Social Media – Strategic for SME?

Experts have envisaged right from the early days of the internet that the web itself would level the playing field for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) vis-a-vis the big boys. It is even more so now that various strategies have been developed with the help of technology that can allow SMEs to be found easily. For example; when I search for the product of robot cleaner a little company called Digilife in Malaysia can be found right next to the SAMSUNG link.Search Engine Optimization services are now quite easily available to small companies and gone are the days when the smaller companies find it hard to compete online with larger companies due to their e-Marketing budget.

Therefore it is imperative that SMEs must look into such tools strategically. The steps are quite simple but necessary if any SME does not want to be left out.

a. Firstly a study on buying behaviour and how consumers search online

b. Develop an on-line proposition to meet the needs and ensure that your website is searchable using the appropriate key words.

3. Optimize your website so that it can be searchable worldwide or be found

4. Collect information from visitors to your site so that you can continue to be relevant to your customers..

There are many vendors who can help run a strategic marketing campaign on-line for you. If you lack the expertise, it is better to use their services. Example: NPQ Business Portal ( https://npq.infusionsoft.com/go/NPQBP-Preview/shumyl/ ), or PCT internet marketing services ( http://www.myweb.com.my ) .

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Of Psychologist, Psychiatrist and Psychoanalysts

Psychologist are experts who help people with mental problems.The difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist when it comes to treating depression is that one is a medical doctor, while the other is not. A psychologist primarily aids the depressed patient through counseling and psychotherapy. He may hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) and be called “doctor,” but is not a medical doctor (M.D.).

A psychiatrist, on the other hand, is a medical doctor, and while he may also perform psychotherapy, he can additionally prescribe medications and perform medical procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

At the monent there are no Acts or Regulations governing clinical psychologist practice in Malaysia but in general one needs the appropriate post graduate level.

(See blog. http://counselingpsychologyinmalaysia.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/how-can-i-practice-as-a-clinical-psychologist-in-malaysia/. and http://counselingpsychologyinmalaysia.wordpress.com/for-professionals/how-to-be-licensed-as-a-counselorpsychologist-in-malaysia/how-to-be-a-psychologist-in-malaysia/. )

Similarly, there are no licensing of Psychotherapists in Malaysia but there is an organization called the Malaysian Psychotherapists Association who provides guidelines on how to be a Psychotherapist. See link here from this website. http://www.malaysianpsychotherapy.net/mpa/index.htm. The association also conducts the postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and generally a degree or advance diploma in psychotherapy approved by JPA is required for entry into the postgraduate diploma.

However, before practice one must study first, and the Malaysian Psychological Association helps by have a page listing of some education provider. However, there are other avenues such as OUM and linguistic council. When choosing, the student should ask themselves if there are learning for knowledge to improve their range of skills and interest OR if they intend to practice as a psychologist. A post graduate qualification is require to practice.

Some education options in Malaysia are as follows;

1. SEGI Diploma & 4+0 Degree in Psychology

http://www.segi.edu.my/discipline/download/2010/Psychology_dip_bsp.pdf

2. International Medical University – B.Sc.(hons) in Psychology

http://www.imu.edu.my/pro-un-psychology.html

3. LIguistic Council –Diploma in Psychology and Diploma in Learning Disorder 

http://www.linguistic-council.com/my/diploma_learning_disorders_management_child_psychology.php

http://www.linguistic-council.com/my/advanced_diploma_psychology.php

Business Planning

Importance of Business Planning
By Shum YL

Business planning is many things to various people and although elements of business planning appears in most management literature it has rarely been accorded the status of a stand alone management field.

Some of the reasons why people do business planning:-

  1. Trying to get a bank loan to start a business or a project
  2. Trying to impress an investor
  3. Preparation for listing the company in the stock market.
  4. Planning for the budgets of the next financial year
  5. Taking stock of the company’s financial and feasibility status
  6. Strategic planning for the future

A company can actually do business planning for more than one of the reasons above over a period of time. However, the process is more or less the same which requires the following steps.Below is the my own Business Planning process:-

  1. Setting broad missions or goals
  2. Analyzing information – Study market
  3. Setting objectives and targets
  4. Deciding on strategies
  5. Commandeering resources
  6. Implementing the strategies
  7. Reporting
  8. Monitoring the progress
  9. Take corrective actions

While the above is a bit more harder to remember than the often used “PDCA” cycle used in taking action or solving problems it provides a better understanding of what real businesses do. We advocate the above process in order to ensure that no issues are left out in the process and makes the plans awry. For example; in our model the act of reporting is included. Although it make sense and is logical, most models in planning ignores this with the result that most companies fail to emphasize in management accounting. It is sad to see that a lot of companies pay top money to hire accountants who are actually not contributing any effort to improving business decisions but just to produce reports to adhere to accounting regulations and tax requirements.

Oh, by the way,  before business planning  for any projects or venture, please study the market first or do a feasibility study… Its priceless. Learn how here.

The author is the business consultant of DRC Services which specializes in management consultancy and training. Mr. Shum has many years of senior experiences in financial management and business planning. He has held positions such as director, financial controller, group finance manager and regional business planning manager for multinationals and listed companies. Mr. Shum can be contacted at shumyingloon@gmail.com for assignments on project basis in the field of business planning.

The article above is an independent work submitted by the above author and does not reflect or represent views of the management, owners and agents of this website.

© 2010 Shum Ying Loon. All Rights Reserved Updated 03/09/10 By Clicking on any hyperlinks on this page you hereby agree by our terms and conditions of using this website. Disclaimer: While every effort is made to provide accurate and timely information in this website may contain errors or omission or factual error The owners does not warrant any information in this website and therefore cannot be liable for any claims or losses by users on this site. The owners also does not have control of any materials and information found in sites linked to this website and cannot be liable or any loss or claim resulting in the use of information and materials used in linked sites. Please consult your lawyer, broker, accountant or financial consultants before making any investment or financial decisions.