Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Business Lessons picked up (Part 3)

I think I am addicted to writing this, so shall add a part 3

It's never easy
No one ever says starting a business or running one is easy.

Which is why when I felt like giving up, I don't. I look for alternatives and look for better systems to achieve the targets and goals.

If needed, I will pay for external help. If there's anything I learned, there's no necessity to do everything myself.  Hire help. Outsource. As long as the costs are managed, spending to increase productivity is the way to go.

Which brings me to the next point....

Learn to delegate
Delegation is something that is easier said than done.

In the past, when I was still working as an engineer, I had to delegate some stuff to the engineering assistants to carry out. My first time doing it was a mess; the assistants were totally lost on what to do. Basically, I gave the final result I wanted, and not the steps to doing it.

So, I learned to list everything in steps, before sending my instructions on what to do.

I also once asked my sister to help me convert my handwritten physics notes into MS Word format.
The result was horrendous. Graphics weren't done well, nor was there proper formatting and font usage. I had to redo almost 90% of the stuff.

On hindsight, it was my fault. I learned over time that I should have done the following:
1) Provide a template
2) Include examples
3) Do up a metrics of performance
4) Detail out what needs to be done

Delegation is best done if the steps and systems are well laid out. Not many people know what you want, because most do not possess the unique skill of mind-reading.

Wave-Particle Duality
This a concept from Quantum Physics. In simple terms, it states that every thing can have both particle of wave properties, i.e. light consists of particles called photons, and electrons can exhibit wave-like properties.

This idea is inspired by this book called The Art of Quantum Planning. However, I have already begun to apply this idea after 2 years of constant thought. Might have saved quite a fair bit of time had I read this book earlier. So I thought I would share it here.

Applying to business, at times, it means that certain stuff or strategies do not need to be either/or thing. It could be both/and thing.

Applying to SPH newspaper business. With the internet booming, SPH has moved to digital newspaper as well. Instead of fighting as EITHER digital OR printed newspaper, they embark on the strategy of BOTH digital AND printed newspaper. It is a business strategy, and certainly self taught investors should learn a thing or two about business strategies. As a side complaint, I do see many critics of different listed businesses who know nuts about business tactics and strategies :x

I'm currently working to apply this to tuition, to merge online learning and actual classroom teaching into a single offer for students. More will be discussed after I have gotten the basic infrastructure up.

Leverage has been a dirty word to some, and typically for some people, the first thing that comes to mind is leverage of money.

No, for businesses, there are many ways where leverage can come from. Not just money, but technology and time as well.

I once talked about Leverage here:The Power of Leverage

A single human has only 24 hours a day, but if I can get 2 hours of help a day from 10 people, that's extra 20 hours a day.

Another example is technology. I could probably reach out to help more students via an online forum then from just teaching group tuition. Leveraging on print means I could publish my books, and leverage on different bookstores to sell my books to reach out to even more students.

A website (blog) is a form of leverage as well, in my opinion. I don't need to be actively at the website to engage people; it's always there when people need it (unless the server is down).

So now, the question is, how could I better make use of leverage to improve myself and my business? :)
Constant thinking required.

Ending here.


  1. Wealth Buch,

    You have already mentioned on leverage using other people's time through delegation.

    You may want to expand on this area - leverage on people ;)

    Your students and their parents are conscious marketers for your business when they make good reviews of your services to their friends.

    Take a look at how other businesses leverage on their customers with tools that are subtle and their customers don't realise?

    Have fun exploring!

    1. Thanks SMOL. I have an ongoing program on that :)

      I had a talk with an acquaintance who does marketing for educational institutes in Indonesia, and have some new insights which will set me thinking over CNY


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