Resilience will lead to business success
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Monday, August 17, 2015
ENTREPRENEURS need to be resilient if they want their business to succeed.
This was the key insight shared by local entrepreneurs and visiting experts during panel discussion held at the recent Local Business Development forum organised by Asia Inc Forum.
They said entrepreneurs can develop such resilience as long as they have a goal for their business. Commitment to achieving that goal will encourage any entrepreneur to go on despite having the odds stacked against them.
“It’s important to stay positive when facing obstacles and the key is to always refocus. Think about why the business was started in the first place and make sure you are doing everything possible to achieve your goals,” said Dato’ David Cheang, founder and chief executive officer of DC13 Development Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based property development company.
Cheang had to overcome several obstacles to build his company. At the age of 21, he became a property agent and worked long hours to support his family as his parents’ business went under due to the Asian financial crisis.
“It’s ten times more difficult for a bankrupt person to do business but that didn’t stop me because I was determined to provide for my family. In business, you always want to produce results and you can’t just stop when you find that something is in the way,” he said.
Cheang advised entrepreneurs to focus on what can be done to solve an issue rather than focusing on the issue itself.
It’s keeping that focus that allowed Irene Hii, managing director of Valor Property Agency Sdn Bhd, to build one of the sultanate’s biggest real estate companies.
Despite the difficulty she faced during the financial crisis in 1997 when banks had clawed back a lot of property and she was forced to sell repossessed houses for low prices, Hii didn’t give up and was adamant on making her business succeed.
“The year 1997 was very tough for me and I suffered from big losses as I was forced to sell property for very cheap prices. But I still kept going. As entrepreneurs, we must take risks and believe that we are able to bounce back whenever we are faced with these difficulties,” she said.
Dr Peter Ting, chief co-creation strategist at the Malaysian consultancy firm Strategic Co-Creation Group, said the only way to bounce back in times of struggle is to study one’s current situation and from there think of a way to move forward.
“You need to ask where you are now. Study your current status and make the most of what you have. It is important to look at the areas that you have yet to maximise and think of a strategy that can help your business reach its full potential,” he said.
Ting said entrepreneurs need to ask themselves where they want to be in the next few years. The answer to that question will help them focus on what needs to be done now to reach their future goals.
“A person can only achieve the image of where he wants to be if all things are done to accomplish that goal. You need to make sure that your team believes in the same vision and are working together to achieve the same goals,” he said.
Apart from having set goals that will keep you resilient, it’s also important for entrepreneurs to have good values that will encourage them to look beyond the profit motive.
Cheang said young entrepreneurs need to realise that money is not the most important thing in a business.
“We need to share good values to the younger generation and help them build character. Businesses need to have corporate social responsibility and give back to the community,” he said.
Cheang said entrepreneurs also need to provide their customers with the best products and services as this will keep their business running in the next few years.
Dato Paduka Hj Jemat Hj Ampal, owner of Nur Wanita Restaurant and Catering Services, said it’s important for a business to set high standards and to focus on constantly meeting these standards.
“I always make sure that my front staff greet and serve customers with a smile because this is one of the most important factors in a customer’s overall experience. The restaurant’s success is reliant on customers’ satisfaction so we want to make sure they feel welcomed,” he said.
The Brunei Times