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

Five Ways to Let Your Employees Know You Appreciate Them

Hospitality is an industry that depends on the people it hires to man its ranks. As such on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to look at five ways to let your employees know you appreciate them.

Hospitality businesses depend on their employees

Whatever industry they choose to forge their career in, there is one eternal truth every young entrepreneur needs to acknowledge. They need to cultivate a talented employee roster if they want their business to become a success.

This is particularly important in the hospitality industry. Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels need good employees to carry out the everyday tasks e.g. serving customers that their revenue streams depend on.

Employee retention is a major issue for hospitality sector

Yet employee retention is a particular problem for the hospitality industry. For example according to The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy, there was a 62.6% turnover rate in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector in the US in 2013. This contrasts with a turnover rate of 42.2% for the overall US private sector.

As such entrepreneurs who are looking to build a hospitality business need to develop strategies which will enable them to hold on to talented employees. There are many strategies you can use to hold onto a good employee, yet there is one simple method that will prove particularly effective; showing your employees you appreciate them.

Five easy tips to let your employees know you appreciate them

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel as though their hard work is being acknowledged. Doing so may persuade a talented employee to stay with you. Here are five ways you can show your employees that you appreciate them:

  • Say please and thank you: Manners get you everywhere. They indicate that you respect an employee enough to believe they deserve common courtesies. Please and thank you go a long way.


  • Get the treats in: Who doesn’t love after work drinks or pizza Friday? Get a little treat in for your employees when you’ve had a particularly successful week and they’ll know you value their hard work enough to believe it needs a reward.


  • Cut them some slack: Everyone makes mistakes. Yet you don’t need to punish the people who work for you every time they make one. Cut them some slack every once in a while and you’ll show your employees that you appreciate everything else they do, so you can forgive one little mistake.


  • Be nice: Simple, yet effective. People like positive people. Strive to be nice to your staff and they’ll see that you like the work they’re doing. Why else would you be in such a good mood? Plus your good mood will put them in a good mood and positivity goes down well with customers.


  • Give them a challenge: Nothing shows appreciation like trust. Trust your employees with tasks that prove a challenge and you’ll show that you believe in them. You’ve seen their work and you know it’s good.

Be a good boss

Basically showing your employees that you appreciate them and the work they do isn’t rocket science. Just be a good boss and treat your employees with respect. Respect is often the difference between a member of staff who stays and a member of staff who goes.

Five Tips to Edge Out the Competition

As the head of a company you have to stay vigilant every second of your working day to ensure your business remains profitable. That’s why this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips to edge out the competition.

Don’t Let a Competitor Get the Best of You

There’s a reason so many entrepreneurs find it hard to build a profitable business. The minute they start out on the road to success they find themselves confronted with competitors looking to take their slice of your market share at every turn.

Competition is a natural part of business. Let them and a competitor will steal valuable revenue from you bottom line and deprive your venture of the capital it needs to stay afloat. Strive to hit back when confronted with a daunting competitor and you can ensure your company remains in the black.

Five Tricks You Can Use to Get the Better of Your Competition

There are so many ways you can hit back when you find yourself faced with a daunting competitor. Try these five tricks to get the better of your competition…

  • Conduct Research: Knowledge is power. When a new competitor strolls onto your home turf oust them by looking into the way they do business. What do they do well? What do they do badly? Use this knowledge to strengthen the operations of your own company.


  • Provide a Better Service: One sure fire way to ensure a competitor doesn’t capture your share of your target consumer base is to provide a better service. Consumers appreciate value for money and effective customer service.


  • Cultivate Good Reviews: Following on from the last point, another trick you can use to edge out your competition is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to leave good customer reviews for your business. Data from Search Engine Land shows that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so if you cultivate more good reviews than your competitor, consumers are more likely to bring their revenue your way.


  • Create a Promotion: Customers love a bargain. Why else do you think every supermarket on the planet trots out the buy one get one free offers every time they need a bottom line boost? Create a promotion, market it effectively online and you’re sure to persuade your consumer base that you’re the company they want to spend their money with.


  • Look after Your Staff: Every business needs to value its employees. Treat your employees badly and you can bet it won’t be too long before they flock to your competitor the minute a vacancy opens up. Look after your staff and show them how much you appreciate their contributions to your company if you want to ensure they stick around to use their expertise to help you see off the competition.

Up Your Game

In other words you need to up your game as a business if you hope to edge out your competition and ensure you continue to attract enough revenue to keep your firm in the black. Don’t give up the fight to craft a career as a successful entrepreneur just because a competitor has decided to come along and try and steal your share of your target consumer base.

Find out more information by visiting Htet Tayza About page.


How to Look After Your Customer

To ensure you have everything you need to build a successful venture, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I outline how to look after your customer.

The Customer is King

Anyone who’s ever had even a smidgen of success in building a profitable business knows one thing. The customer is everything. Without a customer, you have no one to buy your product/service, thus no way to generate the capital you need to survive.

In the modern world, the business sector is more cut-throat than ever. That is why it’s so important that you recognise the value of your customers and strive to look after them. If you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody else will.

Five Ways to Look After Your Customer

Therefore, in order to prevent a loyal customer from deserting you, as well as attract new ones, you need to focus on looking after them. Here are five ways in which to do so.

  • Treat Them With Respect: Manners cost nothing, but can prove extremely lucrative. No consumer likes to feel as though their custom isn’t valued. That is why you need to ensue your staff are respectful at all times.


  • Provide a Feedback Service: A dissatisfied customer is a flight risk, but not a write-off. Keep them on board by providing a feedback service, through which they can vent their grievance. Then you can address it, show them that you value their custom, and persuade them to stay with you.


  • Initiate a Customer Reward Scheme: Customers are savvy people – they want as much bang for their buck as possible. Provide that bang by initiating a reward scheme – coupons, gifts, reward points etc., to show them just how much they can get through directing their business your way.


  • Hold a Customer Appreciation Night: If a customer feels as though their loyalty is setting them apart from everybody else, they’ll feel a greater desire to maintain that devotion. One way to make a customer feel unique, is to hold a customer appreciation event. You could, for example, hold an unveiling of a new product, available only to loyal customers.


  • Support the Causes They Care About: Do some research and find out what causes your customers care about, then initiate efforts to support those causes. By doing so, you remind people that when they patronise your venture, they are helping a cause they hold close to their hearts. With that knowledge firmly in place, why would they ever want to leave?

Strive to Capture Their Loyalty

Whatever method you choose to implement to show you care about your target consumer, you must remember that the customer is king. Without them, you are nothing, which is why you should strive to capture their loyalty at every opportunity you get.

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.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Five Tips to Secure PR for Your Start Up

As visibility is vital for any new business to be a success, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips for securing PR for your start up.

Start Ups Need to Generate Interest to Survive

Starting a new business, especially on a limited budget, is no mean feat. You have to develop your product, secure investment, perfect your business model etc. However, I would argue that one of the most important tasks is generating interest.

Basically, the more interest there is in your venture, the more likely it is to develop significant profit margins. That is why when you are starting a new business, you need to generate PR opportunities. However, considering the fact that you are an unknown, doing so is often easier said than done.

Use These Five Tips to Draw PR to Your Start-Up

Yet it isn’t impossible. The clued up entrepreneur can draw PR to even the greenest of start-ups. To help you do so, why not try one the following tips to secure PR for your start-up…

  • Find the Right Journalist: Don’t waste time appealing to every journalist under the sun. If you are at the head of a finance company, for example, and you appeal to a lifestyle journalist, you might as well have not bothered; you have nothing to interest them. That is why you need to find a journalist who specialises in your area, to secure PR for your start up.


  • Treat Journalists Like Human Beings: No one likes to be sold to; journalists are no exception. By treating them as people rather than PR machines, you show that you deserve PR, and appeal to their better nature. Through doing so, they will be far more inclined to bring PR to your business. Never underestimate the value of good will.


  • Find a Story: No journalist is going got think it’s a good idea to just write about your business; there’s no hook to get people interested. Therefore, you need a reason for them to write about you. For example, you could secure PR for your business by pitching a piece about a charity event in which you are involved.


  • Discover the Human Interest Angle: No journalist wants to write a dry, fact-filled piece. They want colour to appeal to their readers, and nothing says colour like a human interest angle. Find a way your business has already effected a real person, and you’ll be far more likely to attract PR opportunities to your start up.


  • Offer a Fresh Perspective: Whatever you do, you need to ensure that you offer the press a fresh perspective to secure PR for your start up. Basically, in today’s start up culture, they’ve seen it all before, so they’re looking for something different.

Devote Yourself to the Task

Essentially, drawing PR to your start up requires you to put the effort in. Phone in your attempts, and journalists will simply pass you by. However, should you really devote yourself to the task, you can attract PR which will generate interest in your company; ultimately translating into boosted profit margins.