Monday, June 21, 2021

Should you have less?

After some success, it’s common for companies to want more. After all growth means more, right? More products, more product ranges, more SKUs, more distribution, more everything and more. But growth can come from culling too. Growth can come from doing less because strategy isn’t just about where you want to do business. It’s also where you choose NOT to do business.

Learn from both the evergreen and deciduous trees. They shed their leaves so they can grow bigger and better. Some totally according to the season, some gradually in the case of the evergreen. But they grow by shedding their leaves and in accordance to what the tree can sustain and grow. Imagine the tree growing more and more leaves every year without shedding any leaves.

Do you want more?

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Friday, June 18, 2021

Is your success making you fail?

The success that you enjoy now can blind you to the seeds of failure. It usually begins when you attribute the success to the way you do things. That you know and can pinpoint the patterns rather than the understanding of why you did them. When you understand the why of you doing them, it also allows you to understand why and when they won’t work.

Are the seeds sprouting yet?

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Thursday, June 17, 2021

How do you move forward sometimes?

In life as in business, we must balance positive actions and pessimistic thoughts. One leads us to hubris, the other leads us to a mental hell. Somewhere in between what Jim Collins would call Positive Paranoia allows us to be mindful of what can knock us off-track and knowing that; put in place positive actions. He called it Disciplined Action. While his research is in companies, the thinking doesn’t differ when we manage our life as well.

What can hold you back?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

How is your spine?

The backbone of your strategy is your segmentation, your target and your positioning. Know who are the segments in your market, decide who you want to target and know how you will occupy their mind with the story about your brand that you want to tell versus your competitors.

Then put these together to form your marketing objectives. Now ask, what tactics can I implement to deliver on these objectives. Those tactics are your 4Ps. Do you create a new product? Do you need to revise your pricing? Perhaps your distribution needs improvement? What about your integrated marketing communications? These are the tactics.

Don’t use tactics to fix your strategy. Your tactical gears are there to help speed you to your objectives. If you keep playing with your gears without having a map and a destination you want to go, you are just wasting fuel and creating a gearbox problem for the future.

Are you getting there yet?

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

How much paracetamol have you taken?

When your business is in dire straits, it is difficult to get you to look into your strategy. You are looking for symptomatic relief. No one can blame you. But you need to have the wisdom and awareness to know when these symptomatic relief tactics need to stop.

Sure, that sales funnel strategist (I want to say “tactician” but they like to be known as “strategist”, so “strategist” it is) can bring you the sales for a while. It will create the hubris for a while and you will think all is fine. Then the sales dwindle again. Then the email marketing strategist (yes, they too want to be known as “strategist”) will come and your sales will be boosted again. Then slide again.

Your fundamental issue is a strategy issue. Not a tactical one. Going on to fix your tactical issues isn’t going to fix your problem. Contrary to what you think, it isn’t buying you time. It is wasting your time.

You are better off biting the bullet. Face the pain and fix the real problem. Diagnose with certainty. Strategize with clarity. Then implement with conviction.

Are you looking for symptomatic relief?

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Where should you retreat?

Whenever you find that your plans are not working, go back to your strategy. It’s usually not the tactical parts that are at fault. Something is wrong with the strategy somewhere. Always diagnosis first, strategy second and tactics last. So don’t go fixing your product or pricing or ads when you haven’t diagnosed it.

Where did your problem arise? How did it arise? Why so? Then do some research about it. Now look at the consumer segments and the target and your position. Are all these aligned? Only when you know all these should you ‘fix’ the tactical parts of your 4Ps.

Retreat to your strategy. See the bigger picture then execute.

How far ahead can you go?

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Friday, June 11, 2021

What will be next?

Chase your dreams but face the facts.

In the face of a crisis, be bold enough to face the brutal facts. It may mean you have to let some people go, shrink the business, cut some product lines and even more painful decisions. Facts allow you to make sound decisions. Without facts, your reality may be blurred.

Chase the dream still. Dreams give you hope.

Take the facts, make some decisions, chase that dream. Then stick to the path and believe in your plan.

How will you take the next step?

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