Musings

A year into the future

Had a pretty interesting casual meetup with a fellow business owner doing pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past few years. T is a year older than me and has been running his own firm with a small staff allowing him to do what he likes (programming and more programming!).

Interestingly, T observed during our meeting that programmer’s think alike and even dress alike! We had a good laugh and came to agreement that programmers (those who freelance only) these days are a rare breed.

  • Biege shirts – tucked out
  • Khaki Pants
  • Loafers w/o socks

Having a team really helps one focus on what needs to be done. For the past year, I’ve had trouble with that as being essentially a small outfit for so long meant juggling a lot on the plate while trying to achieve goals. I felt burnt-out and tired having to manage sales, development and maintenance. Moving forward, this partnership should free up more time to do what I love, essentially to program and reduce the day-to-day overhead of sales process.

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Musings

Site upgrade completed

It’s been some time since updates were posted on the site. A new theme has been installed with a cleaner look and with it, WordPress has been upgraded to 2.5.1 to take advantage of a new dashboard and security.

I’m also taking the opportunity to write up more on our products that have been under development for the past year, O9BMS (Building Management Systems) for Enterprise Mobile Inspections and Broad-Cast.net, an EDM and Corporate E-Card Portal since these products will be  primary focus of the company this year.

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Musings

Updates for 2007 … What’s up for 2008?

It’s been a pretty crazy work schedule the past few months as we juggled projects at IconnectE and K.C DAT since August.

In October, we finally launched Broad-Cast.net as a full service providing email marketing to the SME market. We had been offering the service for customers without a proper name to it so its a good start that we were also engaged by Avocent International Pte Ltd for their “Avocent Hero” EDM campaigns as well as VivoCity Pte Ltd to assist with their recent 1st year party invites. Also on the email marketing platform, we’ve been hard at work creating a corporate eCard portal for Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd that would allow them to personalize each greeting card that gets sent by the company staff.

In November, Max Cole and On9 Systems got our heads together to plan how we could grow our businesses and in doing so, we migrated our servers to a proper rack with Viewqwest (great support from Boon Hian, Nathan and Thames). Doing this got us nice 2 x Linksys SRW2024 24-Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Switch. It has some great features like bandwidth monitoring and throttling (a very neat feature!). Mike Veltman and Robert Roach are serious dudes into security and I’m glad to be working with them on this as we get serious about hosting. By offering Virtualization as an option to SMEs, this creates a great platform for us to create some serious applications for companies.

With December creeping into its second week and 2008 looming, our pipeline is full till the first quarter where we’ll be doing a major project utilizing Drupal as well as another project for a B2B Art Rental Store coming up too. I’m glad we’re getting a good start into 2008!

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Musings

Are you ready for word-of-mouth marketing?

Imagine an organization with a proven system for 24 years, over 100,000 members worldwide in more than 37 countries, who can assist you in growing your business and open new doors to global opportunities. Raffles Chapter would like to invite you to our Visitor’s Day on 21st Sept 2007. For more details, view the slideshow below or contact me today!

http://s3.amazonaws.com/slideshare/ssplayer.swf?id=111451&doc=raffles-visitor-day-friday-21st-sept-20071636

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Musings

On9 Systems – Blogs for Business

Received a SMS on Wednesday from a fellow BNI member that she couldn’t attend this morning’s breakfast meeting and if I minded switching over. I readily agreed before remembering that my slide desk was skewed towards customers to have an overview of the company. Spent about 3-4 hours last night improving a 4 slide version I had previously used in my flip-chart presentaton and here’s the results

http://s3.amazonaws.com/slideshare/ssplayer.swf?id=109745&doc=on9-systems-web-solutions1106

Presented by 字 Concepts

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Musings

Growing a small business with baby steps

Was listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast as I was moving around Singapore for customer site visits. A guy (who ran a one man consulting firm) called in to comment that he wanted to grow his business but didn’t want to walk the traditonal path of hiring a employee but instead was looking at bring on a partner. Dave gave some great advice that seemed quite logical and useful to me at the time. However, I had forgotten to make a note of the exact details and wound up fast-forwarding a few days of material before remembering it was from 1st August.

The reason why I wanted to listen again to the details was because I too didn’t want to hire just another employee as I find myself needing to grow the business. Dave’s rationale is that he hires team members while still holding 100% ownership. While not the tradtional X% shared ownership like partners, I think this is a better model for me to adopt.

The reasoning goes (figures are for example only)
If I’m making $60K, hiring an employee would most likely have to be supported by this revenue and creates a cash flow issue. The better case would be to look for someone who is willing to fight and strive to earn his own keep while at the same time looking to grow the business as much as possible since its to his benefit.

A likely scenario would be to base his output based on past experience. E.g. His target would be $40k and most importantly, he would receive a high percentage of this (e.g.80% with 20% back to the company). This way, there is an incentive for the team member to work harder and of course earn even more versus a fixed salary income that grows slowly. However, Dave also mentioned that this arrangement is best set in a fixed period of say about 3 months to a year to ensure flexibility in adjusting the allocation since the aim is really more to ensure fairness.

With this in mind, it looks set for another person to join the team. Details soon 🙂

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