Using The 5W + 1H To Explain Our Story is a story of an Singapore based internet marketing agency that wants to empower one-man-shows and small business owners (<10 staff) to generate more sales from the internet.

As firm believers in the 5W + 1H Framework (Who, What, When, Why, Where + How), we believe this is the ideal framework to write the “About Us” page for any website.

What Is all about?

The term “Kaizen” is a noun and Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.

Although most people dream of overnight riches (I am guilty of this), sustainable success comes from “Kaizen”, the continuous improvement over time.

The best way I like to understand this concept is to improve my business productivity among our team by 1% per day incrementally and let the power of compounding “interest” does its job over years.

aire” a suffix that forms nouns denoting a person characterized by or occupied with that named by the stem, occurring in loanwords from French: concessionaire; doctrinaire; legionnaire; millionaire.

As such the term “Kaizenaire” is invented to denote someone who is fanatically obsessed about improving his/her business constantly over time and eventually achieving financial freedom (think millionaire).

Who runs

Ken and Charlotte are a couple from Singapore who runs their own boutique digital advertising agency. As many will know, Singapore is one of the most expensive country in the world and while this is a great place for businesses, the business environment is cut throat and the (already expensive) labour market is tight coupled with a government policy which limits the import of overseas labour.

How Did Get Start?

Most companies in Singapore face a labour shortage and while we understand the need to raise productivity (doing more with the same headcount), for the service industry, there is a limit to how much productivity we can achieve. Job-hopping is common among job seekers (not just the millenniums) and as a small company, even if we are willing to pay above-market wages (on top of declining profit margins), we are not able to offer the coveted “corporate ladder” as a route of advancement to employees.

As a result around 3 years ago, in order to think outside the box – we started looking for freelancers online for work such as writing, content writing, copywriting, social media marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, graphic design, web design and even the occasional custom software development work.

As the Pareto Principle would have it, the 80-20 rule firmly holds, 20% of all freelancers are capable and able to deliver what we want. The other 80% were a nightmare and sifting through them cost considerable money, time and effort.

As such, we asked ourselves once more – how do we move from here?

Our gut feelings told me we were in the right direction and we needed to dig deeper.

In Singapore, the local Singaporeans are no strangers to Filipinos (citizens of Philippines). They have a good command of English and consume Western entertainment content (think Hollywood, CNN and BBC). Culturally they are a good fit with Singaporeans and most of them have good work ethics.

The Struggles

We started to put together a system of filtering the good Filipino candidates, a system of interviewing them, a system of training them, a system of transferring our business system to them and a system of “Standard Operating Procedures” to manage them.

It was not easy.

Culturally although Filipinos are hardworking, Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world (at least accordingly to this report

“Did you know? Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world, with the average worker clocking in 2,371.2 hours in 2016.”

Did you know? Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world, with the average worker clocking in 2,371.2 hours in 2016. The Working Hours Survey conducted last year by recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley found that 70 per cent of professionals in Singapore work longer than their contracted hours. 6.5 out of 10 people “felt obliged to work longer than their contracted hours”. And 9 out of 10 work these extra hours for free as they aren’t paid by their employer for working late.

Subconsciously we were making our Filipinos staff working more intensive than their counterparts (I would like to clarify that we do pay our Filipinos staff above-market wages in their home country).