It has been more than 4 years since I took the plunge.
In Oct 2013, after being in the Ministry of Transport (MOT) for more than 5 years, I made a bold decision to leave. For many, it was an absolutely incomprehensible choice. I was drawing a good pay, enjoying a stable job with an excellent environment and work-life balance.
Lured by the opportunity to consult for businesses, my choice of destination was a boutique-consulting firm. The 9 months which I spent at HGE International was one of the most defining moments of my life as it felt like it was a phase of awakening to the purpose of my life. This was the beginning of a season where I first discovered that I could deploy my skills and passion to help businesses grow. It was also during this time where I learnt about how important values are in business and life.
Walking in the trails
My first assignment came when I had the chance of taking up a Marketing & Sales role at a software development company. For a period of over 6 months, I was working directly with the management team and had the first-hand experience in observing how a SME was managed and grown. Generating leads, fixing/attending sales meetings, creating marketing collaterals and even designing websites were part of the job.
At the same time, I was also filling in the role of Business Development at a local start-up (Legendary Social Tees). We had big dreams of disrupting the local t-shirt printing industry by introducing a program that allows anyone to print with us without any minimum quantity or upfront cost. This revolutionary move started to empower local design talents and we soon become the preferred printing partner for more than 100 clients. One of the biggest highlights of our journey was having the opportunity to organise Singapore's inaugural t-shirt festival at the National Design Centre, and we soon harboured the intention to grow the company beyond the shores of Singapore.
Unfortunately, our plans to secure funding did not materialise and we had to significantly scale down operations due to high overheads.
Desire to help SMEs
The initial journey of my post-civil service years was challenging and it did not seem to be leading anywhere at all. However, my desire to help SMEs never faded.
Over the past few years, both Sam and I had witnessed many SMEs struggle in two key areas, lacking strategic direction and having insufficient resources to grow. We soon recognised that these companies do not have the resources to engage a consultant to provide strategic advice and/or implement the recommendations made by consultants.
Finally, on 1st Nov 2015, Sam and I started our company. Over the next couple of years, we had the opportunity to work on a host of different projects in the F&B industry related to business strategy, business planning, franchise expansion, financial projections, content development, marketing & branding etc.
2017 - A Promising Year
In the first few months of 2017, we began to entertain a hypothesis that there could be a market for what we are intending to offer - bridging the gap between strategy and implementation. This is where we started making little steps to be on a lookout for companies and partners to work with while at the same time identifying potential businesses that may require our services. Over the past few months, we have managed to build strong connections with a team of solutions specialists and consultants that could support our vision of providing help to business owners/companies in the area of strategic planning and expertise to execute these recommendations.
BNI Origins – the beginning of an exciting journey
In Feb 2017, I was invited to the core group of BNI Origins and it marked the beginning of a an exciting journey. I became acquainted with a group of like-minded business owners who are collaborative, driven, generous and willing to go all out to help each other grow their businesses.
Over the next few months, I had the opportunity of knowing every member at a deeper level, forming collaborations and even business partnerships with some of them.
To the partners/business owners of Inspireo (Francis/Xael), Nam Brothers (Nam Haesik), Tiny Photos (Desmond/Belinda), Singapore Pain Solutions (Dr Jenny Li) and Network Association Singapore (Lynn/Jimmy), I am very grateful to all of you for giving me the opportunity to help your businesses grow over the past few months.
I am looking forward to continue embarking on this journey of learning and growth together with this awesome group!
We are turning 2!
In about a few days time, Samantha Hoong & Partners LLP will officially turn 2!
As a team, we are constantly on the lookout to provide greater value to our clients and we have already taken steps to refine and expand our service offerings to better meet the needs of the target audience that we are intending to work with.
Over the past few months, we have taken a huge step in acquiring capabilities to be able to provide practical solutions to our clients – with KACE Digital and Avernor becoming an integral part of our network of companies, providing soultions in the area of web/application development, digital marketing and creative/design solutions.
The Journey Goes On
This journey would not have been possible without the support of some amazing people in my life.
My loving wife – the better and wiser partner of Samantha Hoong & Partners LLP, the silent/strong/supportive partner who gave up her career and personal life to support our family, business and vision. It was your commitment, love and sacrifice that brought us this far on the journey.
Our parents – thank you for your support even when you cannot quite figure out the logic and sense behind some of the choices that I made.
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – our Precedent Partner who carried us through difficult times and seasons; constantly fulfilling all our needs and being faithful and gracious to our household at all times.
[A special note of thanks to Edwin Phua (Chef at Work), Joanne Lim (Letter J Supply), Michelle Lin (TSG), Meng Hui (Yen’s Tuition), Uncle Robert Shu/Ping Wen (Tuffi Group), Derrick Tang (Volstar) for giving us an opportunity to work with you when we were still in the early stages of growth]
We truly appreciate having the opportunity to work with multitudes of business owners and forging long term partnerships over these years. Helping individuals and businesses grow has always been the core of why we started and why we carry on.
We are looking forward with excitement and anticipation with regards to how the future would unfold!
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)