Reader’s Report: Gearing Up for Business Growth and Expansion for Entrepreneurs

This is the 3rd entry written by our readers, who have attended the BFM Breakaway Conference 2012. As part of’s campaign to Thank our readers for helping us hit the 50,000 readership mark monthly, we are giving away tickets to exclusive events like these. And these readers have come back to us with written reports from what they have learnt from these conferences. Right now, hear it from the top entrepreneurs on how they have brought a local Malaysian brand and expanded them abroad. 

Special thanks to Chloe Yap, our reader from Monash University who has written this piece for She was one of the lucky winners of our Ticket-Giveaway in our Facebook page ‘Malaysia Entrepreneurs’ — So subscribe to us now on FACEBOOK!

In the third session of BFM Enterprise Breakaway 2012, Gearing Up For Business Expansion: How to Engineer Growth Successfully is moderated and led by Raymond Phoon (Author, Sales Psychologist & International Motivational Speaker, PowerUp Success Group).

In this session, we have got Eddy Tan (Founder of Bali Bistro Group), Tam Wah Fiong (Founder/ Chairman of Thumbprints Utd Sdn Bhd) and Henry Goh (Co-Founder/ Group Chief Operating Officer of MACROKIOSK Group of Companies) where they share their experience while expanding their businesses, how they came upon decisions making and the factors they considered and learnt from growing their businesses.

Opening remarks about Malaysian Business Expansion

1. 58% of SMEs in Malaysia fail in the first 5 years.

2. Well managed capital structure (debt capital & equity capital) – Never over gear and be ready to cut off the business when it is time or you will be digging a bigger hole.

3. Quality Resources – Retention plan; give no training and it led to workers cannot do sales.

4. Focus on Branding & Delivering Values

5. Information Mastery over the Landscape

Final Thoughts for Growing

1. Stability first; be more profitable before expanding.

2. Have systems in place to manage staff behaviours

3. Separate your business liabilities from your personal assets.

4. Start with a pilot operation for the expansion.

5. Create a separate profit center for each expansion and review frequently.

6. Delegate responsibility and authority

7. Have a clear reward system that is tied to individual performance as well.

Eddy Tan runs balinese restaurants for around nine years. With his passion in balinese food, the business had expanded around Klang Valley. He now owns  Bumbu Bali, The Waterlily and Ole Ole Bali.

ET: We should think of ourselves as a farmer. Do what you are able to manage. You don’t overplant.

ET: There is three in-laws, three brothers and a sister in the management team. Family is the main root to achieve harmony.

Tam Wah Fiong runs a printing company with passion and has been awarded  the Asean Business Awards for corporate social responsibility in year 2011, the platinum award for environment under The Star Outstanding Business Awards and a second round of Business Etnics Excellence Awards from the Business Institute of Malaysia. He emphasized on honesty & integrity and ‘not-to-bribe’ custom in his business empire.

TWF: Human Development – years continually training people.

TWF: Learn the I.T language and put in all the system possible to assure the system runs accordingly.

Henry Goh grew MACROKIOSK from a mere 9-man team to over 200 employees from 14 different nationalities. With operating offices in 14 major countries across Asia, MACROKIOSK is the preferred Mobile Technology Enabler to a multitude of local and global clients. He emphasized on being humble always.

HG: Don’t do things that you don’t know. Do things that you are best at doing.

HG: Be in the business.