Listen, Adopt and Apply
This article was originally published on our partner Rikvin’s website.
In its bid to drive and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship, the Singapore government has created several programmes for small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) to leverage off on, such as the Business Advisors Programme (“BAP”) led by SPRING, which matches experienced business advisors to SMEs to provide guidance and an established network in the relevant industry. In addition, various private incubators and venture capitalist firms also provide advice and support to SMEs in Singapore.
While a sole founder or core management team can mean that decisions are clear-cut, being open-minded and listening to the views of knowledgeable business advisors can greatly benefit the business, as well as assist its management in refining and streamlining the business’ strategies and operations.
In addition, experienced business advisors may shed light on different aspects of the industry that one may not be aware of. This can help you prepare your business to face anticipated obstacles, use more cost-efficient methods, strategise how to effectively disburse your capital, or how to target a selected niche market that no other competitor in the industry has addressed.
Especially for a start-up or SME whose management team lacks the network and industry experience, being able to learn from and leverage off an experienced advisor’s network can be extremely beneficial, particularly if it could help the business cut production costs, drive sales and establish market presence.
It also pays to listen to different business advisors who have different realms of expertise. Certain business advisors will provide non-industry specific advice, such as general advice on company incorporation, compliance requirements, etc. While this may not directly contribute towards how the business operations are run, adopting their advice can potentially save the company from administrative nightmares that can result from ignorance of statutory obligations.
Understand your marketDemand feeds supply, which in turn feeds into profit and sustainability for your business. Understanding how to effectively target your market is essential in getting the right people to notice your product and spread the word.
Unlike huge multi-national corporations (“MNCs”), which have substantial marketing budgets to push their products, SMEs often have limited funding for marketing. Hence, SMEs have to go beyond attractive packaging or one form of advertising to appeal to their key customer base. Even if a company chooses to outsource to a professional advertising or marketing, it should be able to provide a detailed brief and be mindful of how the campaign will be received by the target audience.
One cringe worthy example of a bad marketing campaign was the “My Ultimate Bucket List” campaign by Malaysia Airlines (“MAS”), targeted at consumers in New Zealand and Australia, which was launched shortly after the MH370 and MH17 disasters. Not only was it off-putting and ill-timed, the marketing initiative went viral and people all over the world criticised MAS for its inappropriate campaign, tarnishing its brand and contributing further to its poor sales.
Naturally, understanding how your customers will use your product is also important. Pay attention to its form and function and ensure that it is user-friendly. One extremely useful exercise that many experienced business advisors recommend is organising focus groups, where randomly selected individuals are invited to test run the company’s product and provide their honest feedback. Thereafter, companies can then fine-tune and customise their products more effectively.
Particularly for SMEs, where profitability and long term sustainability are primary concerns, establishing a loyal customer base will be essential in maintaining demand and eventually, enlarging market share. If your company is providing services, ensure that your service staffs are well trained right from the start, to enhance customer experience. Making the extra effort to keep your customers happy can even impact how forgiving they are towards any flaws in your services or products; and with social media providing a platform for reviews and complaints; companies need to be mindful that no customer is less significant than another…(READ MORE)
The 1985 Ron Howard movie “Cocoon” sees a group of elderly adults gain a new found strength, enhanced energy and a new lease of life and youthfulness from swimming in their local pool. Now, the pool in the movie contains powers from another planet, however, you can have a similar experience yourself by taking a dip in your pool. Of course, your pool will not be a creation of an alien life form, but this does not mean to say that it cannot help you find a new lease of life, just as the characters did in the movie “Cocoon”.
A long-term study from the Indiana University Bloomington found that swimmers over the age of 35, who were swimming 3.2-4.8 kilometres three to five times per week were actually postponing the ages process by decades. The qualities of their bodies- such as lung function, blood pressure and muscle mass-remained like the qualities of those tens of years younger than them.
Now, you may not have time to swim that much a week. You may not be an excellent swimmer, and you may be well past the 35-year-old age marker. However, swimming can still benefit you greatly, and these benefits can start with just a minimal amount of swimming…(READ MORE)
Firstly, thank you all for following us on our wonderful journey and the well-wishes along the way. Our 360 brand of online magazines is rapidly expanding with 3 titles and a forth one around the corner.
We are now looking to showcase up & coming writers and those who want to get a little bit of exposure. If you would like to submit us something to consider, we would love to look at it.
If your work is well received over time, this could turn into a paid position and you can join our group of permanent staff writers.
Please send all inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the magazines links below and tell us which one you’d like to write for.
“You may think of Mallorca as a party island, however, this is much more to this beautiful gem than cocktails and dancing”
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearics. You may think of Mallorca as a party island, however, this is much more to this beautiful gem than cocktails and dancing. Mallorca has a stunning coastline, but also an equally as beautiful interior- especially outside of the high season, when the streets are empty and you are free to explore. The island has a mountain range, a World Heritage Site, wineries and luxurious resorts. There is so much to do and see, from exploring the countryside, to diving in the crystal clear ocean. We have put our thoughts together to get started..
WHAT TO SEE
If you want to watch the sunset over this stunning paradise, then head down to Caleta de Frares. Located on the Bonaire peninsula in Pollensa, Caleta de Frares is a deserted rocky beach where the open ocean looks like a beautiful blue pool. Another beach to visit is Es Coll Baix, a secret, secluded beach at the foot of a cliff, under the shadow of a degence tower from the 16th century. It is difficult to find, but once you do you will be astounded..(READ MORE)
Be it a cool restaurant, a funky hotel or simply a hot new brand. If it’s something we love, we will review it and share it with millions across the web & social media.
Check out our reviews on:
Situated in arguably one of the most desirable and central locations in Singapore, the newly launched Hotel Jen Tanglin promised me a complete hotel & dining experience. I obviously couldn’t refuse and took them up on their offer.
Situated in arguably one of the most desirable and central locations in Singapore, the newly launched Hotel Jen Tanglin promised us a complete hotel & dining experience. We obviously couldn’t refuse and took them up on their offer.
If you haven’t heard of the brand Hotel Jen, then I’m sure it’s only a matter of time as it continues to rapidly expand across the region under the watchful management of Shangri-La. Previously known as the Trader’s Hotel – a tired and somewhat dated property – the newly re-branded Hotel Jen welcomes you with a quirky, old-retro feel that leaves you with a smile on your face.
The friendly staff are on the ball and checking in was very quick.(READ MORE)
In today’s society, it is easy to assume that bookstores are a dying trade. With chain bookstores and sites such as Amazon and Book Depository, it seems only natural that book lovers would search for their books in these cheaper retails environments rather than in independent stores. However, there is a quiet revival of independent bookstores happening. The American Booksellers Associations tells us that the number of independent bookstores has increased more than 20% since 2009, whilst at the same time large stores such as Borders are going bankrupt.
Whilst big stores and online retailers try to sell a lot of books for a cheap price, they are missing the reason why buyers go into independent bookstores- they want a small selection. They want an inspiring environment, and to feel that they are in a place where only true book lovers go- something that chain stores cannot offer them. Whilst they have a big selection, they are not offering an intimate experience to the reader. Book buyers to not want to go into a store and see only new books, with all old books being put in a bargain bin. They want to search through the shelves looking for the forgotten classics and the hidden gems, the dusty old books at the back that look used and loved.
Books can now be downloaded straight to your phone, your Kindle, your iPad- but with the sale of books in independent stores having gone up 8% this year- which surpasses the amount the sale of books in general rose- it is joyous to see that although we could all sit in our homes and download our books, we don’t. We still want the brick-and-mortar booksellers, and we still want to hold a book and feel it in our hands. Bookstores are full of culture, they are sanctuaries and they can open up whole universes to us. To celebrate the humble bookstore, Living 360 has compiled a list of our favorite bookstores in the world. (READ MORE)
These 10 Chinese fashion designers will become the next big thing very soon. You heard it here first.
China is now open for business in a big way when it comes to world class fashion.
A book named Fashion China, written by Gemma A. Williams; introduces us to 41 exciting Chinese designers. Her book shows the real world of Chinese fashion. Abandoning the typical stereotypes, Fashion China shows that the far from traditional, the aesthetics are diverse, unique and experimental.
“The field of fashion in China today has now opened up as a ground of experimentation and possibility.” This quote from Hung Huang is featured in the foreword to Fashion China, and is inarguably demonstrated throughout the publication. Gemma teaches us about the world of Chinese fashion throughout the book, explaining how the beginning of the Chinese fashion movement really started in 2010, when Fan Bingbing wore a yellow and gold Laurence Xu gown to the Cannes film festival. According to Gemma, five years earlier it would not even have been possible to buy from Chinese designers, even within China itself. We will be seeing more and more Chinese designers climbing to international fame in the coming years, and here are ten of the designers you should be watching.
The brand is only four years old- designed by Josh Hupper and Qiaron Huang in their studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. ‘Babyghost’ has grown a cult following with their cheeky streetwear, producing items such as a logo sweatshirt with Disney script; a camo taffeta bomber with exposed quilted lining over a floor-length, tartan silk chiffon dress and sneakers; and a slouchy, black, faux astrakhan coat with skintight, over-the-knee boots. The look is both tough and feminine, mixing harsh graphics with gentle textures. This half-Chinese half- American brand is proving more popular in China than in the US.
Following working for Cacharel, Yin has now become a guest member of Paris’ Chambre Syndicale de le Haute Couture, allowing her to show her collection during Paris Couture Fashion Week. Yin was born in China and raised in Paris, and began designing clothes in her apartment in 2010. Yin’s pieces are artful and seamless, and her namesake label is present in stores in China, Hong Kong and Milan. Yin has been incredibly successful in a very short time, and last year was named as the Creative Director of French brand Leonard..(READ MORE)
We have compiled the best 10 places to get free photographs on the internet.. a must read for all Mompreneurs!
Finding free images to use for your blog, small business or website can be an absolute nightmare. A lot of them are unsuitable, and a lot lure you in with a few free photos and then charge extortionate prices for the rest. Searching for a source of free photographs can be a long and arduous task.
Do not worry- we have undertaken that task for you! There are actually thousands of sites out there that do provide good free images- you just have to know where to look. Here you can find photos that are free- not $20 for a single photo like on Shutterstock!- are not blurry, and do not have any watermarks. These are our ten favorite places to find free photographs on the internet.
Explanation of licenses:
You may find the website states their photographs are ‘Creative Commons Zero’ or ‘Creative Commons with Attribution’
Here is what you have to do in those situations:
** Creative Commons Zero **
You can use the photos in any way you like, without have to ask for permission.
** Creative Commons with Attribution **
Use the photo in any way you like, but you must credit the creator of the photo, Simply at a text that cites the photographer and a link to his or her site (if they have one).
If you’re looking for photos to use for a design and want to keep yourself out of copyright trouble, you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image. For all the sites listed above, the license is generally pretty easy to find. There’s typically a description of the license on every page or at least a link to a description. Here are two license types you’re likely to find on these sites:
PUBLIC DOMAIN ARCHIVE
Public Domain Archive has a huge online collection of photographs, ranging from quirky vintage images to modern scenes. There is a beautiful range of color and composition in this gallery. No attribution is required.
Morguefile may sound morbid, but it actually covers a wide range of photographs, from antiques to wildlife. The website is very carefully laid out and so you will find it simple to use. It does not have an extremely large selection, but their selection is varied and of a high caliber. No attribution required…(READ MORE)