More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Small Business

Small business is probably the toughest job you can have. There is so much pressure on you as you know that its all your own money and everything you do will go towards the success of your business.

A job can be stressful, but at the end of the day, its just a job and most people tend not to take it home. A small business though, it you're baby and you want to look after as best you can. You put in lots of effort in the hopes that it will grow, just like a baby, and become a big independent thing.

A few months ago, I had hinted that I had something in the works, well, it was starting a small business with my friends on the side whilst still working as a research engineer. It has been far from smooth sailing, but also hasn't been the roughest seas. A lot of the recent stress I've had has been related to this business and problems that have occurred.

I've learnt some very valuable lesson in these few months.

1) You should never work with friends unless you really know their working style beforehand. Small things can really get out of hand and the finger of blame starts to quickly get pointed. Mix in some money and friendship and you generally have a recipe for disaster. Our small business has already seen some personnel changes since it just wasn't working out.

2) Worrying achieves nothing. Just deal with each problem as it comes and find solutions. I always thought I dealt with work problems quite well, but when it came to my own money on the line, I got so stressed. In the early stages, everytime there was a problem, I would go into full on panic mode. I would try to solve everything within that day or otherwise I wouldn't sleep too well. I would ring one of the partners and say "There's a crisis". For a while, I would get teased with "So any crisis today." Slowly, over about two months, I really got quite stressed and didn't sleep well at all. At all times of the day, I would think about the business and all the things that were going wrong. I've since broken out of that phase about two months ago. It all built up to one night where there was a massive stuff up and I was so angry I phoned the person who stuffed up and gave them a full on blasting. Then I told myself "What's worrying going to do, it won't fix it." From that point onwards, something has snapped in my mind and I now deal with problems in a much more relaxed manner. My life has again reverted back to its almost carefree state. There are still occasional anxious moments but they last only a minute before I try to find a solution.

3) Some customers are bastards, and that's putting it nicely. Whenever anything goes wrong, its always your fault, even when its not. People will try to take as much advantage of you as they can. The mighty dollar really does rule. There are some good people too and dealing with those people are a joy. It makes the job that much easier and less stressful.

4) The modern myth of selling via the internet and making it big is just that, a myth. Selling online is so hard, there's so many fundamental problems just like selling in a shop. It's hard to get people to trust you when you first start and you need to slowly build trust with your customers and suppliers.

5) Suppliers always take your money quickly but are slow to deliver the goods. Its constant chasing of everything. Everyone is always so busy and there's always bigger fish to look after. Why would they care about your small order when a much larger client is waiting.

6) There's a lot more paperwork involved in running a business than I thought. There's so much tax documents that you fill and good record keeping is essential to price items properly and know your own profit and loss results. Good record keeping is also required for tax purposes.

7) Communication is vital. Communication amongst your partners and customers is without a doubt the most important thing you must do. Poor communication leads to mistakes, and mistakes lead to loss of money.

So these are a few of the things that I have learnt so far in 4 months of running a small business. It's already been a very smooth learning curve since my business partner has had years of experience and has helped me so much.

So you may be intrigued as to what business I am doing. Below are the vital information.

Name: Gotek Enterprise
Email: Website: (under major construction, prices all wrong)
Products Sold: Memory Cards (SD, Memory Stick, CF, XD, MMC etc), USB Flash Keys, MP3 players, MP4 players, Computer Peripherals, Digital Photo Frames etc.

You can get an idea of what we sell by looking at our Graysonline sale which runs till this Thursday 5th. A look at the website will also give you an indication of what we sell, just ignore the prices. Send me an email if you wish to buy anything and I can give you a price and availability.

I hope that if I work hard at this business and it becomes a success, then I can become a full time food critic and write exclusively for my food blog I Eat Therefore I Am. This activity is otherwise known as becoming a glutton and eating all day.


Blogger afrobev said...

Ha ha the food blog semi-retirement plan sounds good to me Thanh. Eating and drinking all day sounds like the perfect life.

4/04/2007 5:36 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

It does doesn't it. I'm working towards it now. That's going to be my semi-realistic goal haha.

4/04/2007 7:10 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

I feel that for small business, property is the best as there is little capital outlay. You can work for yourself without having to worry about staff. A good agent can earn a reasonably good income too.

4/06/2007 8:56 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Do you mean a property agent Choo? Because if you mean property, don't you need huge amounts of capital. To buy a house for investment would require a lot of money. Also, is that really a small business or just an investment?

4/09/2007 3:28 PM  

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