When you do service business, one thing you always need to worry about it ‘sustainability’. Product business also have to worry about its sustainability if the business is not after the trend and if the business is not innovative. I saw many articles in Myanmar social media, writing about why Microsoft failed. I agree with writers for some view of point that Nokia didn’t change too much properly to fit in the market. So here let’s talk about service business.
There are many types of service business today in Myanmar and all over the world. Here let’s mention about marketing and advertising service business. In Myanmar there are only few major companies which do marketing and advertising such as Mango, Mandalay Advertising, MSTF, Today Ogilvy, etc. Beside that major companies, there are many small agency and service companies which do marketing and advertising service. When companies from all over the world come into Myanmar, first thing they do is researching the market. Of course, that is the thing every companies who step on to new land. First thing they always get struggle is understanding the user behaviours. Even after understanding the behaviour of consumers, they get trouble again with reaching out to those targeted consumers. In that case, international companies have to deal with local marketing and advertising companies which know the market the best.
One of the easy job to start in Myanmar is marketing and advertising business. The main reason is you don’t need big investment for it. But the problem you are going to meet ahead is maintaining that business for years. How long can you hold it tight? How long can you make it? You can buy media. You know lots of contact of editors, journalists, bloggers, managers from TV channels. But you are not the only one. Many others are trying to know them too and everybody is making new friend everyday. One of the strength of a marketing and advertising agency is having connections and contacts of channels and platforms. Well. A TV channel set a fixed price for one minute slot of TV Commercial. You and your competitors know that price. When you two are trying to get the same client for that slot, how much you can reduce the price? If you were able to pay that client with lowest amount, then it became your client. So where is talent and tactics?
The real value of a marketing and advertising agency should base on the following facts.
Can you make strategic plan?
If a consumer product brand is asking you for marketing plan, you should be able to give that brand several options for marketing. Here innovation is king. If you can’t make it different, international companies won’t choose yo.
Do you have all connections?
If you don’t have a connection, you have to outsource again to another agency. I believe that is what you don’t want to do because you don’t want to split the amount you get paid. One of the important need of founding a service company is having strong connections in the market. You should know from a security guard of a company to government officer.
Do you have accountable person to handle the client?
Service companies value’s based on human. If you don’t have a powerful human resource, you should reconsider of starting up plan of service company.
The strategy to make it sustainable
It is one of the most, most important fact every service businessmen need to consider. How will you make it sustainable? Big traditional marketing and advertising service companies know the market potential of digital world. Do you think they won’t do digital marketing and digital advertising? So how do you plan to compete with them? Or are you thinking of making partnership? Well, although this is a big ocean, Myanmar is not big enough yet to share the market. If you are late sending proposal today, that company is client of your competitor.
Service companies’s growth is one to one ratio system. A human work 8 hours a day. He or she can’t handle 100 advertising inquires per day. If you want to take care of 100 clients, you must have an equvaliant amount of human resources. I don’t mean you to have 100 person to handle 100 clients. But you still need more than 40 people to handle 100 clients.
Well, so will it be sustainable? Learn from global famous service business? How do they do?
They believe employees are key players.
Employees of a service company are key players for service business. If you don’t treat them well, they won’t treat well to your clients.
They are innovate.
Due to the changes in the market, companies usually have to upgrade their systems and technology. If you don’t change or improve your strategy and plan in every months, your company will be out of the game in service business field.
They are master in management .
One of the struggle of expanding service business is managing people. How you control them impact on your strategy of growing your business. You should go back to school or take a course on management if you are not ready yet. Unless of those actions, you get stuck in small business. I don’t mind if you are happy with small business.
They have a service-like product.
Do you know what is service-like product? For example, HootSuite and Buffer are product-like service or service-like product. Social Media Examiner is now product. They give you their press releases, their research paper, educational videos and seminars. Their product is their website. You can learn from them everyday. From being a service business, they changed to a product-like service business. I don’t mean this is to be a way to keep your business sustainable. But this is one of the way many are doing successfully.
I’m not a perfect guy in making service business, my business was not sustainable because I didn’t specialised in management. This advises comes from my experience and knowledge in Myanmar. So for foreign readers from other countries won’t get it useful much.