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Posts Tagged ‘case study’

Will Singapore become the “entrepreneurship capital” of South East Asia?

Monday, May 28th, 2012

There are various reasons why entrepreneurship has not traditionally thrived in Asia.  Relatively speaking, US culture regards failure in business as a positive part of the learning process, and therefore Americans are more inclined to take risks.  Asian culture, however, is less forgiving of failure.  In addition, Hugh Mason (Chief Executive of Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI)) explains that the traditional method in Asian schools is “all about getting the right answer”, and that “being smart sometimes weighs against entrepreneurship”.

Traditionally Singapore has been considered by many in the business world as a gateway to South East Asia, as it represents a relatively small market of five million people.  Investors often choose to temporarily place their money in Singapore before investing in larger markets in the region such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.  However Angel investors and venture capital funds are increasingly seeking investment opportunities in Singapore itself.

A growing number of educational institutions are running entrepreneurship programmes and providing mentoring opportunities; and the Singaporean government are actively removing regulatory barriers in a bid to encourage entrepreneurship.  Ron Mahabir (found of Asia Cleantech Capital) states that “While the government has done a great job of loans and grant programmes, culturally it’s very difficult to push entrepreneurship very quickly.”  Change, however, is undoubtedly underway in Singapore.  In fact, according to the WorldBank, Singapore ranks at Number One in the world “for ease of doing business, and Number Four “for starting a business”.

Singapore-based JFDI is working in partnership with SingTel [a subsidiary of a major telecommunications company] to run an accelerator programme for start-ups from around Asia.  This program allocates start-up teams from around the South East Asia with mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and specialists for 100 days, after which the start-ups can pitch to investors.  Wong Meng Weng (who helped start JFDI) says, “I see Singapore as the technology and start-up capital of South East Asia, not unlike the US where you recruit from around the world and get them to come into Silicon Valley”.

The Recession can be Good for You!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Founded by husband and wife Juliette and Russel Joffe in 1998, the restaurant chain Giraffe has not only thrived throughout recent economic crises; rather, Mr Joffe insists the recession “has been positive for us”.  He states, “It has enabled us to review our strategy.  This is an opportune time to review your business – and aspects that you might forget in good times.”

The Joffes’ advice for not only surviving but possibly benefiting from times of austerity, are as follows:

Get best supply prices:

“We have gone back to some of our original mission statements; reviewing our staffing, talking to suppliers to get the best prices”

Run a tight ship, but don’t let this compromise the quality of your products or services:

“We don’t cut corners or cut costs.  Everyone has to run a tighter business today.  The ones that cut corners and costs are the ones that will suffer long-term because standards of service will decline.  You need to keep the investment and innovation going. It is important that people see you moving forward rather than stagnating.”

Give customers a good deal:

We have also been offering vouchers and deals. It’s the norm today. When people go out to eat, they think: ‘Where is there a voucher?’ We have been focusing on our service and offering customers the best value for money that we can”

We are producing a better bottom-line profit by running a better business. We haven’t let go of any staff as such, just increased sales and not overheads.”

Female Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Turner

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Off To See My Lawyer are cheered to hear about yet another woman who has turned an adverse situation into a business!

It was only two years ago that Sarah Turner was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to undergo chemotherapy which caused her hair to fall out.  Dissatisfied with the existing market for unflattering headwear and uncomfortable wigs, Ms Turner decided to come up with her own designs and pitch them to various British milliners.  She now runs her own on-line business, Elizabeth Rose (http://www.elizabethroselondon.com/) selling fashion-led headwear for women with hair loss.  Ms Turner writes on her website, “I am delighted to be able to give you an exciting seasonal collection twice a year.  My aim is to bring you style and a little bit of joy and confidence back.”

Off To See My Lawyer would be interested to hear from you if, like Ms Turner, you have a good idea for a product and the necessary motivation to market and sell it – but perhaps lack the skills and resources to actually manufacture the product in the first place.  We now have such an admirable client base of female entrepreneurs, we may be able to help you source an appropriate business associate to complement your own skills!  For any such assistance, please contact Jo Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com.

Fit For A Princess

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Background: Fit for a Princess Ltd (www.fitforaprincess.co.uk ) was set up in 2003 and specializes in group outdoor workouts and boot camps for women. One of our lawyers was enticed into one of the bootcamps despite 6 am starts and is now a FFP groupie!  They also offer personal training and a host of female- focused fitness events & workshops .When they decided to offer e-books, training videos  and other goodies from their on-line store, they realised they would need detailed terms & conditions  and a formal ordering process.

How we helped: Off to see my lawyer carried out a free business health check which led to a ‘shopping list’ of legal documents to protect the company. Fit for a Princess Ltd instructed us to prepare virtually all of the documents on the list. This was a mix of ready-made documents from our document shop and tailor made terms of business for them. They now plan to expand the business by franchising the brand and again we have been able to help by drafting  the Franchise Agreement and ensuring the business is protected as it spreads its wings..

Customer’s feedback: “Jo Tall really is the Mary Poppins lawyer; she is professional, friendly and has a way of bringing even the most boring of things to life! She brings all the legal jargon into joe bloggs language which means you come away from meetings or reading documents actually understanding it all. For us, the best thing was her looking at what we needed, prioritising what we had to do, letting us do some of the basic stuff and giving us a summary of what she was going to do, how much time it was going to take and the cost implications for each thing.  There was no hard sell with her and we trust her implicitly, we know she has a genuine interest in our business and she is so very passionate about what she does. We couldn’t recommend her more!”- Janey Holliday, Director, Fit for a Princess Ltd