Business Tips

Useful business tips to enhance your company’s profile!

Exit Landscape in South East Asia – Note to Founders

rictan0

Founders need to understand the exit landscape from the perspective of financial investors, i.e. Venture Capital (VC) or Private Equity (PE) Fund. Recently, Garena, SEA most valuable tech startup, was reported to appoint Goldman Sachs for a $1bn IPO in the US, the largest ever IPO ever from a SEA-based tech startup.

SEA vs Global Tech Public Market

According to the TechInAsia, there have only been 13 tech IPOs (consumer facing, web 2.0 type) since 2001 from SEA startups. However, these are all mainly bootstrapped other than Migme, which unfortunately has been facing much criticism from the media so far for its poor performance. In other words, there haven’t been any homerun style exits for financial investors so far in the region. In most cases, IPO in SEA is just a fundraising event.

pic-1 Snapshot from “State of SEA Technology Startup Ecosystem

pic-2 Snapshot from “EY Global…

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When the fun ends…

When the Fun ends and Work begins..

1. Business Idea – Check
2. Fancy name and logo – Check
3. Desirable mix of misfits – Check
4. Website and social media pages created – Check

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Now that we have all the fun things off our list of things-to-do, let’s get to the part that most of us fret. The actual running of the business.

Let’s face it, this is the tough part. This is the part that none of us startup founders have any control over. So now what? You are standing at the door of the plane with the knowledge you think you have to build a parachute and out the plane you go!

Being a founder/ CEO is tough work. The path is usually long, dark and lonely- littered with pitfalls, unknowns, highs and lows and occasionally puppies (at least in my case). I pen this article to you as an individual and not someone who is promoting a brand, service or business. If you are already on the plane without a parachute, you might understand some of the things I am sharing here. But if you are sitting on the runway waiting to take flight, this article may help you to decide if you should get on the plane.

Here you go;

1. A startup is a business!

This is numero uno in everything you do! It’s not a pet project, a hobby, favor, excuse or anything else you think it is. You have to respect your startup as a business entity. A business needs to pay its bills. To pay its bills it needs to make money. It’s very similar to being employed – It’s a trade of your hours in an office for a stipend every month. The difference in running your own startup is that you are your own income potential. We often get trapped in the ‘bigger picture’ that we forsake the day to day running of the business. I call this the ‘founders syndrome’. In short, a founder that has his eyes on the ‘flip’ usually flops!

2. Prepare to be broke

No really, this isn’t funny at all. Unless you have an inheritance, trust fund or some serious backer with you, be prepared to go broke. Be prepared to utilize your savings, credit cards and every line of credit you have! This will be the toughest part of the startup journey. 99% of startups fail because of cash flow issues. Manage your funds well. Being broke in the startup phase is normal but if it becomes a recurring issue maybe it’s time to get off the boat.

3. Talent

Never hire family, friends or anyone for compassionate reasons. Talent acquisition is crucial for any startup. Hire right. You initial hires will define your company culture. Office culture runs your business! Never ever substitute culture for hires.

4. Believe in your Mission

As a startup founder, it’s easy to get distracted. Believe in your mission and your goals. Ensure that all you do, plan and execute is in alignment with your mission. No one else decides where and how the business is going except for you. I cannot stress this enough! You have to believe in your purpose to impact change in the industry that you are in. Stay steadfast but not stubborn. Remember the story about the elephant and the 5 men?

5. Persevere

Things won’t always work out the way it’s supposed to. Patience and perseverance is key to sustainability. Keep going! The will to succeed is greater than anything imaginable. As Steve Jobs once said, “ The only thing that defines a successful entrepreneur from the rest is pure perseverance.”

To conclude, not all of us will make it to our desired destination. The journey though will teach us things we never knew or thought were even remotely plausible. The road will be tough, painful at times, but yet we hold hope that we will make it, and it is in this hope that we share that I will continue to share my experience in this journey we call entrepreneurship, so that hopefully we grow as a community and not as individuals.

RV

 

Digital ‘Nomading’ ? – Think Bali!

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The Digital Nomads journey is not often filled with pina coladas and beautiful sunsets in scenic locations around the world. Not many of us witness the daily struggles a digital nomad goes through.

Let me start by sharing my experience with the rest of you as I embark on this journey. Let me kid you not, this journey looked rather intimidating when I chose Bali, but I have not looked back since.

Moving to beautiful Bali is a dream. For many that’s all that it is nothing more. However for the rare breed of us who dared to take the leap of faith, Bali is truly an amazing place where the line between work and play is drawn in the sand. (No pun intended)

Bali is truly beautiful. It’s by far one of the prettiest places that I have been afforded the chance to live in. From the beautiful mountains, perfectly aligned padifields right up to the picturesque view of the many mountains that conveniently fall into many a backgrounds of snapshots taken by tourists and travelers.

Here’s why I think Bali should be on every digital nomads travel plans!

1. Network

One of the key takeaways from Bali as a Digital Nomad is the opportunity to network with fellow like minded digital nomads too! Almost 50% of the people I met are in the digital arena as well. This can at times seem daunting but the potential of collaboration is truly unique compared to many other cities in South East Asia. I have also noticed that digital nomads in Bali are slightly more open to discussing  their ideas and projects compared to many othe cities. It must be the island vibe.

2. Co- Working Facilities

Having lived here for almost 2 years, I have to say, Bali has treated me very kind with the work life balance that I crave. There are multitude of Co-Working spaces in Bali and they numbers are growing! When I first came out to Bali, there were 2 notable ones! Today there are at 7 prominent ones and the pick up rates for these facilities are booming!

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Credits : HuBud Bali

3. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is also rapidly improving. What you used to be the bane for most of us a couple of years ago – Internet Connectivity and Speed -is no longer an issue. Fiber optic internet connection has entered Bali and even mobile data plans come with 4G options today. Laptop and phone repair shops are located at almost every turn.

4. Cost of Living

Les face it not many of us are raking in the amount of money that top IT company execs are. With the modest cost of living in Bali, it’s a highly attractive place for us nomads to live a comfortable life without have to penny pinch.

5. Society

When I mentioned earlier about the beauty of Bali, I meant it in every sense of the word. The local Balinese people are the most loving and warmest people you will find. Always ready to help if needed. As a digital nomad, it’s also imperative that we respect the rules and customs of this beautiful island. The local Balineses are traditionally Hindus. The beauty of observing some of the ceremonies and visiting the temples on the island is truly breathtaking. At the same time, never forget that you “get what you give.”

UPACARA MELASTI DI PANTAI JIMBARAN

UPACARA MELASTI DI PANTAI JIMBARAN

 

To conclude, Bali is truly a sight for not just your senses but also to build that business, work on a long overdue project or even just conjuring ideas for your next startup. I have many friends who have grown successful startups from Bali. Some are highly successful corporations today and others are comfortable running their small business.

So when you think of your next pit stop – think Bali! I think the beach is calling! Later.

 

Rukesh

Chief Nomad

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Strengthen Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy

Social-Media-Trends-2014

By: William Johnson

Setting up a Twitter account or a Facebook page is not a difficult task. However, fostering authentic conversation with a community through those networks without the right social media content marketing strategy – is not.

Content runs the social Web. It is what gives your brand something to talk about with your customers, current and prospective. The evolution of content marketing has opened more avenues to reach your targeted audience. They can read or view your content through RSS feed, blogs, infographics, videos, and other forms of digital content.

Your content marketing strategy should be strengthened time and again and you can enrich your social media content marketing efforts using these tactics.

Strengthen Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy

Integrating 3 Important Stages

Participation

There is nothing like involving your social media followers in the content creation process. Whether they are industrial thought leaders or customers, co-created content is an investment by the participants and is much bigger and full of significant ideas than what you would normally create on your own.

Anticipation

Build sequential content assets into your social media content marketing plan. Whether it’s a series of videos that you post as pieces of puzzle, or images that identify people in the industry, great content create anticipation of what’s next.

Coordination

Embracing social media is not just about increasing fans, friends, or follower counts. Social media is engaging the community for mutual benefit. Content planning that coordinates extension with bloggers, industrial leaders, customers, employees or members of the media can provide great exposure.

Share Content Multiple Times

Share your blog posts more than once. This strategy has three major benefits:

1) Maximum Traffic: Sharing your content more than once with a different angle each time helps you drive more traffic. Actual visits to your post can increase with each new share.

2) Reach Multiple Time Zones: Posting the same content multiple times helps you expose it to different time zones. Sharing the same content multiple times with a different spin each time helps to reach people living in different time zones with different social media habits.

3) New Followers: If you share some of your old articles, it may be that many of your followers are seeing it for the first time. They may receive value from it even if it’s a bit older, yet still relevant. Consider using the Twitter Counter tool to track the growth of your followers. This will give you insights as to the best time to share some of your older content too.

Host a Twitter Chat

Conversations via a Twitter chat offer a great way to engage with existing followers and prospective clients through a variety of topics. This can also help increase your content’s exposure and make the most of the moment by sharing useful solutions, guidance and actionable tips. By using the chat effectively and getting your audience to participate in the Twitter chat, you can make your business a trusted voice and encourage your social media followers to return for more and more.

The four important stages of effectively using Twitter chat:

1) Curation: Information gathered can be utilized to spark better content and new editorial ideas. Participants will come up with new trends, help to identify key issues within the industry, and share insights on new avenues and opportunities for your business to explore.

2) Develop improved content: Once you have the ideas, you can create both on-page and off-page content and share it on social media. You can even compile a list of problems that need solutions and follow these up with articles or videos guides.

3) Repurpose your content: Once you have created the content, repurpose it into new types to improve the lifespan of your work. If you have found a valuable topic that needs a little more modification, implementing a new method to present the information to your audience will automatically increase its acceptance.

4) Review performance of the content: Reviewing your content’s performance helps you to understand whether or not the content you have produced has had positive impact or not. This will help you to judge how valuable the information is as a source for your content.

Run an A/B Test on Social Networks

As you share the same content to various social media channels using a different angle each time, test out which headlines work best and garner the most clicks:
◾Pick which two headlines you think will perform well for an article.
◾Share both of the headlines.
◾Compare the data for each to find out the best headline.

The data will help you determine which performed better. If you see a big difference in engagement on different headlines, you can even go back to the original post and change the title.

Utilize Facebook Shares

Let’s take a quick look at:

Content through social listening: Create a hashtag to listen to how people related to your brand see your content and use your brand on a daily basis. It’s an easy way to track conversations.

Improve your social media presence through shareable content: Create thought-provoking, conversation-starting content that triggers an emotional response that may compel people to share it with others.

Target specific demographics: The more specific you get, the more consistent your brand will appear. This allows you to focus on those people who are genuinely interested in your brand.

Use attractive procedures to engage your customers: Hosting contests or events is a great way to engage your customers and attract potential buyers. Once you see some of your customers clicking and sharing your content, eventually their friends may also start clicking and sharing the content.

Using LinkedIn to Deliver Personalized Content

LinkedIn is a powerful content marketing platform. It is a potent solution for delivering personalized content to audiences. To start your personalization plan, you have to follow certain steps:

Get personal with your audience by knowing:
◾Geographical location, especially when you want to address unique audience members.
◾What they care about.
◾About their family, community, and the role they play in their company.

Target different industries:
◾Target the company size.
◾Listen to what your audience has to say through social media listening tools.
◾Look at what each audience segment is talking about and accordingly create segment-specific content.
◾Participate in LinkedIn Groups and directly provide content without any sales message.

Google Authorship is a Must

Google Authorship is not just a byline and a photo attached to your content in Google search. Once you connect Google authorship with your Google+ profile, it creates a verified connection between the content and its creator. This gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-centric content.

These principles will undoubtedly raise the bar on your social media content marketing strategy and performance.

This article was first seen on: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/05/social-media-content-marketing-strategy.html

The Biggest Mistake You’re Making in Social Media BY Carrie Kerpen

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A recent report, called the “State of Social Media Marketing,” compiled by social-analytics company socialbakers, released loads of data about the social strategies of brands across 80 countries and 20 industries. But one stat in particular stood out to me as a big red flag for how marketers approach social media.

When listing their most important goals for social media, 62% of the brands surveyed said customer acquisition, while only 29% said customer care.

There’s a huge disconnect here.

Think back to the basics, folks. The best way to get a new customer isn’t to pound them over the head with a marketing message. Generally, the companies that have seen the best results are the ones that are recommended to people by current customers. A company has a great product or service, customers love it, customers share it with their friends, and–voila! New customers.

The absolute first step in social media should be to get your current customers connected to you. 

There are so many benefits to connecting to your current customers online. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Opportunity to observe: When you connect to your current customers, you can watch how they interact with you and your brand. On some networks, such as Twitter, you can even see what their needs are way beyond your own product or service. Connecting with your current customers gives you insight into who your customers really are and what they’re looking for to make their lives easier.

2. Opportunity to activateLet’s say you need to move some inventory quickly. Doing a huge flash sale might damage your brand’s pricing perception with new customers–they may think you’re not worth full price if they’ve been introduced to you at a significant discount. However, your current clients who know and love you will appreciate a “customer-only” activation, like a secret price drop. Consider creating social groups of your best customers, and look for activations they can share to help move product.

3. Opportunity to advocate: Most people don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertising. It always amazes me that companies think that shifting their ad messages to short social updates will change anything about that.

A company talking about itself is advertising, whether it’s on a paid medium or a Facebook page. But if you can get your customers talking about you, that’s advocacy. Give your customers simple, shareable tools to advocate on your behalf, and you’ll see new customers as a result.

New customers are a byproduct of taking care of your current customers in social media. So go look at your social-content calendars right now, and ask: Have we done enough for the ones who already love us?

CARRIE KERPEN is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, which she grew from a husband-and-wife consulting firm into a global social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency. She led her team to more than $15 million in revenue and landed the agency on the Inc. 500 in 2011 and 2012.

As seen on: http://www.inc.com/carrie-kerpen/social-media-success-strategy-and-customer-care.html

Temasek Review agrees to sell its domain name for US$1.00

PRESS RELEASE

A preliminary agreement has been reached between the editors of Temasek Review and a non-Singaporean businesswoman on the sale of our domain, temasekreview.com on 23rd October 2010.

About a week ago, when our editorial team first heard about the “rumors” of Temasek Holdings’ interest in our site, we already suspected that Temasek Holdings would never contact us professionally with their “concerns” and would resort to “underhand” means to “rob” us of our domain name, banking on the fact that our editors will not be willing to reveal ourselves fighting the case. We then immediately contacted our host to discreetly source for a buyer for our domain name, which they did.

This “suspicion” has now been reasonably confirmed by Temasek Holdings’ constant refusal to contact us directly and the latest “spins” by many local papers.

Although we have been adequately advised by lawyers in Panama and the US that we have a strong case before the ICANN, we are not willing to waste precious time and resources which should be put to good use. We are also not prepared to reveal our identities to contest the “robbing” of our domain name.

We are of the opinion that the domain itself is worthless and Temasek Review owes it success to NOT the editorial team or the Domain Name but to the authors, contributors and readers.  Temasek Review’s future name, be it named Temasek Revealed, Temasek Unrevealed or Temasek Rejected is irrelevant as long as our readers believes in our dedication and ability to live up to our promise of providing a free and independent platform for Singaporeans without a voice.

We are also concerned with the various smear campaign initiated against Dr. Joseph Ong to “compel” us to surrender our legally registered domain name and the goodwill that comes with it. The fact that Dr. Joseph Ong is unfortunately caught in the crossfire between Temasek Holdings and Temasek Review is also one of the main reasons why we decided to sell off our domain name, we felt that it is unfair to the doctor, a fellow Singaporean to have to suffer because of us.

The following are key points agreed upon with our buyer:

1. The purchase price for the domain be agreed at a token sum of US$1.00 and buyer agrees to a further payment for goodwill, the equivalent of 12 months’ dedicated server lease with our present host (paid directly to our host).

2. The buyer agrees to allow us to (unconditionally) continue the use of the domain name for up to 90 days upon the completion of the transfer of the domain name ownership so that we can properly and adequately inform our readers of our new domain name. During the transitioning period of 90 days, the buyer will have no say whatsoever in the running of our site.

3. That both buyer and seller agree to engage the service of our present host to complete the transfer of the domain name ownership, who is also the sponsoring registrar of our domain name. The ownership transfer for the domain is expected to be completed within 7 days.

4.  That the identity of both buyer and seller be kept strictly confidential, before and after the sale.

For the record, we have also informed the buyer that there is an EXTREMELY HIGH possibility that Temasek Holdings (or its subsidiaries) may try to “rob” her of her newly acquired domain name and she has assured us that she will defend the “robbing” of the domain name to the best of her ability.

This is also one of the main reasons why we decided to sell her the domain name although we do have other offers, some offering high as US$30,000 for a once-off. (We would like to see Temasek Holdings argue their case with both parties represented).

We are glad that we can put the issue of site / domain name behind us and move on to concerntrate on the larger and important issues at hand. Temasek Review (or whatever it will be called after the sale) will continue to champion the rights of the people at all cost for one and ONLY one reason:

BECAUSE WE ARE SINGAPOREANS

.

Amanda Tan

for Temasek Review

5 Jobs for the future

 

 

Entering college and not know what to major in? Here are some jobs that will be in demand for the next 50 years.

 1. Social Media Strategists

 Social Media is gaining recognition with businesses around the world. Why not use your facbooking, twittering, blogging, youtube and digging skills to good use. Get a job that pays you to post, record, like and write about statuses.

 2. Healthcare

 We live in an ageing world- You do the math.

 3. Veterinarian

 The number of babies being born every year equals the number of pets being bought or adopted by households every year. With younger Singaporeans choosing to have ‘fur-kids’ rather than actual children it’s becoming extremely lucrative to be an animal doctor.

 4. CSR Initiative Manager

 Corporate Social Responsibility is big business. The industry is expected to grow by at least 20% year on till 2017. So why not take the plunge now.

 5. Sales/ Client Relationship Manager

 Companies expand, new clients are needed. Like it or not sales positions have long been a mainstay in business from the day trade was created. Companies are finding it difficult to retain clients. If you think you can maintain and build a clientele for a company, you will become as valuable as your CEO.

 Bonus:

 6. Chefs

 It’s becoming sexy to cook! The world is slowly but surely opening up to the importance of food. The career paths for chefs have changed- my advice- pioneer affordable Spa Cuisine.