open the door

September 24, 2014

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SME newspaper this week. Thank you for all the other media too for featuring FV and dUCk these past few weeks!

“It must be so glamorous having your own company etc etc etc.”

A misstatement I receive all the time. If only they were there when I am counting stocks on the floor, or getting rejected at pitches, or not having enough sleep when the cashflow is not looking good a particular month. Bottom line is, owning a business is hard work and it is definitely not about glam. If you’re in it to be famous, it’s much better to go for acting or singing lessons.

Being a boss is rewarding, but over the years, I’ve identified some traits a ladyboss needs to have:

1)   Far-sighted; it’s always good to work backwards. Set a goal (e.g. how much revenue you want to make that particular month, and then work towards how to get there e.g. how much stocks you need to sell etc etc)

2)   Fast; slow bosses are the worst! A boss needs to act fast, think sharp and be able to reason and make decisions quickly but intelligently. In most industries, things change so rapidly that if you don’t surf with the wave, you will be drowned and left behind.

3)   Kind but firm; a good boss knows that her biggest assets are her employees. Be kind, know that we’re all human beings with feelings, not robots. Especially dealing with Gen Y and soon Gen Z, scolding and screaming like our parents’ and grandparents’ time is not the way to go.

4)   Calm; I’ve got 10 different kinds of stress in my head at the moment, but on the outside, a smile is always there. A leader needs to stay calm when faced with challenges because if a leader is not cool, the whole team panics.

5)   Confident; you should be the No 1 fan of your company. If you yourself are not confident of your ideas and goals, and you doubt them, no one will buy them.

6)   Mature; always think before you do something, even something as trivial as posting a caption on Instagram (I’ve seen people lashing out at their staff or bosses – not cool), or something as big as solving political problems in the office. Always look from the outside in to see if you’re doing the right thing.

Easy to list them down, but reallyyyyy not easy to follow through. I have and still am making mistakes all the time, but after a while, I think experience will teach you A LOT. 4 years of running my own company, the experience is just overwhelming. Superrrr hard, but super rewarding if done right.

I see some people having these traits; the cool level-headed people who have good traits, the ones I would hire as managers in a heartbeat. They would be awesome entrepreneurs but the unfortunate part is that they don’t have good ideas. Everyone wants to start a business and everyone will think their idea is good, but sometimes you need to do more research to see if it’s what people want or if the margins even make sense or if there are too many competitors already doing the same thing. We often only read about success stories and we’re sure we’ll be the same, but we forget behind the 5 success stories, there are thousands who have failed too. So we have to be realistic.

Like Dean and I a few months back. We were tired from lugging around diapers from the supermarket and thought hmmm we should do a diaper delivery service. And because diapers are something you buy repeatedly, we thought a subscription service would be a million dollar idea. The idea was great and parents don’t have to worry about not having diapers during the 2 am changing times. Then we dug deeper and found that the margins for diapers is soooooo low (we’re talking cents here) and some supermarkets even sell them at a loss (due to price war with other supermarkets and because they can make back via other products) so how do you compete with that? Ok, with that few cents margin, plus delivery costs plus packaging costs plus marketing, storage and staff costs, we’d be bankrupt in no time. And we’ve had many more of these kinds of research on other businesses.

But my point is… We had a great idea, but we needed guidance and answers from people in the know to see if the it was a profitable business idea.

That’s why when I heard about this Veni Vidi Vici contest that Lactacyd is conducting, I knew I had to share it with you. Women rejoice! If you have a great idea, Lactacyd is willing to back you up with RM30,000 startup cost to help build your business. If you have an idea, share it with them and if you get chosen, a panel of business experts will help you dig deeper into the business prospects. Exactly what you need at the early stage!

All you have to do is submit your entry on their Facebook page and get people to vote! Finalists will be selected and one winner will be RM 30,000 closer to their dreams.

Soooo good of Lactacyd to help us with women empowerment. You guys have heard of Lactacyd right? Only the most famous intimate wash brand ever? -___-“ Where you beeeeeeennnnn…

Here, these are their products.

Image converted using ifftoany Every Lactacyd feminine hygiene product contains natural, mild milk-based ingredients to help maintain our special lady part’s protective acidic shield thus protecting them from irritation and oh god… odour! To suit your individual need, they have “flavours” too hehehe. White intimate for lightening, revitalize to keep it youthful, soft & silky for moisture, all-day fresh for long lasting freshness and feminine hygiene that normalizes pH. Then they also have the All-day care wipes for on-the-go freshness. If it’s been a long day, we all need that pick-me-up refresh button, and now it comes in wet wipes form!

 Not only do they take care of our Vs hehhehe, but now they want to help our future too. I wish one day, I too can help women start up their businesses!

 So anyway, if you have all these traits and a great business idea = success is behind that door.

Just gotta take the step to open it!