What’s next 2010?

2010 is fast approaching as the end of 2009 draws near. Has the year been a good one or bad for us? For me, I am saying “Alhamdulillah” (meaning “Praise be to Allah” or “Thank to God”). All this possible in my conventional business is due to the Qudrat of Allah (the help of Allah). The first half of 2009 saw our business generally went down by 30-40%. Fortunately, we saw recovery in Q3 and Q4 where majority of the businesses managed to recover about half the losses we suffered in the first half of the year. Due to a Strategic Alliance, which is a formal relationship between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals or to meet a critical business need while remaining independent organizations, we manage to pull ourselves through in this current economic situation.

For small business or company like us, strategic alliances is a way to work together with others towards a common goal while not losing their individuality. Alliances are a way of reaping the rewards of team effort – and the gains from forming strategic alliances appear to be substantial. Companies participating in alliances report that at much as 18 percent of their revenues comes from their alliances. This is so true because we are there.

Why I choose a Strategic Alliance? not outsourcing, merges or acquisitions? Because A strategic alliance is essentially a partnership in which you combine efforts in projects ranging from getting a better price for supplies by buying in bulk together to building a product together with each of us providing part of its production. The goal of alliances is to minimize risk while maximizing your leverage and profit.

An alliance is simply a business-to-business collaboration. Another term that is frequently used in conjunction with alliances is establishing a business network. Alliances are formed for joint marketing, joint sales or distribution, joint production, design collaboration, technology licensing, and research and development. Relationships can be vertical between a vendor and a customer, horizontal between vendors, local, or global.

All these are possible not because we are genius or not because we are great businessmen but we follow the guidance of Quran and the Sunnah of Nabi s.a.w. How do we get aid from Allah? The answer is in the Quran.

“Indeed, Allah will aid those who aid His cause. Indeed Allah is all-Powerful, all-Mighty.” [ch22:v40]

In this noble Verse Allah has promised to help and give victory to those who help His cause. And it is known that the help and victory of Allah comes by following what He has prescribed, obeying His command, avoiding His prohibitions, helping His Messengers, and their followers, aiding His Religion and fighting against His enemies until the word of Allah is made uppermost and the word of His enemies is debased.

In another verse the Quran says:

“O you who Believe. If you help Allah, Allah will help you; and establish your feet firmly. [ch47:v7]

Believers are given here a pledge that Allah will be on their side and will favour them with victory if and when they help and aid His cause.

However, this divine intervention and support are not granted to those who sit and wait, nor are they ever won by those who neglect the duty of preparing their own defences and making the plans necessary to achieve victory.

So we not only seek Strategic Alliance with people or companies but we also seek a Strategic Alliance with the creator and I found out this is the most successful formula for you and me to succeed and gain victory in this world and also in the hereafter.

I personally is very bullish about 2010. I expect the economy to recover fully in 2010. The recently tabled Budget 2010 is prudent spending, good in general and should make the market more interesting. The World Cup 2010 and Commonwealth Games shall drive worldwide business activities and at the end more power supplies are needed to backup all those activities. I am sure that the industry shall not be worse off if compared to the year 2009 and that leaves only one direction, which is north.

But we shall never forget to what had happened in 2009 as our reference. 2009 have so far been a glorious and exciting year despite the economic turmoils. From the inauguration of US’ first black president to the appointment of a new Prime Minister in Malaysia, it’s a year restless and eventful year.

Dear friends and readers, no matter what your do, you need to have focus and be with positive thinking people and also remember that to succeed you need to get the help from Allah. Why? Because He is the creator.

“Allah is He, than Whom there is no other deity. He knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Allah is He, than Whom there is no other deity; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him. He is Allah the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (and Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: Whatever is the heavens and on earth, do declare His Praise and Glory; and He is exalted in Might, the Wise.” (59:22-24)

He has created man: He has imparted unto him articulate thought and speech. [At His behest] the sun and the moon run their appointed courses; the stars and the trees prostrate themselves [before Him]. And the skies has He raised high, and has devised [for all things] a measure, so that you [too, O men,] might never transgress the measure [of what is right]: weigh, therefore, [your deeds] with equity, and cut not the measure short!” (55:3-9)

“Everything We have created and prescribed for its measure, its character and destiny…No creature creeps on earth but Allah provides for it its sustenance. He knows its purpose and destiny. For it is He Who prescribed them in His eternal order…The sun rises and sets traversing its orbit exactly as the Almighty, the All Knowing has ordained. And the moon passes regularly through its phases, returning to its original thin crescent form. Neither sun nor moon overtakes the other; neither night nor day deviates from their preordained courses. Each moves in the orbit Allah has ordained for it. (54:49, 11:6, 36:38-40)

So my dear friends and readers, apart from your knowledge and strength, we as human being, we do need the divine help from Allah to succeed. There is no doubt about it. So I take this opportunity to wish all of you, all the best for 2010 and also upgrade your Iman (faith) daily which is the advice of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Remember not only a Strategic Alliance with human being or companies but also with the Creator.

Become Successful in 2010

Are you a dreamer or are you a worker? No matter what or who you are, you need to make it in 2010!

In today’s challenging world it is vital to have energy, enthusiasm, and optimism in all areas of your life. The ‘Positive Thinking’ attitude will transform your approach to living, so you can feel good about yourself, create worthwhile relationships and perform in business more successfully. A solid foundation of positivity will help you get the best from life and from your work life balance.

With 2009 coming to a close, it’s important to get an idea of what you’ll need in 2010 for your business to stand out, and for your income to be higher and more stable than ever before.

Of course, you may want to forget 2009 as fast as possible. After all, if you came up well short of your expectations, you may want to put the last year in a paper sack and burn it.

But, as they say – those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and it’s essential that we pay attention.

2009 has remind me of the followings:

  1. Businesses that succeeded in 2009 were based on trust, longevity, and personal branding.
  2. Businesses that succeeded in 2009 provided real solutions to real problems.
  3. Cheating is not a viable strategy. Corporate fat-cats, politicians, athletes, celebrities made the headlines because of back-room shenanigans and bedroom infidelities. They were caught and their reputations are forever tarnished.
  4. Simplicity rules. Stay put to what you know best and make a simple possible product.
  5. Repeat customers are your gold mine. Too many businesses in 2009 went after the quick score. They focused on up-front riches at the expense of their relationships and customer service. Those that weathered the storms of 2009 did so because they over-delivered on what they sold, and repeat customers are eager to buy from them again.

Here are 3 things that I believe you need to WIN BIG in Life and Business and Be Successful in 2010

  1. Treat People Right. You have got to treat people right. You have got to LOVE people. You have got to CARE about them. You got to be willing to get burnt once in a while so that you can show people how GREAT they really are. Everyone wants to be SOMEBODY. Everyone wants to know that they are IMPORTANT. Everyone wants to know that they are VALUABLE. Everyone wants to be APPRECIATED. When you choose to speak a person’s GREATNESS INTO THEM. When you choose to show someone just how IMPORTANT THEY ARE, you just became the miracle that they are looking for.
  2. Have The Heart of a Champion. You have got to have the heart of a champion. The desire and will to win is EVERYTHING. You have got to get FIRED UP and STAY FIRED UP. You are here to make a difference with your life. You have got to be willing to pay the price and a little bit more that success demands of you to win. You have got to be mentally tough and you can never…ever quit. QUITTERS NEVER WIN and WINNERS NEVER QUIT.
  3. Get Totally Committed. You must be totally committed to what you are all about. You can’t just try something out to see if it works for you. You can’t become successful by dipping your big toe in the water to see if the temperature is just right. It’s all or nothing. JUMP IN and SWIM. You have got to be committed to doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Commitment gives you the courage you need to fight back..to motivate yourself when things get tough. And trust me….things will get tough. Things will not always work out the way that you want them to. Commitment gives you the strength you need to pick yourself up for the 8th time right after you have fallen flat on your butt 7 times. It gives you the strength to talk to one more person after 100 have said NO to you. It gives you the strength to learn the skills that you need to master a new piece of technology. Commitment gives you confidence…it strengthens your faith in yourself and what you are doing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you believe it takes to be successful in both life and business. I am sure that everyone has a suggestion or two about what they think are the most powerful attributes of success. So, take a minute to comment and share with everyone else !! I am grateful for all of your feedback !! Have a great day and wish you all the best for 2010!

How to make a million and preserve it

To all Malaysian do get a copy of “Personal Money” magazine today. Why? Because there is one inspiring article in there with this title “How to make million….and preserve it”. All are about Malaysian who become millionaires in their respective field with their own talent or skill. Millionaires are not born but instead they are being develop.

In that article it says that this year’s millionaires come form diverse backgrounds. One was a cleaner who earned £2.70 an hour, one was a helper at a char kuey teow stall at the tender age of 10. One started her career as a bank teller right after form five, earning RM400 a month. One made his million from the Internet over three years while another turned RM5,000 into a million over a decade. Some leveraged on their talents, while others invested their way to a million.

But all of them had one thing in common – they focused on their goals. Go out now and get the copy today and read on to find out how they hit their targets and here is what the experts have to say if you wanna be a millionaire one day.

1. Think again. Do you really want a million ringgit? “For a lot of people, a successful business is one that allows them work-life balance and a decent lifestyle,” says Jeremy Hand.

2. Assess your motives. “Far too many people think that [entrepreneurship] is about money when it’s really about building a good business,” Nigel Brown says. “Whenever you want to start a company, do it with passion,” Stefan Glaenzer says. This enterprise will become your life; you’d better like it.

3. Find out more. Attending a workshop or training session run by experienced entrepreneurs will give you a sense of the reality of running a business, Robert Tull says.

4. Keep it private. At least while you get things going. “Don’t focus on convincing other people or external investors,” Glaenzer says. “Just work on your idea… in the evening or at night… so that you have more than just an idea.”

5. Start small. How much funding you need to begin will depend on your business; generally it’s less than you think, Brown says. Banks, family and friends are all potential sources of support, Hand says. “As a young entrepreneur you’re not likely to find an institutional angel investor so look for one in your current network.”

6. Not everyone’s a critic. But you need one. “Your friends and family… will say you’ll be great, but what you need is someone who will ask ‘Is that a viable idea? Do the figures show that you will make money from it?’,” Tull says.

7. Get your structure right. Is it 50-50 between you and your co-founder? What will you do if someone else gets equity? “You have to think about ownership right from the start,” Brown says. “Assume that you will be wildly successful. If you don’t, you will be caught out if you are.”

8. Plan. “You need a clear idea of where you want to take the business,” Hand says. Once you know where you want to go, reverse engineering can help you to get there.


Meet the experts

Jeremy Hand is vice-chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (www.bvca.co.uk).

Robert Tull is a senior enterprise awareness manager for Business Link in the East of England (www.businesslink.gov.uk).

Nigel Brown is the founder of N W Brown Group, which includes the Great Eastern Investment Forum, a business angels organisation (www.geif.co.uk).

Survey: The Importance of the English Language in the Workplace

Many of my Malaysian friends asked me this one good question, “Why you did not write in Bahasa Malaysia (my mother tongue) ?” Not that I do not want to but I feel it is a lot easier for me to interact in English not only with my Malaysian friends or Malaysian readers but also from elsewhere too. Moreover all Malaysians do speak English, am I right?

Here is what being revealed by JobStreet.com who conducted this survey and here are the details.

The importance of the English language in the workplace continues to be a top concern among employers in the country.According to the results of this study, a staggering 91% of employers said that English is the language of business communication. By contrast, only 6% of them used the Chinese language while 2% used Bahasa Malaysia instead.

We also asked employers if the quality of the English language amongst new hires has improved over the last one year. More than half (54%) stated that there was no change while 16% say that it has dropped. Still, a notable 30% maintained that it has improved, though this may be due to an influx of foreign university graduates returning to the country.

To every business entity, productivity is of utmost importance. A landslide majority of 95% of employers believed that better English would improve the productivity of employees, as opposed to the 5% who don’t. It was not surprising then to find that 66% of employers have turned down applicants due to a bad command of English while a further 26% would do so if necessary.

But how do employers screen through new hires on their command of the English language? Screening via phone interviews and resume slips come in at 36% and 53% respectively. The most popular method by far however is to screen a new hire’s English through a face-to-face interview (84%).

Still, despite these various methods to filter applicants, about 61% of employers surveyed said they were looking for the right tools to gauge a job seeker’s command of the English language. Also, 78% of employers were keen on using an English test to help in the hiring process. In line with these numbers, 63% of employers preferred to hire new people with already a good command of English, while 30% would give on-the-job training to new hires.

The emphasis for the employers at large lies mainly in the competency of new hires when it comes to conversational English. The JobStreet.com study revealed in terms of importance, 92% of employers felt that conversational English was the most important with 65% choosing grammar, 55% indicated comprehension and 47% saying vocabulary.

This study on the importance of the English language in the workplace was conducted by JobStreet.com in August 2009. With the participation by 1001 employers, the study was a follow-up research on an earlier survey in July 2009 on reasons why employers felt fresh graduates remained unemployed.

*Note1: Curious to see where you stand amongst your peers in English? Take the JobStreet.com ELA today.

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