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28 Jul 2014

A tale of 2 Companies in Singapore

You wouldn't believe this: as much as 60% of small and medium enterprises are struggling to survive in Singapore when the economy is growing at 3% to 4% this year. 

In fact not just SMEs some bigger companies (including MNCs) are also doing badly.  People often asked me: are there ways to turn around this?

Companies that do well usually exhibit the following 6 attributes:
  1. They treat their staff well, not just in salaries but also in development and opportunities for growth
  2. They allow people space, i.e., they don't squeeze until the last drop of juice.  They make sure people work hard but are not workaholic
  3. They invest in marketing and sales, for they know that having the best products will not sell unless the selling and marketing are good
  4. They tapped into the expertise of outside vendors, like trainers and consultants.  They use their expertise often and multiply their intelligences multi-fold
  5. They are not in sunset industries (e.g. traditional printing) or in industries where the cycle is currently stuck in the lows (like music and book retail)
  6. Most importantly, they have proper business models and they strategize and plan ahead and not leave things to fire fighting.
On the other hand, companies that don't do well employ the following tactics:
  1. They pay good salaries for good people but do not give enough opportunities for growth.  The last time they sent their staff for training is usually 2 to 3 years ago
  2. They pressurize people and work till they drop
  3. They don't believe in sales and marketing and think that people will come if their products or services are good
  4. They treat external expertise like their staff and do not tap into their expertise often
  5. They are in growth industries but their growth rates are half of the industry (e.g. mobile phone companies other than Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi).  Some are stuck in the industry's low cycles
  6. Most critically, they don't have a business plan or strategy to bring the business forward.  They rely on past strategies that may not work, anymore, and as a result they are reactive and cannot respond to rapid changes in the market.
By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details of sales and marketing courses are at here. Related articles:

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