Monday, January 16

My beliefs and values

Every person have their own set of beliefs, a set of rules that helps them make decision and function today to day, regardless of your race, your gender, your religion and your age. If someone tells you no, I do not have any beliefs, I only believe in myself. Don't be mislead by this statement. He just told you his beliefs, his own set of rules. Let me share with you some of my beliefs.

  1. Never have any business dealings with family members especially relatives. (I'd really like my reunion dinner in peace and harmony)
  2. Don't eat and shit at the same place, it stinks.
  3.  Make things happen, don't presume it will happen.
  4. Partnership is built not only on trust but on the strength of each other.
  5. When you are rich, everyone is your friend. When you are in need, your friend is everyone’s except you.
  6. Treat others like how you want to be treated.
  7. You only have 1 reputation, treasure it.
  8. Do what you know best and leave the rest to the professionals.
  9. Your employees are your tools that make money for you. Treat them well but scrap away the rust or it will corrode others.
  10. There is nothing too difficult to achieve, if you can do it, I can do it better ~ probably with the right help) :P

By : Jared Ng

Monday, January 2

圍魏救趙 - Property prices in Singapore

History always repeats itself, just remember this old adage.

In the 1990s, Singapore property market went through the same cycle as it is now. The market went frenzy as many plunged in blindly, speculating with their life savings. The property developers were capitalising on the greed of speculators and kept pushing the land prices up as to create the impression the prices would be on the upward trend for some time. Through this artificial price mechanism, they created the price were unlikely to drop.

These developers also benefitted from the land banks they have bought previously as the value has now appreciated. Even after the Government introduced a series of anti-speculation measures, it has insignificant impact on the property prices. Mortage interest rates are low, this allows more people to hold on to their investments.

Although the number of transactions went down, developers choose to absorb stamp duties, legal fees rather than revising the price of the property significantly downwards while continuing to put in ambitious bids for new plots of land. The developers hope by keeping the bid prices high, they can continue to prop up the prices of the property. Potential buyers might have the impression that prices were unlikely to fall. This strategy works very well for period while the game evolved into a cat and mouse game eventually. Each camp is just waiting for the other to cave in.

Does everything sounds familiar? The execution of the strategy of "besieging Wei" ( pushing the prices of new lands) to "save Zhao" (prevent downward correction of property prices) work to the advantage of developers. If you are a smart buyer, I'd suggest you run before it's too late. I really can't see how the young can afford the "affordable" housing in Singapore.

By : Jared Ng

Thursday, December 8

How do I improve my life?

Alot of my people ask me how do I improve my life or how can they improve their life? Regardless in which aspect do you desire to improve in, the answer is very simple.

To improve your life, you've got to be better than yesterday. Each day, I just have to be better than yesterday. By the end of the week, you have already improved your life.

Wednesday, November 30

The emotions of a young landlord

End of this year marks the 6th year of me being a landlord though it surely feels longer than that. I've been landlord to retailers, fish hobbyists, business owners and home seekers. 6 years being a landlord, frankly, tough is the word to describe. I encounter many kinds of people. Some are very nice, some are not so nice and some are a disaster. Almost everyday, I have got to solved many issues for a lot of people. Issues is just a nice word to disguise problem. Some personal problems, some work-related problems, sometimes it's not my problem, sometimes they are the problem and of course sometimes, I am the problem. All these problems, I can either go fix it  or learn how to fix it. I have become a problem solver as days goes by. Now, do you still think my job is easy? It's an interesting job but it's not an easy job and apart from these, there is something else I have to deal with which I dislike.

3 days ago, I welcome 2 new nice tenants in my office but I also have to bid 2 exchange students farewell in the evening. Although the interaction with the students are very minimal but I still can’t help but to feel a tinge of sadness when I was bidding them farewell and wish them a pleasant trip back to their home country in Sweden. I probably will not see them ever again and they probably didn't make an impact in my life.

I have to handle some complains from their housemates but I understand they are young. They just a little messy and always didn't clean up after their meals. Other than that, they are very nice young ladies. When I was at their age, I have a pretty much messed-up house. I have to practically walk through my stuffs to reach my room. It’s wasn’t easy to get to my room. Guess what? It didn't help when you are staying alone; But at least there is no one to nag at you. When you grow older, you become very particular about cleanliness. You want a clean and tidy house to live in and you don’t want visitors like ants and roaches. I guess everyone pretty much went through the same process of growing up.

I've always try to refrain myself from getting too close to the tenants so that I'll have lesser heartache when they leave. Being a landlord is like a train, passengers come onboard, they reached their destination, they will have to alight and new passengers will come onboard. It's part and parcel of my work, my life. I never like to say goodbye to a tenant especially those nice ones. Many times, I’ve to defy my inner thoughts to bid them goodbye and wish them well and as well as to hide away my sadness.

6 years ago, I thought I was too green, too emotional and I thought I will grow out of it. 6 years later, it's just me. :)

Friday, July 30

Virtual Office Solutions (Singapore)

We have finally re-launched our VIRTUAL OFFICE  solutions in Singapore giving you more reasons to sign up with us. Our objective is to create more value for our clients. At Paramount Assets Corporation, we don't tell you we are the best. What we do is to indetify the problems and give you solutions to it.

Reasons for choosing us....

Not all businesses are suitable to have a Central Business District (CBD) registered address; in the bid to enhance the image of your business, it may totally backfire on you.

We have noticed most if not all of the virtual offices’ addresses are exposed. It is so easily available online simply by typing the address on search engines which can hurt your business image. We do not expose any of our business registered address.

Our virtual offices are currently located in Bukit Batok and we are expanding more for you to choose from. Each of our virtual office business address has a quota to limit the number of registrants who can use our address as the last thing we want is to have the whole street of business owners exchanging name cards having the same business address.

We do not open any of our client’s letters or parcels to preserve the integrity of its contents while we have the experience to eliminate most if not all the advertisements send to you so you don't get junk mails. Mails forwarding are done on the same day we received it and a notification is send to keep you informed.

With our low-cost mail transfer service, you never have to worry where our offices are located. Our clients love it as it’s cheaper than a bus ride and they capitalize on it to save time, money and hassle.

Our clients can have a peace of mind signing up our packages. For any reasons, you have 7 days to change your mind; however we will ask for the reason because we care.

To cater to different business needs, we specially designed 4 different virtual office packages. We also have a series of comprehensive in-house corporate solutions that is fundamental to all businesses at fabulous prices to enhance your competitiveness.

Last but not least, the extravagant furnishing of our offices tells you we are very serious in our business. We put our money where our mouth is. We own every property that is listed on our website and you never have to worry if we will be asked to move and affect your business operation. Even if you have a change of business address within our virtual offices, we can still do an internal mail transfer for you. Your mails will never go missing just because you change your business address.

Do you really need another reason ?

Thursday, April 22

What about BRANDING?

If you believe driving a Mercedes will bring you prestige, you believe in branding.

Entrepreneurs must realise the importance of Branding and work towards building a brand, a brand that brings you pride and glory. It is not only a company growth, it is your personal growth as now you will be able to visualise from a broader perspective.
We classify businesses into 3 major group below.

Start-up company:

Usually the reason given is they have limited resources and they are not willing to spend on an intangible asset. There are some people who believe in making themselves to look presentable but refuse to believe that their company has the same needs.

Traditional Businessman

Branding is not a popular option for traditional businessman. These are the people generally believes in building their businesses by

• Competitive pricing and personal services

• Establishing long working relationship

• Entertaining clients

It is difficult to pass on your successor for the obvious reason. Your clients may be replaced if they are employees. Their successors may have other ideas. There are just too many reasons to get your replaced.

MNCs or Larger SMEs

Generally, these are the companies who are willing to allocate a portion of their resources on branding as they feel this is to differentiate them from the rest. They didn't stop growing and branding themselves to capture a bigger market share. That is the reason today, they are MNCs and larger SMEs.

In a free market, no products or services are exclusively for any proprietor. Anyone can find a replacement product or sell the same service as you do. How do you stand out from the rest of the thousands of proprietors who are selling the same product or service?

More commonly than common, price war is imminent. You just have to imagine during a bidding session, so many hands raising to outbid the other party to offer a lower price. Next will be a series of cost cutting approach as to balance up the deficit in the lower profit margin. Everyone knows this but not everyone UNDERSTANDS how to apply it effectively. If a cost cutting strategy affects the quality of the services or products, this is no different from suicide.

Having a price war has an adverse effect in  the long run. In the situation when operational cost increased, raw material cost increased (These are constantly increasing), maintaining the business will be more challenging as profit margins are even lower. A low margin profit will post a higher risk for businss owners as there are very little rooms for set backs. If cost cutting is not a fessible option, then BRANDING is the answer to it.

I would relate BRANDING as dressing up. We all know we need to dress up appropriately to project the right image. We use certain products to make us stand out from the rest, to make us more superior than the rest. If we drive a Mercedes, speak good english, we are percieved as the richer and more educated group. If we dress up as a factory worker, we are percieved as a factory worker. I certainly have no intention to put anyone down but this is all human perception. For all we know, he may be a millionaire in disguise but when human perception is at work, you can't really think straight.

BRANDING is dressing up the company. It is a form of indentification, a form of differeniation. In short, Branding is what makes you, You! It separates you from the crowd and makes you stand out. It defines the distinctiveness of your services and products. It is how you are percieved by others.

When shopping for a pair of Jeans, you may hear your friends saying, you can't go wrong with Levis. They have been consistent in the quality of their products, designs, creativity and aftersales service to be the market leader. This is strongly percieved in the minds of the consumers. This is the kind of message you want your BRAND sends to all your customers. It makes fall in love with it, it makes you think you MUST have it and lastly, it makes you pay a premium for it.

For these reasons you need to protect your newfound identity by making sure you are consistent in what you produce, there is no glitch in your service level, communication, emails, phone call, client's visit, an event or an experience with your company( there are so many more examples). Training and educating your employees, your business partner (especially those who outsource some parts of their operation to other proprietors) is important. Everyone relating to your company is equally important as your customer do not differeriate you as a receptionist, a director, a product or services. A receptionist is as important as a director. They look at you as a whole.  It is exactly like how men evaluate the opposite sex. They don't just evaluate a lady is pretty by just looking at just the mouth, nose or eyes. The same goes to the ladies because we are all human.

Branding not only comprises of how you handle your clients/consumers, on a broader spectrum, you should also consider how you behave towards a supplier. It's naive to think that because you can get away abusing your suppliers simply because you are giving them business. It's just irrational to create a "I am good guy image" and on the other hand you turn into a psychotic monster.

Branding is huge because it is more than a logo, products or services, it encompasses so many areas. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time to build a brand. A brand is an unspoken guarantee, an assurance of its quality, services and it's commitment to the community, to it's users. Once you have build a brand, it is more challenging to be replaced by other companies. Without one, you just like any other Tom, Dick or Harry. You have an identity but just that nobody knows you.

This reminds me of a story.....
A thief wanted to break into a house, he is afraid of waking up the occupants in the house. After thinking really hard, he stuff cotton bud on each side of his ears. Smiling to himself for this smart idea, he broke into the house believing if he couldn't hear a sound, the occupants won't be able to hear him too. What happens to him? No prize for the right answer. A fool believes in what he wants to believe in.

It is foolish to believe the consumers may think otherwise when Branding has been a proven success. If you haven't start branding your company. It is high time you spend some time to think about it. Consumers are getting smarter and smarter, all thanks to Education and the poliferation of Internet.

Sunday, April 18

Pampering Your Company

Some people will take a long time to learn this, some misunderstood it.
Some know it, some refuse to acknowledge. Not acknowledging it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist………

Read on to understand the misunderstood..................'

My business doesn’t need image, it’s too small is the most common rationale which really baffle us. We always thought precisely the market is not familiar with your company that is why you need to enhance your company’s image to give your prospective client the confidence.

Things you think you do not need

• A proper company logo (that reflects your business)

• A proper business email and domain (

• A good quality and well designed business card ( This reflect your company's image, especially those who do not know you personally but has your business card)

• A proper business address ( You probably think an air-condition servicing firm will looks good with a CBD address or a home address will suit your business needs for those operating from home)

• A proper business website (We have seen too many company with template website, don't do something for the sake of doing. If you don't think other company's template website look good, that's what others think of your template website too.)

• A proper work place ( If you are going to work in there at least 8 hrs a day, make sure the work place brings you positive energy and stick with those with proper office management, it saves you a lot of trouble when things starts to go wrong)

• Working with Professionals (My friend can do this for me, my friend can do that for me, when things goes wrong, it's all my friend's fault. Costing cost down is not wrong but you have to know how to do it the right way and you have to remember it is your business and not your friend's)

Things you think you need

• A luxurious car ( Anything that don't add value to your business, you should be better off with any mid-range Toyota unless you have loads of spare cash, otherwise it is just for your personal vanity)

• Another branded handbag (You probably just need one if you are concern with your personal image, you could do much more branding your company with the price of another handbag)

• A $500 pen ( A $100 pen should do the same trick as your $500 pen, I would rather spent the extra cash on a nice, catchy mobile number or office number, at least it is easier to remember and makes your name card looks smarter)

• A bigger house (A bigger house comes with higher loans repayment, these higher repayments can have better use if you don't need to have a bigger house)

I would liken a company to cow. Everyone knows a cow produces milk and milk can be sold for money. As much as you may like to believe they magically produce a lot of milk under the worst environment, unfortunately, like all living things, they need proper care, proper housing, proper food and clean water.

Getting the right nutrients and proper care, they generally produce more milk and these directly translate into more profits for the owner. You couldn't be expecting to keep milking the cows without giving them food and shelter. To encourage better yield, you may have to invest a better shelter so that they don't fall sick, not forgetting proper care and better diet.

A company works the same way. When are ask to spend some money on your company like re-designing your logo, reprinting your name cards to better quality cards, a new website, upgrading to a better workplace, it terrifying to know that most people think otherwise! It's obscene to know that when it comes to pampering yourself, you are more than willing. You have forgotten that it is your company that brings you to have that extra cash to pamper yourself, sustaining your monthly household expenses. For some it may even allow you to buy those Rolex watches, those Gucci bags and of course that Mercedes.

When a prospective client don't know you, it is likely they evaluate you through your name card, your business website and the experience they encounter when they visit you. It is unlikely they evaluate you through the car you drive, the watch you wear or the handbag you carry. If you have all the right ingredients, you should be under their top priority consideration even you are charging at a slight premium.

We all know the saying don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Do everything right the first time and you don't have to spend extra money rectifying it. All our clients understand this, do you?