Sunday, January 06, 2008

Something in my mind

The year 2008 had started on the right note for me. And since its also a Leap Year, I probably had to make the most out of it cos I believe a Leap Year is always a lucky year. If not why does it only comes once in every 4 years.

Work wise I have no complains as the year started. Anyway its the same every year, numbers and numbers, quotas and quotas. This had became a very monotonous task for me whom I had been working for the past 13 years with this company. No complains so far but I believe it can be better with more strategic leadership, motivation and vision for the future. IMHO I think the current state of my company is undergoing a transformation with some leaders moving on while new ones with new ideas replacing them. Its still too early to say whether its for the better or for the worst. Lets see how it goes.

Running wise I have kinda reach my goal of running comfortably under a 6min pace in a long run like 15k - 20k. Even in a shorter distance, I can even now bring it down to a sub5 min pace. This I believed its the base training (over 2 years since I make a comeback to running in Sept 05) that I work myself on plus those speedworks that I integrate into my LSD and weekday morning runs. Its starting to show based on those timings that I achieved lately in the past couple of races. This will continue as 2008 goes by. As I said I will make the most out of this year since its a Leap Year.

The next big thing in my mind is the current state of marketing the Saucony brand of running shoes to fellow runners. I hope and do believed that I kinda of create a name for Saucony in the running scene ( since I reintroduce it to the market for the past 1.5yrs) where I am starting to see more runners using the brand in some races. This was made possible for the reason that I went overboard in creating promotions (sacrificing for a lower margin) and making this brand a lot more affordable to casual and serious runners. And yet I am not sacrificing on the value and performance of the brand. Feedbacks was indeed very positive towards the quality and performance of the brand, and I believed it can be better if I spend more time to market it.

My next challenge towards the brand beginning of the year was the news that I got from the distributor that they wont be stocking the models in Malaysia. And therefore with this decision that they made, I actually have to make outfront payment and stock the shoes myself if I will to continue marketing the brand. This actually had made me put on my thinking cap of whether I shall continue selling Saucony to the running community (at least to those that had supported me all this while). If I jump into the bandwagon of marketing Saucony I have to find a small outlet to house the stock, and actually start running a small business to sell running shoes either on a part-time small scale or full time basis.

The next hurdle that pops up immediately will be the cost of operation and the finance element. I have to think of my outfront investment for the goods plus rental I have to pay. All these cost money and I am not truely sure whether it can be covered. To cut the story short, I am still at a crossroad in my decision on these. If I take the easy way out, then its a no brainer ~ stop everything and forget about marketing Saucony. No more good value price performance Saucony shoes for the running community. And if I proceed with the plan of setting up the business then there are lot more areas to look at and focus on, it wont be smooth sailing at least for the initial 6 months or so. But again this is always a dream of my life to operate a business of my own and especially in an area I am close to and love doing it ~ and thats sports and running.

Well with so much said and done, I will figure it out and hopefully a decision will be made soon. Whether a new store will be born in 2008 will be there for everyone to see, and whatever happen I will still be in the running scene. And if the store turns out positive, I will need the strongest support from the running community to make it a success and probably an outlet that the runners can gather and exchange running tips besides coming by to purchase their shoes.

Cherrio 2008 and its a LEAP YEAR with hope, cinya!!!!!


CP Waterman said...

Indeed its a big decision on Saucony and you should get more feedbacks before you make a concrete move.
Over here I saw Saucony shoes being slotted in the sports shops in late 2006 (tat's when I saw the golden T4 at 130 euros) but I don't see any of them now on the shelves??? Has Saucony retreated due to some market factors either in lack of sales results or less than ideal arrangement with shoes agent or purely internal company matters that leaves rooms to ponder.
Mizuno seems to be a more established brand.
I hope you will make a wise decision b'cos tis involves costs & time plus lots of headaches whether you are in for single Saucony brand or multi popular brands.

C-CUBE said...

Yes its a decision i had to make on whether to take it to the next level. Well will see how it goes

krunner said...

I don't think you can survive by just supplying products to runners. At most, runners will spend RM 600 per year for shoes which is a consumable item. There are not enough serious runners in the Klang valley or Malaysia to support a specialist running shop in KL. Maybe triathlon products have to be added like the Running Lab shop in Singapore.

C-CUBE said...

krunner, you hit the point. thats the problem i am seeing too. there are not enuf serious runners in malaysia to create the mass. wonder how those sport shops survive especially in prime location malls, cinya!!!