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"How to leverage your business to cope with life challenges?", Phuong Uyen Tran

April 12, 2020 | 08:56

Businesses rarely become successful immediately. They can face many challenges along their way. Phuong Uyen Tran suggested three ways that startup or multigenerational business can take to leverage their companies when life gives them lemons.

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how to leverage your business to cope with life challenges phuong uyen tran
Tan Hiep Phat family

As any entrepreneur can attest, starting and running a business is not simple. It takes a great deal of sacrifice, time, courage and humility. Businesses rarely become successful immediately—and when they become successful, evolution is an inevitable part of its future.

I often think of my father, who started his initial yeast business in less-than-ideal circumstances and outside resistance. He continued in this industry until yeast prices collapsed in 1979. Instead of closing his doors, he pivoted his business to a sugar and fructose processing operation which would eventually lead to alcohol distilling and then into beer brewery. After identifying the consumer needs, he exited the alcohol industry and focused THP on non-alcoholic and good-for-health beverages, Today his business—THP Beverage Group—is Vietnam’s largest family-owned manufacturer in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category, employing more than five thousand staff members nationwide.

He didn’t achieve it all at once—it took both a long-term vision as well as a relentless dedication to daily tasks. This work ethic and vision for what he could one day create would eventually yield a company capable of competing with multinationals like Coca-Cola.

Consider the following as you embark on a new venture, or are continuing a multi-generational company when things are challenging:

Focus on what you do well

It’s easy to sometimes believe you need to do more than is necessary when it comes to your business and its offerings. While it’s important to listen to the market and what it wants, it’s equally important to prioritize and do what you do well. An article written for Business Insider offers an interesting view on why some entrepreneurs don’t succeed, “Startup founders have boundless ambition. Most founders can imagine their platform concept having broad appeal and meeting the needs of many customers, with numerous products, often across many markets. Investors love to hear about platforms and big visions for success. This ambition is contagious but also very dangerous…Repeat after me: ‘Startups Rarely Do Anything Well.’ I believe this mantra is the key to startup success.” In other words, don’t get ahead of yourself. In business, as in all things, you must learn to crawl before you can run. Those who learn an instrument may have dreams of playing difficult concertos; however, one must first begin with fundamentals. Many businesses experience difficulties when they don’t start small and slowly build to greater heights.

how to leverage your business to cope with life challenges phuong uyen tran
Tan Hiep Phat's Deputy CEO Phuong Uyen Tran

Remember mistakes can lead to success

It may sound trite, but mistakes – if learned from – are merely opportunities for future success. Failure scares most people - they generally do not want to advertise their mistakes in case a rival uses the information against them. However, failure is all around us, and there is no reason to be afraid of it. It is something we should respect and try to learn from. It is always easier to find excuses and far harder to embrace setbacks and mistakes with the same enthusiasm as triumphs and victories. Our mistakes, or “rough patches,” present opportunities for growth and future success.

Hold fast to your values

Regardless of what growing pains you encounter in business, those companies that develop a set of core values and adhere to them can successfully refine and achieve their goals each step of the way. When your values are woven into the fabric of your business and influence the way you and your staff handle day-to-day business, you will always come out on top.

Given where it stands today, it is hard to imagine what THP was at the beginning—a small yeast company. It was incredibly difficult, but my parents stayed focused through every stage and evolution of their business. They took every setback as an opportunity to move ahead even further. They weren’t afraid of failure or rough patches; instead, they actively embraced them, knowing each experience would provide valuable lessons and greater opportunities for success in the future.

About author Phuong Uyen Tran

Phuong Uyen Tran is a special contributor for Vietnam Times. Her writing, including “Competing with Giant” book, and her latest articles are to advise and inspire young people to start-up, overcome challenges and reach out to the world. It is the story of a little girl taking the great responsibilities for a corporation and devoting herself to society.

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