On May the 11th 2012, Matt & I celebrated our one year here in the Philippines and thought we would quickly look back on some of the major mistakes we have made as well as attempt to bring some clarity for the future by creating a little more of a plan.
Both myself & Matt have a hard time setting long term plans, so if we are to be honest we didn’t get very far with that part of the discussion. I am stuck a little between two thoughts …
- Setting long term plans are crap as we never know what the future holds & its ridiculous to try and plan out what we will do for the next 10 years.
- Setting long term plans gives us clarity, vision and something to work towards; it would bring the whole company and align them with a purpose.
My main objective of doing all this was to ensure we did not go around the same mountain again and find ourselves in the same position in one year’s time … I want progress!
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.- Steve Jobs
So here are some of the notes we took from our discussion …
Goal: Learn From Mistakes & Set The Direction For The Future
Looking Back On The Past Year
The goal of this section is for us to look back at some of the major mistakes we have made over the last year, be reminded of them and to ensure they don’t happen again.
- Trusting the wrong people
- Management style not suited for Filipinos
- Overspent / Hired too many staff
- Getting a new office before sorting out more important core business issues
- Spending too much time on task not directly related to making profit / revenue
- Poor recruitment
- Not focusing enough on growth
What We Have Done Right
The goal of this section is appreciate the things we have done right over the past year as you can see this list is shorter than the mistakes list
- Pivoting, eg, Closing the office
- Increasing profit margins
- Lowering our costs
- Keeping personal costs low, allowing us an increased runway
- Worked our fingers to the bone
- No growth- poor client retention rate, low amount of new sales never increase amount of leads, poor management, poor staff, founders didn’t focus enough on growth more on daily business dealings
- Management team not able to replace founders- lack of systems, lack of quality staff
Looking To The Future
Planning | The Year Ahead
The goal here is to plan what to work on, prioritise & work towards over the next year.
- Get out of Davao … minimum Manila/Cebu … but even better a different country … China perhaps?
- $35,000 in the business bank account … $5,000 in profits a month
Planning | The Next 5 Years
Goal here, where we want to be in 5 years time and where we see ourselves and where we want to be. I kind of hate this question because like you Matt I think its generally crap, but i am sure you can agree it is important we know what the other values and also important that we can agree to a similar vision for the company.
- Be able to live anywhere in the world and have the option to even live back home in Australia, ie … earn personally $5,000 – $10,000 per month
- Change the pricing on RWM as current prices are above industry standard, plus we are changing the model..
- Hiring a “westerner” / intern
- Become A Reseller?
- Competitor Research … see how they operate.
- Looking into the type of people we hire … should we be hiring from Manila?
- Website makeover
Have any thoughts on our notes? Anything we said you disagree with? Let me know
PS. We were going to hire an intern via TropicalWorkforce, but then thanks to this blog, someone contacted us who is living here in the Philippines and we decided to hire! More info in an upcoming post.