be tasked to recommend appropriate follow-up actions, as well as detailed mechanisms to resolve these mega scandals, and to reorganise the institutions’ leadership structure. 9. To introduce a National Healthcare Plan Status: In progress The Pakatan Harapan government will introduce Skim Peduli Sihat, similar to what was implemented in Selangor, to the rest of the country. The healthcare scheme provides RM500 per year for B40 families to visit private clinics for basic treatment (primary care). This will ensure they do not depend only to government hospitals or public health centres that may be far from their homes. It also reduces the workload of government health officers. The government is still in the stage of planning this national healthcare concept. 10. Review all mega projects Status: In progress Under the Pakatan Harapan Government, the Ministry of Finance has been instructed to review all giant infrastructure projects with foreign countries. The government will also review the practice of government procurement and tendering system, as well as the processes to issue public-private partnership contracts by the PublicPrivate Partnership Unit (UKAS). The aim is to make sure that the criteria for bidding is transparent and consistent. It has been reported that Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the second phase of Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) rail upgrade project will not be carried out for now.
What You Need To Know About Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is where a number of people each invest, lend or contribute small amounts of money to your business or idea. This money is combined to help you reach your funding goal. Each individual that backs your idea will usually receive rewards or financial gain in return. Crowdfunding usually takes place through a website. The platform will manage any online payments and may often offer services such as video hosting, social networking and enabling contact with contributors.
How is Crowdfunding Different? Crowdfunding is essentially the opposite of the mainstream approach to business finance. Traditionally, raising capital to start a business or launch a new product requires you to pack up your business plan, market research, and prototypes, and then shop your idea around to a limited pool or wealthy individuals or institutions. These funding sources include banks, angel investors, and venture capital firms, limiting your options to a few key players. You can think of this fundraising approach as a funnel, with you and your pitch at the wide end and your audience of investors at the closed end. Failing to point that funnel at the right investor or firm at the right time results in your time and money lost.
Crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, turns that funnel on-end. By giving you, the entrepreneur, a single platform to build, showcase, and share your pitch resources, this approach dramatically streamlines the traditional model. Traditionally, you’d spend months sifting through your personal network, vetting potential investors, and spending your own time and money to get in front of them. With crowdfunding, it’s much easier for you to get your opportunity in front of more interested parties and give them more ways to help grow your business, from investing thousands in exchange for equity to contributing $20 in exchange for a first-run product or other reward. Is Crowdfunding Right for Your Business? Crowdfunding can be a way of raising
finance relatively quickly, often without upfront fees. It provides an alternative to funding from conventional means, such as a bank loan. To raise funding, you will have to showcase your idea to potential investors through a crowdfunding website. An investor will select what they want in return for providing a specific amount of money. This is usually based on what you decide to offer – this could be a stake in the company, a percentage of your profit or even rewards, such as gifts. Crowdfunding can help you to generate funds for a project but can also allow a business to market test a product that may only be in its planning phase. This type of fundraising process may also help to promote a business or product before it has launched.
Investors using crowdfunding will often look for: • Evidence of a tested idea that has the potential for future growth and development. • An idea belonging to a high growth sector such as technology, or an industry that the funder has a personal interest in. • A niche idea that has an established audience in the marketplace. Types of Crowdfunding There are different crowdfunding options to choose from. Each type has different benefits for businesses and investors. You will need to consider which one is right for your business, project or venture.
Reward crowdfunding Reward crowdfunding allows investors to contribute to your venture in return for non–financial benefits. This type of funding is commonly used for creative projects. It usually operates as a tired system – the more an investor donates to your fund, the greater the reward they will receive (e.g. credits on a record cover, tickets to an event, free gifts etc). A benefit to the business is that the reward doesn’t usually cost much to deliver.
Debt crowdfunding Debt crowdfunding provides investors with the chance to fund your project in exchange for financial interest on their investment.
This finance option may provide you with borrowing at a lower cost than that offered by applying for a loan through a bank. The advantage of this model is that it may be easier to win support for a campaign, as the backers are attracted to getting a return. This type of crowdfunding may work best for businesses with a trackrecord of revenues.
Equity crowdfunding An equity crowd funder will invest money in return for shares, or a small stake in your business, project or venture. This type of crowdfunding could work best for growth-focused companies in areas where there is potential for return.
Donation crowdfunding This type of crowdfunding is designed for charities, or those who raise money for social or charitable projects, to gather a community online and to enable them to donate to a project. Advantages and Disadvantages of Crowdfunding If you are considering raising finance for your business, project or venture through crowdfunding, you might want to consider the following factors. Eight advantages of crowdfunding: • It can be a fast way to raise finance with no upfront fees. • Pitching a project or business through the online platform can be a valuable form of marketing and result in media attention. • Sharing your idea, you can often get feedback and expert guidance on how to improve it.
• It is a good way to test the public’s reaction to your product or idea – if people are keen to invest it is a good sign that your idea could work well in the market. • Investors can track your progress – this may help you to promote your brand through their networks. • Ideas that may not appeal to conventional investors can often get financed more easily. • Your investors can often become your most loyal customers through the financing process. • It’s an alternative finance option if you have struggled to get bank loans or traditional funding. Six disadvantages of crowdfunding: • It is not necessary an easier process to go through compared to the more traditional ways of raising finance – not all projects that apply to crowdfunding platforms get onto them. • When you are on your chosen platform, you need to do a lot of work in building up interest before the project launches – significant resources (money and/or time) may be required. • If you don’t reach your funding target, any finance that has been pledged will usually be returned to your investors and you will receive nothing. • Failed projects risk damage to the reputation of your business and people who have pledged money to you. • If you haven’t protected your business idea with a patent or copyright, someone may see it on a crowdfunding site and steal your concept. • Getting the rewards or returns wrong can mean giving away too much of the business to investors.
12 Signs To Avoid In Manipulators When It Concerns Your Business When doing business, entrepreneurs come across people with different characters from all walks of life in when doing business. Some are good and supportive, while others are bad and discouraging. Be it an employee or someone you are communicating with for a business deal, it is important to know if they may cause a negative impact on your business. However, it is not easy to spot these manipulators as not everyone defines “negative” the same way. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs must not ignore these negative people to avoid causing harm or losses to their business. Hence, it is important to notice the signals that shows someone who is bad for business.
1. Twisting truths People prone to this behaviour are incredible deception masters. They have the tendency to ignore truths that they refuse to accept and twist them. They have the ability to take things out of context and create a story that is in their favour. It is tough to have a reasonable conversation with them. It is highly possible they might somehow twist your words or totally confuse you and then tell you that you are the one who doesn’t know how to communicate.
2. Denying truth Irrespective of how obvious the truth is, people with a habit of reality denial will always deny it. They will even fervently deny truths despite a body of irrefutable data. Even though it is the complete opposite of the reality, their “truth” is only the only thing that matters to them.
4. Concealing information They will immediately withhold all information that they believe can compromise their purposes. In their opinion, they are not doing anything wrong by keeping the information a secret. In other words, they do not consider this to be lying. However, it is an act of lying if the hiding of information creates losses for others or affects a business deal.
5. Endless falsehoods They have the habit of always adding “juicy” and false information, thus sending out the wrong information. The reason behind them creating and spreading falsehoods could be their purpose of gaining personal benefits. Some of them can be considered as pathological liars where they have a clear motive. A person may lie to gain attention or admiration. Other lies may be designed to garner pity or help from others. People who lie pathologically may mix falsehoods with the truth to make their lies more credible. As such, pathological lying is often considered a subtler form of manipulation than compulsive lying.
6. Showing no repentance These people will never feel sorry for incurring losses to someone who is just trying to operate a business. They lack conscience and do not feel bad about how they treat or affect others. They will not repent. If they see something good, they will do all in their power to destroy it. These people will never feel sorry for hurting someone’s business.
3. Misleading people
7. Manipulating people
This is something politicians do a lot, but it is also something that many people do on a regular basis. What they are very good at is misleading you by making you feel criticised, incompetent, vulnerable or hated. They achieve this by carefully choosing wellthought words.
These people are masters of manipulation. They constantly have a plan and will do anything to realise it. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.
8. Lack accountability One of the key traits of these people is the lack of moral. In most cases where they have committed mistakes, they never admit them or apologise. One reason to this could be because
it seems too difficult to be accountable for them. They are not always mentally mature enough to accept that accountability is an important value in business.
9. Insincere friends They have an underlying motive to befriend you. They will be your friends when you are happy because your business is doing well. However, as soon as your business hit a rocky path and face hardships they will disappear. Do not expect support from them. They will be around you only if they can gain benefits.
10. Obsessive need to exercise control High-control men and women, also known as â€œcontrol freaksâ€? makes it hard to negotiate with them when doing business. They will want full control in a negotiation and can and waste your time because there will be no outcome from the business negotiation. These individuals operate the way they do because they only want to accomplish their goals.
11. Thwarting growth They simply feel jealous and cannot accept other people being successful. Their sense of hatred rises when others are better than them. Because of this, they will think of different ideas to prevent you from carrying out your business plans. The purpose is to slow down or even stop your business from growing.
12. Double-faced A double-face person behaves in two different ways in front of different people. They have a different story for everyone. It is very hard to truly get a clear picture and identity of who these people really are. These abovementioned traits can be found in many people, but if you notice more of them in one person then it is time for you to distance from these manipulators. The best option is to eventually remove them from your life. If it really cannot be avoided, keep your interactions with them as short as possible. Being able to spot their harmful and negative behaviour is the first step to minimising their impact on your business. You might not be able to change what they do, but you can change what you do with them. AUGUST 2018
DIFFERENT GAMES THAT DIFFERENT PEOPLE PLAY Do you know the reasons behind why people behave in strange ways that defy logical explanation - like giving up their high-ranking job, migrating to a land faraway or settling for a much lower paid job?
and behaviour is indeed a very important skill that will benefit anyone - especially those people in leadership position. The ability to “size people up” can give one a head start in communicating, negotiating, settling a conflict or solving other issues.
Many do not understand why and often brush aside such decisions as silly, illogical or there must be something wrong with these people. But, is this the truth? Furthermore, when we understand where they are coming from, this puts us in an advantagous position to understand the world they face around them.
This theory is not new, for even in warfare, the famous ancient philosopher Chun Tzu once said that “Knowing thy enemies” is the most powerful weapon to win a war!
Our ability to understand people’s actions
Let me provide you with some information that all leaders should know about why people behave the way they do. The first thing to understand is that people have different “ego states” - of either that of
a parent, child or adult which operates autonomously from one another, and generates fairly distinctive behavioural characteristics. People with a “parent” ego state are usually more serious than others and might have somewhat fixed ways as well as beliefs in their perception of people and situations. They are known to be people who are fond of making instructional remarks like, “You ought to exercise at least four times a week”; “You aren’t hardworking” or “I think you need help in your work”. Usually, they are known to have picked this up from authoritative parents during their early childhood.
On the other extreme end are people with a “child” ego state that causes them to behave exactly the opposite way. This can be seen in how they can be more repressed and fearful than others, and can easily get hurt or be ashamed due to their rather “fragile” nature. On the other hand, their positive side lies in them possessing curiosity that makes them more adventurous and creative than others. In such a state, they run the risk of living like a “sponge” in their early years - recording everything they see and hear and then later, reproducing the “unedited” versions of themselves in adulthood. The danger Is if these “unedited versions” are not-so-good reflections of their observations in their early lives, they can become an issue to deal with. In the middle are the “adults” - rational people who are capable of processing emotional information in an objective way. Unlike the parents, they do not have fixed or judgmental attitudes nor the abrupt and uncontrollable emotions of a “child”. Instead, they have the enduring and persistent characteristics we commonly refer to as “passion” which is seen reflected in high achieving people which is very important for success. You will know people’s ego states through cover-up activities called “games” that they play to indirectly seek attention, acknowledgement and recognition in their daily lives. During troubled situations, games can be translated into strange activities. For instance, a bored person avoiding boredom may resort to overeating to kill time. Meanwhile, a frustrated child may run away from home to seek excitement elsewhere or an insecure boss may set up impossible expectations to watch his employee failing in the task ahead. In positive circumstances, games are positive activities that can be used to convey hard work, responsibility, sociability and the friendly nature of a person.
The biggest fear of all of these challenges is when these games degenerate to become a person’s “life script” which can be extremely lethal in their lives. Life scripts can become fixed plans that cause people to have unchanging ways of doing things which can have an impact on a person’s entire life. Some examples of these scripts are:- “No matter what I do, I will fail,” or “I am very unlucky as nothing works for me,” or ‘Nobody in this world can be trusted”. History highlights how life scripts have led to dangerous stereotyped actions like the notorious M16 Gang who used M16 weapons to rob and kill, or the infamous Jack the Ripper who raped and killed innocent victims in almost identical ways.
Generally, people who use life scripts to govern their lives have usually been in severe problems especially when they have too much of a “child” in them. They urgently need to emancipate the “reckless child” out of them in order for them to be able to be freed from using the same outdated information stored in them to ne used over and over again. Notwithstanding this, it is not easy for people to change their ego state as early influences could have been too complicated and powerful that have left strong psychological marks on them. Only with understanding and compassion, can leaders help them to gradually change their undesired ego states for better ones through observing and giving them feedback whenever undesired ones behavioural patterns show up.
DR MICHAEL HEAH
is an ICF Master Certified Coach who works with top leaders globally and train them to be coaches too. For more information, log on to www.corporate-coachacademy.com or call 03-62054488
ProfitMAX Your Business How to systematically enhance your business profits
In the last fifteen years of being a Business Coach, I have encountered many struggling businesses. The irony of it is the owners are often very hardworking people who are passionate about what they do, and they do a pretty good job at it. However though somehow, they lack the skills, know-how and fundamentals of business to take it to the next level. They struggle with cash flow and poor collections and face mounting price competition from the marketplace. They also have to deal with extremely demanding customers and sophisticated clients and often feel let down by their team, who either lack initiative, are undisciplined or do not get along well with each other. And, perhaps the biggest challenge they face is poor, irregular, stagnating or even declining sales and profits. After all the hard work, long hours and endless stress, many business owners are frustrated with the little profits they have to show for it all.
The larger enterprises face also team and leadership challenges. Very often, their set-up and structure have not kept up with their growth. And, neither has the skill level of their managers and workforce. They could be functionally or technically competent but lack strategic planning and management skills. They also face challenges in attracting and hiring good people. Often, they lack employer branding and also have not looked in depth at the management talent they need - having progressed to a much bigger sized business than previously. The good news is it doesnâ€™t have to be like that. Over the years, I have developed our proprietary C.A.S.T.L.E Coaching Framework to help business owners and entrepreneurs build a solid business that last a long, long time.
You too can build your business castle by working on 6 areas:-
1. To build a solid business, the first place to start is by
controlling your numbers. In addition to your cash flow and gross profit margin, you also need to control other key numbers in your business. For example, you need to know how many prospects or potential customers you are generating in your marketing and sales pipeline. Depending on your industry, you need to also understand what your conversion rates and the average deal size as well as the transaction frequency are about. As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.
2. Next, you need to define your aspirations. Here, what
we are talking about is setting long and short term as well as very clear specific goals. You also need to have a very compelling vision to inspire your team to excel. The next thing we need to do is to clarify the strategy by first assessing the company’s situation. How strong or formidable are your competitors, what is your competitive advantage and positioning? And, do you have strong points of uniqueness to differentiate yourself from other players in the market?
3. After formulating the strategy, you would need to formulate
your tactics. How do you get more people interested in our product or service? How do you get them to buy and get them to buy more? And, how do you get them to pay more and get them coming back regularly and refer other people to us to do business with the company? In this day and age, business owners also need to consider things like Digital Marketing.
4. The next area we need to look at is the principle of
leverage. How can one best leverage on limited resources? This would include leveraging in terms of time and working with the team as well as leveraging on the systems in place.
5. As businesses grow to accommodate bigger scales,
companies need to be able to build strong and solid teams - what I would term powerhouse teams. The company also needs to attract and hire top talent as it may have to compete with other Public Listed Companies (PLCs), Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to get the best talent. To do this, a culture of high performance is needed so that people are productive and efficient. Finally, one needs to look at the quality of leadership.
6. Leadership needs to evolve as businesses expand and
the team grows. Under effective leadership are areas like how to cultivate the mind set of successful people, how to inspire the team and how to bring the team into alignment so that they can become a powerhouse team that rocks.
These are the elements that help you build a solid business. All this and more are in my upcoming book, “ProfitMAX Your Business – How to Double Your Profits and Build a Strong Business that Lasts a Long, Long Time”.
is an Executive Business Coach and High-impact Master Trainer. His book ProfitMAX Your Business is available in bookshops this August. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing The Right Business Mentor
Two very obvious phenomena over the last ten years revolve around these two subject matters - with “entrepreneurs” and “mentors” mushrooming like nobody’s business. You may have come across an entrepreneur who is mentored by many mentors or a mentor who is mentoring many entrepreneurs.
Younger entrepreneurs or startups make up quite a big portion in this situation, and I guess this ties back to the behavioural patterns and attitude of this generation. After all, younger entrepreneurs want quick results and they are most likely not willing to spend time in exploring options.
The other reason could be attributed to the education system in which knowledge which has little use in entrepreneurship is given. Hence, starting a business after graduation is almost similar to a suicide mission. In order to address pitfalls, getting a mentor will help them to avoid mistakes and increase their survival rate.
These relationships or engagements became popular for various reasons - one obviously being simply due to the demand in the market for the need for good mentors as opposed to the supply.
Instead, they want instant answers or solutions whenever they face challenges. Hence, a phone call to their mentor is probably one of the easiest way to address the situation.
Indeed - choosing a good mentor is not easy - not to mention whether he or she wants to mentor you. In this article, I have listed down some useful tips to consider should one decide to choose a mentor.
1. Have A Two-Way Communication
3. Don’t Go for Big Names
5. More Is Less
As an entrepreneur, you should be open to ideas but at the same time, you should hold on to your principles if you believe that what you do is right. A good mentor will not tell you what’s right or wrong but become a sparing partner to discuss possibilities from all angles. He or she should have an open mind instead of prejudging your ideas.
Many would like to be mentored by celebrity mentors, but let us be realistic. These mentors are super busy so how much time do you think they can spend with you? Yes, they might help you in connecting people but you still need someone who can give you attention. Look for a mentor who can commit his or time to guide you to succeed.
Don’t try to be smart by getting many mentors to mentor you. You will either confuse yourself or may end up offending your mentors without you realising it. Each mentor has his or her own beliefs and approaches. And, some may work well together while others may conflict with each other. For example, if you have a watch, stay within the time frame shown from your watch. In a situation where another guy tells you a different time, you won’t know which one to follow.
4. Find A Real Entrepreneur
Working with a mentor who is resourceful will definitely save you a lot of trouble. This is because he or she can help you open doors to connect to parties that are important to your business. Connecting to the right person in the business circle is very crucial - as this will bring about opportunities that you can access via his or her connections. Imagine writing hundreds of emails and not getting a reply versus a phone call from your mentor to your stakeholders.
No offence. I think the best mentors to young entrepreneurs are those who own their own businesses. A mentor needs to have real life experience and exposure in the business world. I have come across many mentors who do not own any business, and they work more like a counsellor or a senior who is willing to listen to your problem and motivate you when you are down. That is fine but you still do need them. In order to solve your business problems, you should talk to someone who has real business experience. Don’t take your chances otherwise it may be detrimental to your business.
GAN TECK HOOI
is the Founder and Managing Consultant of ICFO Solutions Sdn Bhd. Email him at: email@example.com or www.captainamerigan.com
How Can I Use The
Law of Attraction (LOA) To Build My TEAM?
CHIN KANG WEI
is a certified LOA Facilitator passionate about teaching business owners in Perak about this principle so they won’t need to search for employment elsewhere
It is every business owner’s dream to have a Dream Team in their company. Hence, leaders in every organisation are constantly looking out for quality individuals. I remember the very first time I started my own business - a children’s learning centre specialising in helping children to become better learners. One of the key challenges that I encountered was recruiting trainers good quality trainers. If you are a new business owner - you would usually be relatively inexperienced in business activities. And, these could be some of the issues you might have experienced - getting into business with the wrong individuals or hiring the wrong individuals. Lack of experience on the part of the new business owner would most likely be the major cause of these types of problems arising. It would therefore be good to know that these challenges are normal and can be expected at the beginning of your entrepreneurship journey. The key to improving your leadership as well as being the leader of your company is to be always in learning mode - whether you are in the capacity of an individual or as a leader.
As you continue to grow and learn, progress will be reflected in every part of your life. Who you are is who you attract! Following the Law of Attraction (LOA) principle - you don’t get what you want but you get what you vibrate. In this case, who we attract is not determined by what we want but who we are instead! The LOA likens people to magnets attracting what they think and feel from the Universe. Harry S. Truman once said:- “Not all readers are leaders, but leaders are readers.” Therefore, if you are having issues with your team’s ability - look at your own leadership ability. The good news is that as your leadership skills grow and mature, you will attract into your life better and stronger leaders. You will also attract better team members, more responsive clients, accommodating suppliers, good associates and foster stronger network interactions as well in the overall scheme of things.
I have had the opportunity to coach one of the largest photocopier rental business owners in Perak who goes by the name Mr Tang. He shared with me that he had encountered the same challenges of being a new and inexperienced entrepreneur many years ago. He believes that as a business owner, one has to continue learning constantly. Mr Tang has become stronger and is able to lead more positively with the knowledge that he has acquired. Moreover, he has also attracted people with strong character and positive attitude to his company. His company was awarded the “Excellent Service Performance” from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in 2017. So, as a business owner, if you are negative all the time, you will attract people with the same negativity. As the leader of your company, you will always get the people you deserve based on your current level of personal and professional development. The “constraint” on your business accomplishment is the result of the limitation of your belief system and what you have set for yourself with your thinking on how you vibrate. So, Start Learning!
Financing for Business Expansion Operating a business can be really challenging. When business environment is unfavourable, business owners become stressful due to possible slowdown in sales, high operating expenses, among other burning issues. The business owners need to attend to these issues promptly in ensuring effective resolutions, otherwise the issues may amplify and make things worse. However, when business environment becomes conducive and robust, business owners face a different set of challenges. This time they need to work even harder to ensure that the business can cope with the increasing demand for its products and services. They must also strive to ensure that the businesses have sufficient cash or financing to fund their increased business volume. This issue, though may be seen as a good problem, can pose real challenge to many businesses. Essence of Trading Cycle When businesses embark on their journey for expansion, there are many areas where businesses need to work on. One of the key critical areas is the additional funding needed to support the growing business. And this incremental funding can either be sourced internally or most often, from banks. Letâ€™s review the typical trading cycle of a business to better understand the working capital and fixed assets financing requirements:
In addition to working capital, businesses may need to increase their production and warehousing capacity to cope with the increased volume. This again attracts more funding requirement. In short, businesses need to raise their cashflow to cater for business expansion. Purpose of Financing In any business, large and small, the funding and risk management requirements are rather similar, only different in terms of the quantum of requirement. Generally, the financing and services required by businesses can be categorized into three broad areas as follow: Incremental Working Capital
Debtors With exception to trade creditors where businesses receive goods or services without the need to make immediate payment, all the other aspects of the trading cycle require funding from the business. This means, when the businesses expanded, there is a need for more cash to funds the business operations. This can be in the form of internal cash or financing from the banks or shareholders.
When businesses expanded their sales, they are directly expanding their trading cycle. In accommodating the higher business volume, they need to maintain higher stock, produce more products and perhaps provide higher credit to their buyers. All these activities impact their cashflow, hence can strain their working capital. Unless the businesses maintain sufficient cash to finance the incremental cashflow, otherwise they would need to seek financing from banks. Acquisition of Fixed Assets When businesses need more space or additional machinery to cater for the increasing business volume, they would have to invest on additional fixed assets. This investment is longer term in nature as compared with working capital which is short term in nature. Businesses would normally seek medium or longterm financing from banks or leasing companies to finance the acquisition of fixed assets.
Protection Against Risks
Insurance & Foreign Currency Hedging
In addition to financing requirement, businesses may expose themselves to other risks when they expand their business across the borders. Foreign currency risk can pose serious risk to the businesses when it is not properly managed. Leaving the foreign currency exposure open can easily wiped out the business profits. Besides foreign exchange risk, businesses will also be exposed to damages of their fixed assets like business premises and machinery. Businesses must ensure that their fixed assets are properly insured against any untoward incidences in the future.
Protection for fixed assets and even loss of income due to untoward incidences is important for businesses. There are various types of insurance coverage that are applicable for different purposes. Besides protection for assets, businesses that transact in foreign currencies can also consider hedging of foreign currency to better manage the currency fluctuation. The hedging products would help businesses to protect themselves from currency fluctuation. Engaging The Bankers
Type of Financing As briefly mentioned earlier, there are various types of financing where businesses can choose from. Financing can be classified based on their respective usage, modes of operation and tenors of the facility: Short-term Facilities The most flexible type of short-term financing offered by banks is overdraft. Businesses can draw on this facility anytime, anyhow without much control from the bank. It is due to this reason that banks are often reluctant to offer high overdraft limit to businesses. The interest for overdraft is often higher than most other forms of financing. The other more common form of working capital financing is trade facility. Trade facility covers a broad spectrum of products, ranging from Banker’s Acceptance to Trust Receipt to Invoice Financing, among others. The utilisation of this facility is less flexible as compared with overdraft.
In anticipation of eventual financing needs from the banks, businesses should start to engage their bankers early. They should not only meet up with their bankers when they need financing from them. Businesses should make it a point to embrace their bankers and keep their bankers informed of their business operations. Knowing the bankers is crucial for the bankers to extend their advice on financial management to the business. Gaining the banker’s trust and understanding of the business is essential too. When businesses need to seek for financing from the bankers, they must be able to submit the necessary information and documents to the bankers for evaluation. A well written and thorough business plan together with proposal for financing requirement will be useful to the bankers. Therefore, it is worth the effort and time for businesses to work on and produce a proper business plan.
Trade facility requires supporting documents like invoice for purchases, shipping documents, etc that can validate the commercial transactions, hence the requirement for financing. The advantage of this facility would be its relatively low pricing as compared with that of the overdraft. Banks prefer to offer trade financing to businesses due to the extent of control on the usage. Medium & Long-term Facilities In the course of business expansion, businesses may acquire new factories, warehouses or machinery to support the increased business volume. These are catogorised as long-term assets. These types of fixed assets can be financed by term loan, hire purchase or leasing which are long term in nature. These longterm financing are normally repaid by monthly instalments over 3-10 years.
A Chartered Banker with over 26 years of direct dealings with the SMEs. He has authored a book entitled “SME Challenges and Solutions” and can be contacted at Eddie.Hu@outlook.com
According to the Bureau of Labor (US) Statistics, the median employee tenure for workers aged 25-34 in 2014 was three years. “Every job is temporary” seems to be the career motto for some professionals, who frequently change jobs, and marked as job hoppers.
Employers and recruiters are beginning to have a different outlook on job hopping.
What exactly is job-hopping, and why do people do so? Jobhopping is defined as moving from one company to another every few years, for reasons other than a lay-off or company closure. It is the new ‘normal’ for millennials who deeply value learning and development from employers. They probably seek for different prospects as they have not gained the types of developmental opportunities required from previous employment(s).
While job hopping may have a negative connotation, it might also be about a talent providing value to a company to a point where there is nothing more to gain. Take a technologist for example; in order to continuously upgrade his skills, he must remain current in a highly competitive market.
Traditionally, employers have avoided job-hopping candidates on the basis that ‘past performance predicts future behaviour’. Businesses look for potentially committed talents who will help them to achieve short and long-term goals. Hiring managers of yesterday were wary of resumes loaded with short job stints as they reflect the loyalty of an employee.
In today’s volatile talent marketplace, automatically rejecting frequent job hoppers may cause you to miss out on exceptional hires.
Job hopping is more common among employees who are less tenured, confident with their skills to be able to move on without burning a bridge and can add immediate value to another organisation. Gone are the days of an employee serving the same company for 20-30 years, receiving long service award and retiring into the sunset. Attracting and retaining talent is challenging enough in today’s market, without the cost of a short tenure. Hiring a job
hopper can offer some benefits to your company, such as: •
They have a broader perspective of challenges, and are able to adapt well to different cultures and ideas.
They potentially have an impressive network of contacts that will offer a whole new network of resources to your company
Within the same industry, they bring knowledge of your competitors
They are not generally complacent; and their accomplishments may often justify their salaries
Job hoppers continually hone their skills
In Singapore and Malaysia, the process of hiring seems to focus on salary and benefits; because at the end of the day, money matters. A survey by Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia has found that 44% of middle to senior level employees rated the current job market as strong or very strong, while 37% rated the market as moderate. This optimism may be a driver for job hoppers in search of greater salaries. On the other hand, companies were increasingly making use of extended resignation periods to discourage job hoppers and were making counter offers to retain executives. This is because hiring talents for short term tenure – taking into consideration of the training process, business productivity, external exposure of intellectual properties – can actually cost between 40-80% of annual business income. The counter offers however, tend to make insignificant difference, with 23% of respondents resigning within six months anyway.
As a business owner, how would you approach a candidate with a long list of short term employment? How can you find a good match? Find out the reasons why they’d like to leave their present employment Ask for their career targets: Based on their response, assess if the company can help them get to where they aim to be. Be honest about your company’s culture: Some companies have work-life balance, others don’t. Some companies are more academic-oriented, others aren’t. By being transparent, a candidate will have a better understanding of whether they will be a good fit. Be honest about the type of candidate you need: Go into details and seek for feedback. This way, both parties will be able to assess whether or not it is a good match. Hiring managers must now accept the idea that short term employment can have an impact on productivity. Organisational productivity could possibly improve between 5 and 10 years, after which, its performance and an employee’s ROI have a significant probability of declining. Instead of generalising, capitalise on the strength of the candidate for your business growth. Each individual should be judged and hired based on their merits, taking into account the changes in the employment market. However, the final decision should of course be influenced by the needs of your business.
ASSOC PROF ROY PRASAD
is the CEO of i-HR Consulting Sdn. Bhd., the leading and award-winning HR Consulting and outsourcing firm in Malaysia.
In the previous article, we explored the idea of why a person need to engage with a professional Financial Planner to handle his or her personal finance affairs. There are simply too many “predators” out there waiting for the opportunity to sell you one product (or products). Essentially, the goal is to make one decide to part with one’s hard- earned savings, while they reap the benefits from this activity. It is normal to see someone who carries a business card with the designation of “Financial Advisor”, “Wealth Planner”, “Financial Consultant”, “Financial Planner”, “Life Planner”, or “Life Planning Advisor” assuring you that he or she is a competent Financial Planner that you can trust. Therefore, here are some ideas that hopefully can help you filter out people who only have the intention to sell you something as opposed to those who are looking to put your best interest first. 1. Are you licensed? In Malaysia, financial advice and financial planning falls under a regulated industry, and consumers are protected as provisioned by the law by engaging with a legally licensed Financial Planner who holds professional qualifications. If you come across a person who claims to be a professional Financial Planner or holds any designation to suggest the same, one can validate that claim by visiting: http://ers.seccom.com.my/ public/Default.aspx?menu=1 (enter his or her name as per NRIC, or IC number, and the answer will be revealed).
Dealing with a licensed Financial Planner means you will be getting qualified advice and also have the benefit of protection by the law, should you be on the wrong side of the equation due to negligence or undue influence from your advisor. 2. Who are you representing? (Are you a fiduciary?) It is important that one engages with a Financial Planner whose hands are not tied down by some rules or principal product company. If one is visiting a doctor, one would not want to receive advice from a doctor who has an agreement with a particular pharmaceutical company to receive additional incentive or sponsorship from the company because this may impair the quality of advice or treatment one will get. A fiduciary means there is a legal responsibility to place one’s best interest first, and it means to give the best advice. 3. How are you remunerated? This is important. Have you ever wondered how someone who has been telling you that hev or she is doing this work for you without fee or charges makes a living? You may find it strange to see someone offering to do your insurance review summary or investment review without charges, am I not right? The reason for this is that this person is looking to offer your something free and hopes to create a sales or transaction with you in order to make an earning. Typically, there are three ways for a Financial Planner to be remunerated for their services, namely, commission only, fee only, or fee-Based.
Who are you representing? ) (Are you a Fiduciary? Will you prepare for a Statement of Advice (SOA) or a Financial Plan?
Are you Licensed?
5 Important Questions How are you remunerated?
4. What is your experience? If you are looking for a Financial Advisor to plan for your retirement or your childrenâ€™s education, and the candidate only has experience in dealing with insurance, do you think the quality of planning you will get will be anywhere near beneficial for you? Likewise, I came across a prospective client who decided I am the better candidate for their situation because I understood about their holdings of Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), and another candidate chose to engage with me because I understood Islamic side of financial planning, including complex situations like zakat and estate planning. 5. Will you prepare for a Statement of Advice (SOA) or a financial plan? A statement of advice (SOA) is a document that will state down all the relevant information required for a particular area of planning (for example estate planning), with analysis and recommendation from the Advisor. Having a statement of advice is important because it gives you protection as a consumer in case you were misadvised, or some facts were wrongly represented. This acts as a basis or proof for you to seek protection of your rights. Under the purview of regulation, a licensed Financial Planner is also required to have Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance so that the client can be indemnified should there be negligence by the Advisor in executing their role as a fiduciary.
What are your experience?
client situation as well as for the client to ask the advisor all the important question before engagement, so do not waste this opportunity, ask all the questions listed here. Disclaimer: The information contained in this article has been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable and the opinions, analysis, forecast, projections and expectations (together â€œOpinionsâ€?) contained in this presentation are based on such information and are expressions of belief only. This article should not be construed as, an offer document or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any investment. Readers are advised to consult professional for advice before deciding or making any decision to invest as investment is a long term process and past superior performance is not indicative of future performance.
KEVIN K.M. NEOH
is a licensed Financial Planner with the Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia. Email him at KevinNeoh@vka.com.my
Most Licensed Financial Planners will offer a commitmentfree preliminary meeting for the first time to get to know the
GETTING OUT OF FINANCIAL TROUBLE If we do not plan for our finances, it is very possible for us to spend more than we earn and eventually, this may put us into serious debt which would lead to financial trouble.
creditworthiness of potential borrowers. These include ascertaining the borrower’s character, attitude towards their loan obligations as well as their capacity to pay their loans.
These include writ of seizure and sale, garnishee proceedings, judgement debtor summons as well as filing a bankruptcy order if the debt amount is RM50,000 and above.
Being financially distressed will affect one’s reputation and, that is not all – one would also be emotionally troubled, looking for money to pay off the debts. Eventually, even relationships with family and friends will be strained.
Having a poor credit record makes it difficult for one to obtain loans from licecsed financial institutions.
If one is made a bankrupt, there are many things one would be legally barred from doing. These are some of the hindrances one will be forced to face:-
All these can affect one’s physical health as well as mental and emotional stability. One will end up in a neverending spiral of problems - all because one failed to plan and was in denial in facing the situation.
What can one do if one is in serious debt? If one is in serious debt, one will be seen as a bad credit risk to any banker one may approach for a loan. Financial institutions have various criteria to assess the
What can happen When one defaults on one’s loan, the financial institution can take legal proceedings against one. It will first obtain a judgement. If the loan is a car loan, the financial institution will act to repossess and sell the car. If it is a housing loan secured by a property purchase, the financial institution will foreclose one’s property and sell it by public auction. For unsecured loans, the financial institution has a number of options to execute the judgement it has obtained to recover its debts.
ONE CANNOT:• Hold any public office without the approval of the Director-General (DG). • Pursue any court action without the DG’s permission. • Leave the country without the court’s or DG’s approval. • Be a Company Director or carry out one’s own business. One also cannot be involved in the management of a company without the court’s or the DG’s approval. • Be involved in the management of a company or be an employee of a
DR DESMOND CHONG KOK FEI
is a Trainer with Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) and has over 25 years experience in marketing and management
company that is owned by one’s spouse or close relatives and their spouses. • Be a committee member of any registered body.
LOOKING FOR THE SIGNS Unfortunately, there are people who do not realise that they are in financial trouble. They carry on as they are, living in denial and making their situation worse by the day. There are some tell-tale signs to indicate that one is in financial trouble and one must be aware of them. These include:-
• Having little or no savings to handle unexpected expenses or emergencies.
management skills and debts that are manageable.
AKPK provides three main services freeof-charge to members of the public to help them to better manage their money including:• Financial education programmes and materials on the proper use of credit and basic money management skills as well as tips on how to use credit responsibly; • Financial counselling and advice, providing individuals with an in-depth evaluation of their problems and how these may be resolved;
• Depending on part-time jobs, overtime, commissions or bonuses to pay for one’s living expenses. • Living from paycheck to paycheck.
Ignorance • Not talking to one’s spouse or family members about money problems or arguing with them when one talks about money. • Not knowing how much money one owes until the bills arrive.
Credit Cards • Paying only the minimum balance each month. • Increasing the outstanding balance every month • Going over one’s credit limit. • Taking frequent cash advances. • Missing payments, paying late or paying some bills this month and others the next month. • Having your credit card revoked by the bank.
Loans • Using the overdraft or automatic loan features on your current account frequently. • Receiving second or third payment notices from banks or creditors for nonpayment of debts. • Being denied credit because of a negative credit bureau report. • Borrowing money from family or friends to pay off your debts.
Savings • Using up your savings at an alarming rate.
If you start experiencing any of the above, get advice immediately. Do not wait until the problem gets bigger. The earlier one seeks assistance, the easier it is to get out of the situation.
What can you do? • One can contact one’s bank and work out an adjusted repayment plan to suit one’s cash flow. • One can contact the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit or AKPK) for financial counselling and advice. If one does not act immediately when one see the signs of being in financial trouble, it will only get worse...
AGENSI KAUNSELING DAN PENGURUSAN KREDIT (AKPK) Set up by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), AKPK’s vision is “to make prudent financial management a way of life for all Malaysians”. It seeks to equip Malaysians to live their lives with good money
The Debt Management Programme (DMP) through which AKPK works with individuals in developing personalised debt repayment plans and consults with their financial service providers to structure manageable repayment schemes.
The DMP is provided to individuals who:• Have positive net income after meeting their expenses. • Are unable to manage their own debts. • Have loans taken from institutions regulated by BNM • Have loan exposure of less than RM5 million • Not under any advanced legal action. • Are not bankrupts.
More information about AKPK can be found at www.akpk.org.my or call Customer Service Hotline 03-26167766
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