Regional growth just as important as major cities

Regional growth just as important as major cities

A new report by International Growth Centre (IGC), a research centre based in the UK, has stated that Myanmar’s economic development depends just as much on regional capitals as it does on the major cities of Yangon and Mandalay.

The report highlighted how important it is to develop secondary cities as part of the established plan for boosting the main cities in the country. The research centre is based at the LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) and is partnered with Oxford University. It has offices in London and Yangon and has released the report called Urban Myanmar.

Strategic growth centres

The three main growth centres as part of the government’s economic strategy for Myanmar are Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.

Yangon takes its place as a crucial growth centre as it leads the country’s financial and commercial services, as well as exports due to its ports. Mandalay is up there as it is a major trading hub for northern Myanmar and should play a big part in many initiatives. Nay Pyi Taw retains its importance due to being the centre for the government.

However, the main thrust of the report warns against relying too much on the development of Yangon’s economy. It argues that inclusive development is vital, including the growth of regional capitals and secondary cities.

Cities like Yangon attract a lot of investment from overseas and develop quickly. They are busy importing new technologies for manufacturing, for example, giving firms based there an advantage. This can be seen with the garment factories that are situated on the border of Yangon, as well as the industries thriving in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

Moving industry out beyond key cities

The report said that secondary cities need to be connected with their regional towns and the main tier cities. This, along with border town and agro-industrial centres being linked will help to allow production to spread away from the main cities.

Secondary cities should be seen as regional hubs that are strategically very important for commercial gain. Similarly, the development of towns on the borders of cities can help to boost trade and support a national identity for the country.

Urban planning vital
Along with these suggestions, the report also says that urban planning is the key to make sure that cities become hubs of economic activity rather than centres of congestion and problems.

The three channels that make productive urban areas:

  • Deep local product and labour markets that allow workers and companies to find jobs or fill positions quickly.
  • Higher wages that attract workers to the cities.
  • Availability of intermediary services.

These have all contributed to the success of Yangon’s growing economy and workforce and need to be implemented in other cities, as well as regional towns for the growth of the country’s overall economy.

Htet Tayza

Why Should Entrepreneurs Care About Google’s Algorithm Update?

Google are set to update their algorithm. Why should an entrepreneur looking to build a successful business care? That’s what I’m about to explain here on the Htet Tayza blog.

The Google algorithm

Over a billion people use Google. That’s a very big share of any company’s target audience. If you’re building a business this means that it’s a good idea to think about how you can get your firm’s website to appear prominently when people look for your industry on the search engine, if you want to capture a customer base.

The tech giant uses an algorithm (formula) to determine what comes up when a user puts your company’s name into the search bar. It uses over 200 criteria to determine what this formula is. You need to work with the search engine’s algorithm if you want your business’ website to rank for its name when someone searches for you on Google.

Google to make algorithm mobile-friendly

Google regularly updates its algorithm to make it easier for users to find relevant information. Most of these updates are miniscule. They’re nothing more than data updates. They don’t matter. However some updates change the way the entire algorithm works.

One such update will be rolled out on the 21st April. Entrepreneur.com recently reported that the update has been designed to make sure that more mobile-friendly content appears in searches.

We don’t know much about the update. Google are keeping the details under wraps for now. What we do know is that it’s set to be a massive update and that it will impact websites written in every language you can imagine. We also know that it’ll only effect searches performed on mobile devices.

Consumers love to use Google on their phones

This may lead you to wonder, if your company website doesn’t receive most of its traffic via mobile devices, why should you care? You should care because people are coming to depend on their smartphones more than ever.

Data compiled by Comscore in 2014 shows that 60% of all Google searches are now performed with a mobile phone. Furthermore, 70% of all activity on social media now takes place with a mobile device.

Mobile is the future

This is why you need to care about Google’s latest algorithm update. It should remind you that if you’re looking to build a digital marketing strategy for your business, you need to cater it towards mobile devices if you want it to be successful. Mobile is the future and you need to embrace it if you want to build a customer base and generate profit.

How to Turn a New Hire into a Valuable Member of Your Team

A new hire is an investment. How do you make the most out of your investment to generate a healthy return for your profit margins? That’s what I’m going to tackle on the Htet Tayza blog by explaining how to turn a new hire into a valuable member of your team.

The benefits and drawbacks of new employees  

Every entrepreneur dreams of hiring new staff. Taking on more members of your team implies that your company is expanding, and that you need to take on new people to handle the increasing workload.

Yet new hires are a double-edged sword. They may have the experience you need, but they aren’t familiar with your venture. They don’t know how you do things and this could turn them into a drain on your resources and give you no choice but to let them go.

The cost of staff turnover

Staff turnover is the anathema of profit margins. Figures from Oxford, UK-based income protection providers Uncum show that the average cost of replacing an employee in the country is £30,614. Employee turnover cost is exorbitant around the globe.

An article on Inc.com states that when a company loses an employee it drives down productivity, overworks remaining staff, deprives the company of the outgoing employee’s knowledge base and imposes interview and training costs for their replacement. An infographic from Fast Company Magazine shows that 81% of people who leave a job in the first six months work in entry or intermediate level jobs, making employee turnover a particular issue for the hospitality industry, which relies on low level workers.

Four tips to bring the most out of your new employees

However entrepreneurs can persuade their employees to stay. They just have to find ways to bring out the best in their staff before they decide that the job isn’t for them. Here are four ways you can do so:

  • Implement training: How do you familiarise a new member of staff with how you do things? Show them how you do things. If you implement an extensive training programme you can provide an incoming member of staff with the knowledge they need to adapt to your way of working.

 

  • Encourage questions: A new employee will have questions. Let them know that they won’t be penalised if they ask them. If your new member of staff doesn’t know what they’re doing, how can they be good at their job?

 

  • Bond the team: People like happy working environments. Make the new member of staff feel like a member of the team and you’ll cultivate bonds that encourage team work in your new employee. Happy employees are productive employees.

 

  • Monitor their progress: A new hire may feel that they don’t have the seniority to speak up if there’s a problem. However you need them to speak up if you’re going to solve it. Schedule one-on-one meetings so you can track their progress and prevent any problems that would turn the hire into a drain on your resources.

The onus is on you

A new hire is only what you make of them. If you put measures in place to turn them into an asset, they’ll become an asset. If you neglect them and leave them to their own devices, your neglect will turn them into a toxic investment. Strive at every moment to turn a new hire into a valued member of your team.

How to Take a Chance and Succeed in Business

This week on the Htet Tayza blog, I want to address anyone who’s thinking of starting a niche venture and show how to take a chance and succeed in business.

Starting a New Niche Business is Complicated

Starting any new business is a risk. Often, you are starting a business with no money, no client base, no product, no contacts etc. You have to generate it all, and if you don’t, your company will go bust quicker than Wall Street did in 1929.

But things become so much more complicated when you’re trying to start a niche business. People often do so because they are following their passion, however this passion is often only shared by a select few. This makes it harder to generate the interest that translates into healthy profit margins.

The Chance to Try 100 Types of Cereal from All over the World

Yet it is possible to do so, as long as you position your business correctly. I want to illustrate this point by talking about a new business that’s due to open in London’s Shoreditch; a cereal cafe.

According to Bdaily Business News, identical twins Alan and Gary Keery will open the UK’s first ever cereal café on Brick Lane, Shoreditch. It will offer customers the chance to sample 100 varieties of cereal from all over the world (who knew there were even that many), as well as 13 different types of milk and 20 various types of cereal topping.

Catering to the Hipster Crowd

On the face of it, this seriously shouldn’t work. This is about as niche as it gets. However, I actually believe that it could work, and there are two reasons I believe it has a chance.

First of all, have any of you Htet Tayza readers ever visited London’s Shoreditch? It’s the hipster capital of the world. There are more mason jars filled with Sex on the Beaches in Shoreditch than there are anywhere else in the UK. This is exactly the kind of thing that will appeal to the hipster demographic; they’ve chosen their location well.

Secondly, they plan to populate the shop with 80’s and 90’s memorabilia. They’re really going for that hipster demographic. Most hipsters are of the age where they grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, and look back fondly on the time. Considering cereal can also be associated with childhood, you see just how nostalgic this place could be for the average Shoreditch resident.

Go After Your Target Consumer with Zeal

In other words, you can take a chance and succeed in building a niche business by being bold and catering to that niche. If you have a very specific audience, don’t waste time trying to hook in people who will never be interested. Go after your target consumer with zeal, and you stand a good chance of building a successful venture!

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How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

As discord is the enemy of profitability, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I want to share how to handle conflict in the workplace.

A Business Leader is only as Good as the People They Hire

A recent survey of 500 small businesses in the UK found that the preferred business mentor for most SME’s is Richard Branson. So why is he seen as such an ideal role model? Because as he explains in a blog post, a business leader is only as good as the people they hire.

Companies sink or swim based on the quality, and ability to work, of their employees. This is why any budding entrepreneur needs to be especially wary of office conflict. It sows discord, which makes for a toxic work environment that will soon have your most talented members of staff fleeing your enterprise in droves.

Use These Steps to Diffuse Office Conflict

That is why if you are looking to develop a successful business venture, you need to know how to diffuse office conflict; which you can do by implementing the following steps…

  • Act Immediately: The longer you take to intervene in an office argument, the more likely it is to escalate. That is why you need to act the minute your attention is alerted to an office conflict.

 

  • Isolate The Offenders: You need to immediately isolate the offenders for two reasons. Firstly, it removes distraction and allows the rest of your staff to get back to work. Secondly, it makes it easier for you to speak to the offending parties.

 

  • Get Both Sides of the Story: Once you’ve isolated the offenders, listen to what both have to say. Only then can you get an accurate idea of what has happened, and come up with a resolution.

 

  • Act as Negotiator: After you’ve heard both sides of the story, get the employees in question to talk things out, whilst acting as negotiator. If you don’t take this step, tensions will not be resolved and are likely to erupt again, causing more workplace conflict.

 

  • Outline a Solution: When both employees have talked things out, step up as a leader and outline a solution for how they are going to go about solving the problem at hand. That way, it won’t become an issue again.

 

  • Get Authoritative: Before letting the employees leave, remind them that this is a place of work, and such behaviour will not be tolerated again. That way, they will think twice about the consequences before spurring on any more conflict in the workplace.

Resolve Conflicts Before They Damage Your Company’s Bottom Line

If you follow his guide, you should find that you are able to effectively resolve any conflicts that arise in the office before they escalate to the point where they damage your company’s bottom line.

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Five Public Speaking Tips for the Young Entrepreneur

htoo htet public speaking

As anyone starting out on the road to success needs to know how to communicate openly, this week on the Htet Tayza blog, I share five public speaking tips for the young entrepreneur.

You Need a Lot of Help When Starting a Business

Anyone who has developed a successful business from the ground up will tell you that when starting out, you need a lot of help. No entrepreneur is an island, and will need to secure investment, and generate interest, to ensure that their idea can be transformed into a profitable company.

Public speaking is vital to securing that investment and generating that interest. You may have to speak to banks, for example to find funding, or at an expo, to draw your chosen industry’s attention to your endeavour.

Five Ways to Develop Your Public Speaking Technique

Therefore, knowing how to speak in public is a vital skill-set, which any young entrepreneur has to have in their back pocket. Develop your public speaking technique with the following five tips…

  • Always Look Up: In one-to-one communication, looking somebody in the eye is vital to securing trust. It’s the same with public speaking. Avoid repeatedly looking down at your notes, to project an air of confidence.

 

  • Watch Your Pace: When speaking to a group of people, you need to strive to make sure they understand every word your saying, as you can’t exactly go back and explain. That is why you need to watch the pace of your speech, so the audience can keep up with you.

 

  • Refrain from Apologising: Everyone makes mistakes when speaking out loud for any length of time. However, acknowledging it will only draw the audience’s attention. Do as news readers do and carry on, to ensure you recover your confidence with lightning speed.

 

  • Understand Your Material: I’m not just saying you need to do your research. You need to intrinsically know your subject, so you never feel nervous talking about it. This is a building block that will always lend you an air of confidence when talking about your business in public.

 

  • Practise: As with any skill, the best way to get good at it is simply to do it over and over again. As you practise, your confidence will soar, making you look more effective as a public speaker.

You Will Master Public Speaking

Once you have tried these tips out for yourself, you will soon see that you develop the skill set needed to master public speaking. From there, you can effectively use this skillset to promote your entrepreneurial venture.