Malaysia’s had a tough year, I don’t think anyone can deny that. We lost 3 planes, lost lives and loved ones, lost homes through floods, endured droughts and water-rationing, had our oil subsidies removed, then felt the bite of tanking oil prices, and the gradual slide of the value of our ringgit. And on top of it all, it doesn’t look like 2015 is going to be much better.
Feels like we don’t have much to celebrate, at least on a big scale. So, feeling a bit down on this last day of 2014, I decided to look back at what I’ve done this year.
There were many big things, but it was the small things that called out to me.
In March, I spent hours and hours choosing from wallpaper catalogues with our interior designer. We were trying to find a stone-textured finish for our living room that was within our budget. It was not easy.
In August, I was rushing around to find the perfect customised birthday cake for my Dad – we wanted vanilla crepe, with topping of nuts and honey, all the things that he loves.
In November, I was caught up looking for a natural-style photographer to take family portrait shots at my granny’s 90th birthday, where nearly everyone in 4 generations would fly into town for. It would be epic, but chaotic.
Many small things that kept me busy – why did I spend so much effort doing these things?
“Crazy lah you – so busy already but do all these things. Why not just buy a cake from Secret Recipe, got free candles also. And family portrait just use iPhone 6 lah, looks just as good what” advised a naggy, but sensible friend of mine.
Do other people spend time on these things? I decided to look through the Recommend.my log of request for services.
I came across a customer of ours, Preet, who despite her busy schedule as a dentist, took the time to plan out her a colourful carnival-themed birthday party for her son, including food carts, games, a customised cakes and gifts for everyone, and a professional photographer to capture it all.
Then there was Waz, an accomplished professional, who wanted to give his wife the bedroom design she has always dreamed obout. The interior design and renovation period would mean he’d need to camp out in the living room for a couple of weeks, but he was willing to do it.
Not forgetting Nor, who was looking around for so long and finally came to us with the desire to build English-style white picket fences around her garden parameter. She already had the standard normal fences, but she wanted something special for her family.
Why did these people spend so much effort doing these things? Were they not busy people too, did they not have better things to do?
It finally occurred to me.
All these people, they wanted to create something special for the people in their lives, they wanted to mark a moment or event in a special way so that it wouldn’t just be another day; it would be a day that people remembered. They wanted to create a beautiful memory that would last.
We all need beautiful memories of good times – because they help us get through the tough times. They remind us that tough times don’t last forever. Like everything else in life, that too, will pass.
Here at Recommend.my, we’ve had an interesting but tough year. We launched a beta version in June, and started growing customer and service provider base. It was slow at the start, but ramped up and as of today, 17,000 people have used us to search for services, many of which have become repeat users. We have nearly 2,500 service providers listed (many personally recommended by community members), and already 400 of of them use Recommend.my as a new and effective way to grow their business.
This sounds decent, but it’s just a tiny start – our grand mission is to make it so easy for people to search for trusted service professionals that they never have to complain “Aiyah, so hard to find good services in Malaysia”.
We are not there yet. But we will get there, with your support.
In January 2015, we will launch a revamped site which will make it so much easier for you get quotes from trusted and recommended service professionals. We are already helping hundreds of you find services this way, but we want to grow it to tens and hundreds of thousands next year. Do look out for our updates in a couple of weeks.
As 2014 ends, let us look back and acknowledge the challenges that we’ve all gone through. They’ve taught us something, changed the way we see life, toughened us up for the ride ahead. But let us look forward to a 2015 with hope and know that even as we go through the ups and downs, we can create and celebrate special moments for ourselves and our loved ones that will never be forgotten.
A very Happy New Year from all of us at Recommend.my.
Yours in service,
Recommend.my – Malaysia #1 Home Improvement Site