Before I start, here’s a commercial break. I missed my flight! After multiple near-miss lately I hope this one will serve as an eternal reminder not to be late again. When people say you must be at the airport 2 hours before the flight, you must be there 2 hours before. There is a reason for it and 1 hour before flight even is not good enough!
Now I can start.
Starting about 15 years ago, every Ramadhan I will help my parents tend our stall selling Hari Raya cookies. This is sort of a family tradition. It was started by my grandmother many, many years ago before my dad and a few of my uncles started their own Ramadhan stall.
And this Ramadhan, I can proudly say that I have come full circle and joined the family tradition. Albeit with some differences to suit the modern time.
From helping my dad when I’m in Standard 3, taking full responsibility in Standard 6 and finally now having my own booth at the age of 24, it is definitely a journey that teach me a lot of thing I will never discover on my own. It gives me the opportunity to develop and understand entrepreneural mindset.
Having your kid help you man your booth is definitely not an ideal situation you want to expose your kids to during their childhood. And I don’t intend to do that to my kids unless it is their inclination.
However I must note that my parents never force it on us. Sabriza, my younger sister found that helping out at the stall is not her cup of tea and she rarely do it. Ummar is attracted to the money but did not have real passion for entrepreneurship so he just help out, he did not take full responsibility to run the store. At the end when I enter university and when Sabriza went to UK our family stop the tradition.
Although manning a stall looks easy, actually it is not. Everybody can sit on a stool and read magazine, but it takes talent to move the merchandise.
About my booth.
Actually my booth is not a Ramadhan booth. It just coincide with Ramadhan. And the purpose of the booth is not for some pocket money or to get some duit raya. It is my 1st phase to dominate Borneo for product C. Initially I plan to share with you what the product is, but after revealing my plan here I think better if I postponed it for later. Give me until the end of this year, I will reveal it.
Different from the stall my parents set up, I setup this booth in a shopping complex (The Boulevard) and I did not man the booth myself.
And this booth will be manned by 2 locals we hired on contract basis. I devise the system, do a site visit and monitor the booth from KL. I am proud of the fact that this booth can be considered a step below franchise system in term of organization. I planned it to be systematic and scalable. Honestly, I am watching with glee, I could not wait for this booth to take off because I know if it does the system will take off and we will be in a different league.
Now I want to address H type people.
First of all, I understand that for some people opening a booth is not exactly a thing they will be proud of. It is the last thing they want to do. In their mind, opening a booth is similar to opening a burger stall at the road side. Something that you do when you cannot find gainful employment.
I understand that, but I like to differ.
Opening a booth can be hell and can be the first step to heaven. If you have a strategy and open a stall, it is the latter. If you open a stall as a last resort because you have nothing else to do, then it will be the former.
Maxis, Celcom, Digi also have their booth in a lot of places daily. But their CEO and owner did not sit around the booth attending to customer. Once in a while they did to monitor and get the feel on the ground but they are not there daily. This is strategic. This will be heaven for you if you use the right strategy.
When I mention about my childhood experience, it is not that I think it is the best way to grow up. I just want to express my appreciation of how much that experience shape me and make me a better person. What suit me might not suit others. I perfectly understand.
I am truly excited with the prospect but when I started writing this, I can see how some people will not be able to what is so big about opening a booth, which should not be that hard because mat rempit can also do that.
To these people, here what I have to say:
I am different because I know what I am doing. 😉