Essential strategies for building a business – Dato’ Zulfikri shares

Formulating a business idea might be easier than building one. While the landscape of micro, small and medium enterprises in Malaysia has grown considerably, only 5% are able to sustain their business. 

The Deputy Director-General (Entrepreneurship) of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), YBhg. Dato’ Zulfikri Osman in his first lecture series as the Adjunct Professor of Universiti Kuala Lumpur Business School (UBIS), stressed that doing business today is no longer a brick-and-mortar venture.

Hence, he revealed these four-step strategies for young entrepreneurs to carefully consider in order to establish a sustainable and successful business.

1) Ideation & Concepting

It is common for students to have an interest in entrepreneurship and to explore business ideas while attending university. 

Many universities offer programmes and resources to support student entrepreneurship, such as the Teknoputra unit at UniKL, which cultivates entrepreneurship culture among students as well as nurtures their skills and passion for business. 

“When you are at the university, you’ll be inspired by your lecturers. Then, it should come with the right attitude of an entrepreneur with a solid mindset to breed success,” Dato’ Zulfikri told. 

As some universities also offer courses and programmes specifically focused on entrepreneurship, it is best for students with the passion to learn and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills needed to start and run a business. 

2) Explore & Discover

Venturing into the working industry is the best exploration for one to build a business empire. Being attached to a small company will offer many opportunities to be entrusted with different responsibilities. 

“Take this opportunity to learn closely how the bosses lead and run the company and seize the occasion to construct your business idea,” suggested Dato’ Zulfikri. 

There is a potential for the idea concept to be revived and revamped based on what has already been tried and tested on the market.

3) Validation & Execution

After a few years serving different companies, form up a team and validate the business idea at the comfort level. 

Utilising the knowledge and expertise gleaned from work experience and staying informed about current market trends, one can then craft a robust framework and strategies to guide business development and growth.

4) Start-Up

Here is where the real journey begins. Starting a business can be a challenging and risky endeavour, but it can also be rewarding and offer a sense of accomplishment and freedom. 

Most common challenges a new entrepreneur may face include tight competition, lack of experience and limited capital. 

“Starting a business can be compared to sailing a boat in the vast ocean,” Dato’ Zulfikri said. 

“The ocean represents the market or economy and the boat represents the businessman. Just as the ocean experiences both high and calm tides, the journey of starting a business can also have its ups and downs. It is important to be prepared for the challenges that may arise and to have a clear plan for navigating them.”

Overall, starting a business requires a significant amount of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It is important to be prepared for these challenges and to have a clear plan for how one can smoothly sail them.


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