Just last month I was back in my home country, Singapore to meet up some of my entrepreneurs buddies. One thing is to network and exchange our progress, another is to share experiences and give advice.
One crucial point that I have noticed among our entrepreneurs is that we don’t think far enough, dream hard enough. Maybe because of our upbringing and Asian culture that we are a little bit more cautious, a little bit more reserved, maybe a little bit more realistic.
Unlike many entrepreneurs in the Western part of the world, many Singapore entrepreneurs and freelancers alike only focus on their comfort zone – home location. Whether it is offering their services or creating their products, it narrows down to what Singaporeans’ wants or what local companies needs. While it is a good thing to start off or begin with, often they find their business stagnant after the first or second year of success without the ability to grow further. Profits dipped, attention waned and entrepreneurs panic.
The key to growth is being innovative and taking calculated risks, one good way is to venture overseas but an even better way is to think of your startup as a global business. Many times I have people telling me that it is easier to stay focus and concentrate on the smaller group. Yes and no. Yes, in a sense that you need to know who are your customers and your market value to them. It is futile to cast a wide net and capture no fish. And no because one tends to be content with their initial success and forget to keep growing. Just like many of us in our daily jobs do. Being complacent is a disease.
Being a freelancer is like having your own business, be it on a smaller scale. As an Asian, many local and South East Asian companies love to engage my services as I can write through the hearts of their direct market audiences. However, to make myself marketable, I studied the different writing methods, styles and voices in order to capture different countries’ audiences as well. The key is do not to stop evolving and always keep improving.
Same goes for whatever business you are doing, whether it is Food & Beverage, B2B or B2C, it is important that you set your sights further than just within your country. Too many times when I visited a website and disappointed to find out that the company only shipped within the US when it is a simple logistic issue that can be resolved by engaging international freight providers like FedEx and DHL. Whether it is limited manpower or funds, to have a successful business in these economic times, you need to target global customers. You can charge a higher price due to shipping costs. If your products and services are good and niche, customers will pay.
Food for thought: we are getting closer and the gap is getting narrower because of the readily made technology in modern times. It’s difficult to justify your reasons not to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to the world.
What do you think of the above? My readers like you come from all over the world and I feel that we are closer than my next door neighbours.
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