By S. Gopinath
MANY entrepreneurs are marching into 2017 with a heavy heart; too many uncertainties, from currency rate to politics. Businesses everywhere are witnessing a slow tempo at the moment, will it prolong in 2017? We doubt.
While it’s common for human to worry over challenges, this one trait can indirectly hamper your growth. Always remember, that no matter how challenging the economy gets, if you are an alert opportunists, you will still be able to survive and make profit.
Following are allocations to financial institutions by the government to assist business owners from all races in 2017;
SMALL & MEDIUM ENTREPRISES
RM522m allocated to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to focus on certain identified industries, i.e., chemicals, electrical and electronics and R&D activities.
Pay close attention to the new Secured Transaction Act and new Companies Act which will be implemented in the first quarter of 2017. Inputs from www.pemudah.gov.my website will also be very useful for your market assessment. Your business should also be prepared for BEPS in the aim to promote tax transparency; build potential BEPS impacts into current tax planning, re-examine your supply chains, analyze current financing arrangements and communicate about the possible changes to other stakeholders.
In addition to the above, always be on the lookout for opportunities in the form of tender openings for vendors / suppliers in the following sectors as they have received quite a big chunk of share in the 2017 budget;
FINANCIAL SERVICES & CAPITAL MARKET
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
PHARMACEUTICAL / HEALTHCARE
REAL ESTATE INCLUDE HOUSING – for contractors and home buyers attention
TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
TRAINING & EDUCATION – for parents & students attention
As mentioned earlier, do not just conclude that most of these information are not related to your field, instead, venture into possibilities for collaboration/ partnership to become the vendors / suppliers for these institutions and organizations related to these fields.
For example; if you run a printing business, you can look at collaboration with any of the training programmes, i.e, Young Agropreneur Development Programme and seek for opportunities in supplying stationeries, printed letterheads, official envelopes, certificates or even test pads to both organizers and participants.
If you are a legal service provider, you may approach the MyBeautiful New Home developers to become their legal advisor in drafting agreements and processing S&P documents.
Opportunities are everywhere if you are alert and seriously yearn to earn.
I personally urge the government to allocate special funding assistance for entrepreneurs who are planning to venture especially into ASEAN countries. Before we go global, we can look at opportunities in our neighboring countries first as the demand might be closely similar with our local market here. Please also look into special funds to assist aspiring B40 entrepreneurs; this is important in diminishing poverty in Malaysia by 2020.
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer “ Nolan Bushnell.
To do, and do big especially, it takes massive sacrifices and discipline. Here are a glimpse of my personal qualities and in fact, some of MUST-HAVE habits/qualities to realize your entrepreneurial dreams in 2017;
GOAL SETTING – set realistic goals with datelines. Break your calendar into sections ( weeks / months ) and set your long / short term goals accordingly. You must also start working on it immediately; boosting sales index, expanding marketing reach, R&D for your new innovation, etc.
Do not rest till they are met.
RIGHT HABITS – Visualize you in the next 5 years; how successful you want to be, nurture the kind of attitude you need to have now in order to be that person 5 years later. Improve your knowledge every day; it helps in making well informed decisions.
PLANNING & PRIORITIES – When everything seems to be important; delegate. It’s impossible for one to juggle with multitasking without help, once you have your priorities set right, focus on your most important goal and look for assistance from experts or technical team to look into other matters. Eg; if you are a pioneer / start up – your priority should be in establishing your product or service, get others to look into HR related matters or for admin/clerical jobs.
MULTIPLE STREAM INCOME – Nothing is certain. Always keep an eye on other industries which are flourishing, even if you can’t be actively involved, make a small investment and turn it into your passive income. Look into property investments seriously.
COLLABORATION – Seek for collaboration instead of focusing on personal wins. When we collaborate, more opportunities become visible. We are always stronger as a team; financially and in human capital.
BRANDING – You must be unique or you will die. The competition and the struggle is real. If you have nothing unique to brand, create one. Get subject matter experts guidance if necessary. Your brand must outlive you, that’s the goal.
FUNDING – get creative. Go for crowdfunding and venture capitalists. With technology, there are better ways to fund and validate your product. Learn the art of pitching.
My best wishes to each and one of you who are and will be venturing into business this year, may progress and abundance be ours now and forever. Happy 2017!
*Datuk S. Gopinath is the President of the Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs or better known as 1MINE.