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Being the founder of Ilham Childcare, I believe business owners would have no problems at all when it comes to setting goals or long term vision for the company. However, the problem only starts to arise along the way, when we fail to anticipate the possible humps and bumps throughout our journey and are not prepared for it. 

Trust me, there are tons of possible issues that might happen which we can’t anticipate it all. So, surely, we are bound to face these situations as they are inevitable.

I am sure most business owners have this mindset that being business partners with a family member or close friend is like digging a hole for your own business. Reason being, it’s hard to clearly distinguish between acting like professionals and staying objective versus when to act like a family member or a friend towards your partner. 

Although I can understand where they are coming from, I actually see it in a totally different light, seeing as my husband is my business partner. Contrary to what most people think, we actually have no trouble keeping our private and business lives separate. Not the easiest thing to do, but how we overcome this was to adopt a different mindset altogether and set clear boundaries to make sure that our personal and private life do not intertwine. It is actually doable!

I won’t deny that it does get tricky and a bit sticky sometimes, but, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why?

It actually brings great opportunities for us both! For example, working together increases transparency in terms of communication, we also get to easily work towards the same vision and we also understand each other’s capabilities better than anyone else would, which makes it easier for us to make informed decisions together! The business does run more smoothly when two like-minded individuals work together with a shared goal in mind, as opposed to what most people think.

Now, another common thinking mistake I’ve noticed would be deeming your business’ marketing as unnecessary cost but still believing that the business will come to you. Well guess what, to me it’s the total opposite. I think it’s actually a really strong investment and basic step for your business to thrive and go far.

Some of you might think; why does a childcare centre need to engage in marketing at all? Well, with younger parents being more career-minded, childcare centres are definitely becoming a necessity to many more. As a result, more childcare centres are opened which means that our company will face even higher competition. Oh, no!

As a director of Ilham Childcare, I truly recognise the importance of maintaining a step ahead of our competitors in order for our business to kick off. It is one thing to offer the best service, but it is also another thing to ensure that the public even knew of our services in the first place. Without any audience, how are we going to gain customers? 

Hence, in order to overcome this, our childcare has engaged with an external marketing firm to handle all the aspects of our marketing. This is good for us, as it helps us gain a much bigger outreach, but also means that we can direct our efforts and focus into other things. Honestly, it would be so, so, so much more efficient to run a business this way and the increased focus would eventually turn to better performance! And that is again, the total opposite of what most people think!

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes made by business owners, not anticipating or taking a potential future crisis seriously enough. 

It’s super important for us to think far, have foresight. However, as many businesses are too focused on the KPIs of the present, many tend to overlook the potential crisis that might happen. This is bad because if a crisis were to happen, they will not be able to react on time. 

At Ilham Childcare, we ensure that this does not happen to us by constantly adopting new technologies and methodologies moving forward. For example, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses are suffering a significant hit, as they remain unprepared. But our childcare was able to cushion the impact of the pandemic due to the fact that we have introduced the Smile and Learn app to the students way before the pandemic. As a result, it helps the students transition more easily and smoothly to online and digital learning platforms.

Thus, we should never be complacent or procrastinate especially when it comes to contingency plans as it can either make or break your business.

At the end of the day, I feel that it is normal for us to adopt these common mistaken mindsets. However, we must not always take things at face value and should really consider the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to go through with a certain perspective. No matter what the situations are, I truly believe that there’s no such thing as the ‘wrong’ way to think. What matters is how you leverage on the positives, and to do that you need to have a flexible, strong and quick to adapt mindset.