11 Common Exporter Mistakes

The most common mistakes of new exporters.

1. Failure to get export counseling and to develop an international marketing plan before starting exports

2. Insufficient commitment by op management

3. Insufficient care in selecting overseas agents or distributors

4. Chasing orders from around the world instead of establishing a basis for profitable and orderly growth

5. Neglecting export business when the local market booms

6. Failure to treat international distributors on an equal basis with domestic counterparts

7. Assuming that a given product and marketing technique will succeed everywhere

8. Unwillingness to modify products to meet preferences or regulations of other countries

9. Failure to print sales, service, and warranty messages in local languages

10 Failure to consider use of an export management company

11. Failure to provide readily available servicing for the product


Factors Affecting Competitiveness

What factors that you should maintain in order to increase competitiveness.

1. Wage. If a company is labor intensive,a company which domain is in low wage country has an advantage.

2. Productivity. If workers work harder, produce better quality and better quantity of products, using more up to date machines, the company is more efficient ( in terms of cost)

3. Cost of capital. If it costs less to borrow money or raise equity capital, a company can invest more and accept lower returns.

4. Technology. A company that is the first with an advanced technology product, which can be protected by patents, has an advantage

5. Management. This covers a variety of skills, including manufacturing and marketing skills, as well as ability to organize for worldwide operations. this is primarily a form-specific issue, arising out of the quality and experience of its human resources.
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If one company is labor intensive and the labor cost is high, make sure that it’s labor productivity is high and division of labor should be effective because the cost to product one product will be decreasing. There are several ways to increase labor productivity (management is the one who can do this):

1. Change layout and production process in order to minimize useless movement of product and labor

2. Learning curve. Worker will become more skillful if he/she do specific job

3. Create a better culture in a company


Origin of The Brand : Book

Buku The Origin of The Brand dicetak pertama kali pada tahun 2004 dan memiliki tebal halaman sebanyak 320 halaman.

Dalam buku ini, Al ries menjelaskan mengenai beberapa topik yang penting, yaitu pengembangan merek suatu kategori dan bagaimana perusahaan dapat memperoleh keuntungan karena mengetahui hal tersebut. Pembelajaran dilakukan dengan menggunakan perusahaam-perusahaan yang berhasil maupun gagal menerapkan sistem dan pengetahuan yang diyakininya (seperti buku-buku sebelum dan sesudahnya). Gaya menulisnya sangatlah rasional dan menggunakan data-data historis yang konkret mengenai berbagai perusahaan baik yang besar maupun yang kecil.

Al Ries meyakini bahwa pada dasarnya suatu merek dimulai dari kategori produk yang sederhana dan berkembang menjadi kategori produk yang lebih spesifik dari sebelumnya. Teori yang sama disebutkan dalam buku tersebut adalah mengenai Teori Darwin. Al Ries percaya bahwa ke depannya produk-produk akan terbagi menjadi kategori-kategori yang lebih spesifik (divergence) dan bukan menjadi satu (convergence).Contoh: kategori personal komputer terpecah menjadi PC, Notebook, Netbook, Tablet PC dan seterusnya. Penulis tidak percaya akan era dimana produk-produk akan bergabung fungsinya menjadi 1, misalnya mesin cuci yang bisa nonton tv, dan sebagainya.

Oleh karena itu, penulis percaya bahwa, jika perusahaan ingin mengambil keuntungan, yang harus dilakukan adalah memperkenalkan kategori produk spesifik yang baru dari produk yang sebelumnya sehingga memecah pasar. Meluncurkan produk kategori baru yang pertama akan memberikan keuntungan yang lebih dibandingkan dengan pengikutnya.

Jika terdapat suatu produk kategori tertentu yang sudah lama dan tidak berhasil di pasar, maka perusahaan harus dengan tegas mengambil tindakan untuk memotong kategori tersebut dan memunculkan kategori yang baru.

Dengan mengetahui beberapa informasi di atas, diharapkan agar perusahaan dapat menikmati keuntungan. Secara keseluruhan, saya merekomendasikan buku ini untuk dibaca karena sangan baik dan sangat inspiratif.


Chinese Literature - Sun Tzu's Art of War (2)


Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war,where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots,as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front,including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town,you will exhaust your strength.

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.

The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.

On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.

When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store.

Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.


Inspirational Manager Book : Summary

Inspirational manager berbeda dengan manager-manager pada umumnya. Inspirational manager merupakan orang-orang yang:
1. Memiliki belief dan values yang baik serta menjadikan belief dan values tersebut sebagai pedoman untuk berhubungan dengan orang lain. Dengan demikian, manager tersebut dapat menjadi inspirasi bagi rekan kerja maupn anak buahnya
2. Inspirational manager percaya bahwa semua orang memiliki kelebihan dan kekurangan masing-masing dan percaya bahwa kelebihan maupun kekurangan tersebut dapat dikembangkan
3. Konsisten
4. Memberikan kepercayaan kepada orang lain dan dapat dipercaya karena bertanggung jawab

Pada dasarnya inpirational manager terlebih dahulu harus mengetahui kekurangan dan kelebihan diri sendiri dan berusaha untuk mengatasi kedua hal tersebut. Setelah mengetahui kelebihan dan kekurangan, ia juga harus mengetahui gaya kepemimpinan apa yang sesuai untuk dia dan lingkungan kerjanya. Dengan demikian, maka inspirational manager harus menjadikan dirinya sebagai sosok yang harus diteladani oleh orang lain.

Dalam melakukan aktivitas bersama dengan rekan kerja atau bawahan, inspirational manager dapat mempercayakan/ mendelegasikan tugas-tugas dengan tetap bertanggung jawab atas hasil dari pekerjaan yang dilakukan bawahannya. Ketika melakukan delegasi, ia tetap menjaga, melatih dan membimbing anak buahnya.

Kesalahan anak buah dianggap sebagai peluang untuk belajar karena percaya bahwa dengan melakukan pengembangan diri dengan terus menerus, kelebihan dan kekurangan seseorang dapat dilatih.Dengan pembelajaran dan pelatihan yang terus-menerus, inspirational manager bertujuan untuk membangun sebuah kultur dan kebiasaan dalam suatu perusahaan yang dapat memberikan hasil yang memuaskan atau produktif.


Chinese Literature - Sun Tzu's Art of War (1)

A lot of authors try to identify and link between Sun Tzu's Art of War with management also business practice. Can't say that it's not appropriate, but considering that a different perspectives can contribute different meanings. So, what posted in this blog is the translated one. Try to find broader meaning behind the literature and apply it by yourself in your own way (in life,business,relationship,etc)


Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat,times and seasons.

Earth comprises distances, great and small;danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions,the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:
Which of the two sovereigns is imbued
with the Moral law?
Which of the two generals has most ability?
With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven
and Earth?
On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
Which army is stronger?
On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it,will suffer defeat:--let such a one be dismissed!

While heading the profit of my counsel,avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

According as circumstances are favorable,one should modify one's plans.

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder,and crush him.

If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

Translated from the Chinese
By LIONEL GILES, M.A. (1910)


Tips Regarding Office Politics

This article contains several tips to build healthy relationship in your company.

As stated in description, this article was created in order to help you create a better life in your office by making a good and also healthy relationship with your coworker and your boss.

1. Hold your tongue and never talk negative (badmouth) behind or in front of your coworker, even your boss. If you talk negatively about somebody, he/she WILL know all about it sooner or later. And the issue will be bigger when she/he hear about it

2. Ask your friend or even your boss if you find something confusing / not clear. Confirm it yourself, don’t ask another people

3. Walk the talk. Be reliable. Make sure you fulfill your promise. If not, then other people will create negative issue about you

4. Help the others with their work, but don’t act as if you are the smartest. Keep low profile.

5. Treat another people well and make them feel that you like them. Don’t make enemy ^^. always maintain a right distance between you and another people within your company, including your boss