The Women Entrepreneurs Convention was held on 29 and 30 August 2019, during the National Entrepreneurship Week 2019 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) in Serdang. Many successful and well-known women entrepreneurs were invited to share their knowledge and experiences in their journey towards achieving success in business. Here are some key sharing points shared :
Discover Your Strengths
“You must find out what are your strengths to unlock your full potential. Your strength could be in sales or service (technical or non-technical). Then, build on your strengths,” said Datin Dr. Hasnorliza Abu Hassan, founder of ADLA.
“You must love what you do. If you just focus on the bottom line, you might get disappointed easily when things don’t go the way you planned. Instead of focusing on the bottom line, focus on yourself instead,” added Datin Dr. Hasnorliza, who is a successful serial entrepreneur. “Focus on your growth and self-development as an entrepreneurship in a field you are passionate about.”
Don’t Skip the Market Surveys
“A lot of micro enterprises are built by women and many of them are solo entrepreneurs. They must conduct market surveys in their target market before stocking up and selling their products. The location of the outlet is important. They must get to know their target market and must not ‘syok sendiri’,” explained Datin Dr. Hasnorliza.
“You might like a certain kind of product or design, but that doesn’t mean your potential customers will automatically like it too. For example, I like a lot of bling on my ‘tudung’, but the target market where I opened my shop are working women who prefer something simple that they can wear to work every day.”
“Different countries have different cultures and preferences. If you are intending to export your product to a foreign market, you must do a market survey to determine the suitability of your product for the new market,” said Liyana Abd Malik, founder of Teego.
“You must find out the strength of your product and the strength of your pricing in the new market. Also, you must check the suitability of your product packaging too,” added Liyana.
There is Always a Way
“There is always some way to get what you want somehow. If you try one method and it doesn’t work, try another method instead,” said Liyana. “Don’t give up easily.”
“For example, many people think getting Halal certification for their food products is tedious. My personal experience is to go directly to the agency in charge of Halal certification to ask for help. They will give you step-by-step guidance. The same applies to the Ministry of Health,” she added.
Take Advantage of Opportunities
“You must have a goal or objective. You must know what you want, where you want to go, and what you want to achieve,” said Liyana. “Opportunities don’t come knocking twice. When an opportunity comes, you take it and do your best with it.”
“But don’t neglect your family. Many women started their own business so that they could spend more time with their family and take care of their children. So, don’t neglect them when you get busy. Work-life balance is important,” said Datin Dr. Hasnorliza.
Quality is Top Priority
“Popularity is a great advantage, but at the end, customers will evaluate the quality of your products too. SimplySiti, my skincare and cosmetic line, has been in the market for 10 years already, and still going strong,” said Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza Binti Tarudin, Malaysia’s celebrated multi-award-winning songstress and successful businesswoman.
“We are launching healthy herbal drinks produced by Korean technology in September 2019 and entering into the Indonesian market. But there was a time when I had almost given up due to all the challenges I was facing. However, with strong support from my husband and staff, I’m happy to say we pulled through,” added Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza.
Supportive and Dedicated Staff
“Having the right people – supportive, dedicated, committed and trustworthy managers and employees is of utmost importance,” said Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. “It makes a huge difference.”
“Their support and ability to face challenges and resolve them could save your business and help you to grow and prosper. Never underestimate the important of surrounding yourself with good and reliable people,” she added.
“We must continually improve on our processes and systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the company,” said Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza.
Even if we have achieved success, we must not rest on our laurels. Do not let complacency set in. Do not be satisfied with what you have achieved already and stop growing and evolving. The world is always changing, and new technologies and new ways of doing things will come along. Do not get left behind. Instead, stay curious and hungry for new knowledge and skills. That could make all the difference to ensure the longevity of your business.