Tuesday, March 07, 2006

2nd work week thoughts

Reflections for the 2nd week of work : 13/02/06 – 19/02/06
Scope and Size of Company
My company is amazingly small for the amount of projects that we manage . Initially, we consists of 2 Shanghainese, 3 student interns (including myself) and my boss. Recently, now we just recruited 2 more Chinese.
However, these are the projects that we are running: A franchise for women gym for the entire China!, a smart home project , a building in Kunshan and a gym elsewhere in Shanghai. My boss is also a adjunct lecturer at the local Uni. Hence you can see she is running so many portfolios at one time. My question is whether this is really effective, perhaps the crucial point is about hiring the right people to work for you to manage the projects while you can still keep the profits, however i still feel that our office is definitely inadequately staffed. Still surprised at how my boss can run so many and diversified group of business and yet be so heavily reliant on just interns.
This also links me back to my idol: Richard Branson. His business model is already one of the most disputed business model because it is generally encouraged that business build themselves around a certain core strength. For example, IBM has also given up its PCs and laptops business to Lenovo while focusing on business solutions to companies. However, as i learnt in Entrepreneurial marketing lesson, one should also diversify to spread one's risk. The example he gave was Coke – which originally bought Columbia's picture and then later sold it away. Now Coke is still diversifying but only into drinks – i think we can recall that all the F&N products in Singapore like Green Tea and Outrageous Orange are all products of the Coka- Cola Company. Sony also diversified but i think more into electronics/entertainment related stuff. While we should diverse, but we should enter into so many different or unrelated fields?
As Gabriel pointed out to me, for Virginia, this may be a good business model because it actually helps her consulting business – getting contacts, expanding the business network.
For Branson, he is really pushing the limit, for him he is only involved in the starting of the new companies ,lending his brand name to it, however as far as i know he gives the other owner of the new business a substantial share of it, so that they will manage it properly and he also injects into the new businesses – the fun and value of money element.

How is it possible that we franchise for the entire china?
I also cannot see how that with such a small company size, though i do not know the exact assets of the company, we can actually run the franchise for the entire china. This is truly amazing once you know the staffing condition of my company and that the female gym is one of the top few in US.
However, as like my boss mentioned : One must persevere - Last 2 years, there was hardly any franchisee for the female gym. However, this year there are about 3 franchisee in the first half of the year already.
Yet again, the headquarters in US does not have very high standards, cause I am translating their documents and even formatting is not done properly.  This is something that I will not expect from an International Company.
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