Malaysian digital marketing consultant expresses his opinion on entrepreneurship
2017 is the year where the number of entrepreneurs grows like mushrooms after the rain. Feeling the financial pressure from the unstable economic condition and weak Ringgit positioning, many have decided not to rely 100% on their monthly salary and began to consider a part-time job or even starting their own business. While having a part-time job is not the focus of this article, we emphasize more on discussing the matter of starting one’s own business. While many have considered or even started, many had failed too. We interviewed Aliff Mazli, a digital marketing consultant who has been active in helping SMEs in Malaysia grow on what the problems are and how they can be encountered.
It is common to see entrepreneurs out there copying the business model of a successful brand. They were fed with so many success stories that at one point, they came to believe that they could have been just as successful as the one who first made it. Wanting to turn their brand into the next Facebook, Instagram, or even McDonalds had been the dream of many people that they often invested tremendous effort into it; these entrepreneurs did not realize that these brands are what we call as “unicorn” brands, and millions of other entrepreneurs simply fail.
However, they are not the ones to blame. It has been a cruel nature that only success stories get media coverage, and therefore influencing wannabes to give a similar model a shot. Unfortunately, most did not know how hard those megabrand founders had to work, and evidently, it is also luck (and the more hours they clocked in, the luckier they get) that puts them where they are.
Poor Business Plan
According to Aliff Mazli, most of the people out there aren’t educated enough to create a solid business plan. Those who are interested in startups, for example, did not have proper planning and therefore resulted in poor management. This is also why most dream companies and brands never get past ideation.
Though planning is necessary, it is not what realizes a dream. A plan simply creates a guideline and timeline on how and when a step should be taken towards realizing that dream. At the end of the day, execution is the key.
Zero Marketing Effort
It is also surprising how many people neglected marketing in their business model. Of course, it will be easy to market a product especially when the product itself is so sensational that it can create virality on its own. However, creating virality is not a simple task, and most of the time, no special element is present in the product or brand. Say for example a person starts a security guard business; how unique can his brand be compared to the others?
To solve this problem, branding should have also been considered. When starting up a business, one should expect the need to invest in marketing through media buys (especially in digital marketing) in order to create awareness.
Sometimes, startups can have a good start but die not long after. The reason is mostly due to poor financial management. It is not uncommon to hear new business owners get too excited when they start making money that they begin to spend faster than they make money. This unbalanced cash flow will drain out the financial resources of the new company within no time.
In order to avoid such issue, one should be disciplined enough and should be able to separate accounts. Some portion, of course, can be used (getting to enjoy the money is the main objective anyway), but truly the key to sustainability is to maintain enough amount of cash in the company’s account so that it can be used for development, greater marketing effort, and scaling the business.
Summing it all up
Success requires knowledge and hard work. Entrepreneurs who really wants to succeed should prepare financially, physically, mentally, and also emotionally before they ride the tide. If not, building a failed empire would have been a huge waste of time – and to waste time is the worst kind of wastage.
If you are an entrepreneur who is looking for advice in marketing and how it can help to grow your business, feel free to get in touch with Aliff at aliffmazli.com.