Another year has passed, which marked our year 2 anniversary for myBurgerLab on 10th July. We had our usual donation drive event again at both outlet this year. I have to say we are definitely overwhelmed by the total response given, with so many people have a good heart to contribute to the society again!
It has definitely been a lot more of emotional ups and downs in the last 12 months. It does feel like taking care of a child who is growing up from 1 year old to 2. A lot more consideration to be taken into account, after the giving birth startup stage. Just imagine how a parent has to plan for a child’s future education, welfare and personal development, that’s how it felt like. So if you are planning to start a business, do be prepared on what you are getting yourself into. Here’s some lessons to share with you.
- Company Structure
Starting this off as the first is important for many of you who plans to startup. How you plan your company structure, in terms of holdings, subsidiaries, associates is really crucial cause as it would determine how much of administrative cost you would have to spend extra or get to save. As important as having a business idea, this would help to determine how efficient your company would become. Oh and by the way, I’m not talking about organisational structure.
- Dare to dream, set a goal, and then work backwards
This I think is probably the biggest learning I have for the past 2 months, is to work backwards. As much as we always say we have a goal, we want to do this, but until you pen it down your detailed goal and dream, working backwards will not be able to start. Often times, many of us say let’s see how it goes or yeah we want to do this, do that, but there’s no concrete timeline and exact detail set.
It’s not about whether it’s attainable or not, if you have already started your startup, congrats you are already doing something on it, which puts you ahead of many people. So don’t think about whether it’s attainable, cause if you didn’t set it, it will not be attained anyways. Dare to Dream!
Try it, just think big – 5 years, 10 years.
- Financial Roadmap
Now with your dream and goal set, come up with your financial roadmap. I’m not sure about you successful folks, but would be great if you would share this with me way earlier cause it’s such an awesome revelation. Setting your exact financial goal for the business and then work backwards make everything look so clear really – revenue, costing, budgeting, staffing. It’s like planning for your child’s education fund. If you haven’t, try it really. Set your December net profit goal, and then calculate how many customers you would need, how many staff, how to handle cost.
Your roadmap could go to years, and not just be limited to this year and this could be one of the main contributing factor to determine how your expansion plan is to be done.
- Cash is like the blood stream in your body
If you gonna start a business, you got to respect it no matter what. Cash is like the blood stream in your body, if it runs out, you will be deceased. If it’s dripping you would want to stop it, same goes as business. Fix the cash flow and ensure there’s cash flowing still, end it’s a deadend. Respect it and you will pull it through. Every drip counts.
- Communication and assumption
If your business has been running for more than 1 year, you would know what I mean on this. Communication errors are so common and a lot of it has got to do with assumption. When we assume, there’s when things slip out of place. A mentor once taught me if you break out “Assume” you will have “Ass” “U” and “Me”. So go figure.
Have your team see that communication errors not just occur when team are not align, but it happens when each party assume as well.
Remember what our parents always say “Why don’t you listen?”. They don’t say “Why don’t you hear?”, do they?
- You want to grow? Then you got to grow them!
The fact that you already have a baby to take care of doesn’t mean you only have just have that one thing to take care of. How your baby grow is how you grow the people around it – hence the awesome colleagues of yours who are pulling the weight to make sure the baby ends up walking and not crawling.
The importance of talent development is one of the other biggest realisation in the past 12 years. A company can’t grow if no other leaders are being mold. People always question “Are leaders born or made?”, I would say both, and yes leaders can be made. To begin with, it’s quite a stupid question that was made to suppress those who think they can’t be a leader (IMO).
You may have to
– hold their hands
– let them fall themselves so they know how to get up
– question them
– challenge them
– watch them closely
– use your secret weapon (every founder always have one :p)
- Laying a strong foundation
The importance of setting up a company culture, code of awesomeness, company vision is really important to lay the foundation of the company. In fact, this foundation would help you to manage and set the expectation of everyone who is coming in to work in your company.
Why how important is this? Have you heard of “It takes a longer time to undo what has been done”? So you may not see it in 1 month, but you save a lot of time in the longer run. Hey econs major – it’s opportunity cost! 🙂
- Always have a Backup Plan
Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, come up as many as you can for different scenarios. It’s like changing route in your GPS in case some ground in the city has a hole in it. You will never know when Godzilla unwanted circumstances will crawl up. Malaysians should be good at this, considering how much of circumstances we have to go through.
- What you see doesn’t mean you know it all
Have you considered how some FnB shops that are empty quite a lot of time still survive/exist for a long period of time. You must be thinking that they are losing money, well don’t judge. Cause what you don’t see could be their hidden secret formula and it could make you dump founded on how brilliant they can be.
Be creative with your business model, you will never know what would work.
Business is like a sport, we got to continue to move forward non-stop, but we do not know when is the finishing line. And we have to always be on top of our game, putting urgency into what we do, because at the end of day any action is better than inaction, even though there’s always the limbo of being unsure of which is the right move or not. And speaking from experience, urgency is crucial, if not the prices we have to pay will be more in the future. And this is indeed a huge lesson!
Just 10 simple lessons to share. If you hit a wall, remember there’s always a light behind the tunnel, even you don’t know where that is. Go watch “Daylight” (1996) and get inspired.
In the mean time, feel free to look through our blog post on our anniversary here 🙂