We all make mistakes as entrepreneurs, but some mistakes can be more devastating than others. In this blog post, We want to share with you the most expensive mistake that Fasih Mandarin ever made (RM200k+), and how we bounced back from it.
Back in 2020, Fasih Mandarin was on a roll. We re-launched our online courses, and we were getting a lot of customers, especially during Pandemic where everyone had to stay at home and "do nothing". We were so obsessed with growth that we made a fatal mistake: we bit off more than we could chew. We hired too fast, under-trained the new hires, and we lost control of our cash flow.
The idea of getting more people was too quick, and we hadn’t thought about who would train them while everyone was busy completing their tasks. It has resulted in many incompetent members as they have not received enough training or attention from their leaders. And the worst part is that many of them are drifting apart from company objectives. There were lots of in and out people from the company and it has wasted a lot of our time and motivation of our team members.
This mistake cost us a whopping RM200k in our business. It was a huge blow for us, but it was also a wake-up call. We realized the importance of financial planning and risk management. We also realized the importance of staying true to our core business and not overstretching ourselves.
We managed to recover from this costly mistake by making some hard choices. We dissected our expenses history to cut down the "luxury", started to hire based on what we need but not on the necessary and we focused on our core business. We also learned to be more prudent and to grow our business at a realistic rate.
Learning from trial and error is costly and expensive; not everyone can do that or is capable of doing so. Having the option open means you could see more details, and is it something you need? Something that can give you the outcomes you need? Or something that is working towards your goals?
We are sharing this story with you because we want our fellow entrepreneurs to benefit from our experience. I hope this story can help more SMEs be aware of having a significant number in their account; it does not mean we can splurge into every “KIV” plan just because previously there were so many of them being KIV-ed because of financial limitations. Entrepreneurs need to do proper homework, study and get multiple pieces of advice to ensure every investment gets the expected outcomes!
The experience made Fasih Mandarin more vital than ever, even though we had to experience it in quite an expensive way! We’ll never know if we wouldn’t experience it; like it or not, it is a costly lesson that we had and made us wise towards our cash flow while at the same time making sure the company is doing great.
This story was featured on Vulcan Post Malaysia, a leading online media platform in Malaysia. You can read the full article here: "3 Malaysian founders share their biggest business mistakes that made them better entrepreneurs".
We would like to thank Vulcan Post team and Joycelyn Tan for their continuous support. We are humbled to be featured alongside established local brands such as Sometime By Asian Designers and Nicholes Cakery.