For startup Foodpanda.my and its team, they are learning the ways on scaling and making ends meet with their new business concept of online food ordering and delivery system to busy Malaysians. As entrepreneurs working in a newly launched startup, the Marketing Guy, Sidney Ng reflects on the main points that he had learnt during his practical entrepreneurial journey today.
It was 7.30am. I was under a busy monorail station in human infested Bukit Bintang.
This was obviously one of the earliest time I ever got to work AND actually looked forward to it. My team arrived a few minutes late.We were doing the most basic old school form of marketing – via flyers.
Yes, you read it right. I was with my team passing out flyers and was actually looking forward to it.
You must be probably wondering – what is the Marketing Director doing giving out flyers? I should be spending time developing marketing plans, setting directions and doing all the “strategic” work right?
1) Being with Your Working Team in Your Business, especially when You are a Startup!
On the contrary, I love being with my team. I think a true leader should roll up his / her sleeves and actually execute the work.
Its only then, you know how easy / difficult a task is and how long does it take to complete one task. Its only then – you earn the stripes to be called a leader.
I also feel doing these basics and having a look at my prospective customers – people whom I give out flyers to – allows me to construct what my demographic audience will be like.
Sometimes being on the ground gives you more insight than sitting in the ivory towers barking commands.
2) Working Together on ‘Non-Strategic Tasks’ for Starters
I have done almost everything in foodpanda.my. From selling the idea to restaurants back when we had no sales staff, typing out the menu items when we needed to prepare to go live to currently even giving out flyers.
Sure, it’s hard work. To a certain point tedious and not “strategic”. But its only by getting the basics right and being good at the basics – can you understand where the other person is coming from and manage the team in a more productive way. It also gives you a feel of what strengths/skills are needed for certain tasks and makes managing more realistic rather than lofty.
I find that sometimes we tend to underestimate the minor tasks – simply because we have not done the task before.
Back to giving out flyers, it humbles me to see so many working professionals making their way to work. It really makes me appreciate the diversity in people, talents, and professions. These great people keep our economy running and the companies they work with provide jobs to Malaysians.
However, looking at their faces in the morning – they seem to be literally dragging themselves to work. They seem to be zombies with neckties making their way to work.
3) Cultivating a Healthy Working Environment for Your Team to Love Their Jobs – Its about EMPOWERMENT & PURPOSE !
A recent study even shows that 7 out of 10 people hate their day jobs.
This is disturbing.
The fact that people work in jobs they hate and just tolerate the work while looking at the clock for time to pass by. To some, work has become like a transaction – of time with money. There is no love, passion or soul in doing what they do for a living.
Some just tolerate it for the money it pays them; others dream of doing something else but does nothing but blame circumstances.
Even with all the money. People still do feel empty. How do I know that? Well, for starters they look as if they are ready to murder someone on their way to work
I am quite proud to say that my team in foodpanda Malaysia are fuelled by passion. Each and everyone of them actually DO want to come to work.
To make a difference.
To solve a problem.
To improve the situation around them.
To, in their own way – create a change in the world by a small dent by what they do.
So, back to why I was so excited and looking forward to giving out flyers (aka spamming people in their face)?
Simply because I too want to make a difference.
I too want to solve a problem of busy / hungry people getting good food.
I too want to improve the situation of removing the hassle and drudgery of driving in a jam, looking for parking and letting go of your favourite parking spot – just to get food.
I am in my little way making a difference – for my team, my current and future customers.