36 Strategies

This is a house before Dominic painted it

Question 1

Which of these strategies would be the best for me to improve my business in terms of getting more customers and increasing my income and how would I apply this strategy to have these outcomes?



Any one or more of these 6 attacking strategies or of all the 36 strategies can be used to improve your business. The choice depends on various factors, like the goods or service you are selling, the type of customers you target at, and the economic situation of your region.

Hence, those who know all the 36 strategies will have a big advantage over those who know just a few.

Let’s say that your business is managing houses for other people. Let us see how the 6 attacking strategies can be useful to you.

Suppose the economy is quiet. House owners are quite happy with their present situation, and are not ready to spend money to beautify their houses. If you approach them to repaint their whole house, they are not likely to accept your suggestion. So you approach those you think can afford some money to repaint just their gate at a fairly low price.

While you are about to complete repainting their gate, you tell the owners that their gate looks outstanding, but their house, which is more important, pales in comparison. You supply them with brochures showing the great difference of the same house before and after repainting. This will encourage many house owners to ask you to repaint their house. It is employing the strategy of “Hit Grass Startle Snake”.

Suppose you are new to the business, and advertising yourself can be expensive. Also, you do not have an impressive office. A strategy you can use is to approach property agents. When the agents sell houses to customers they can offer to have the houses repainted. You give the agents an attractive commission. If you are ready to travel, you can have agents acting for you in various places. This is the strategy of “Borrow Body to Reincarnate”.

The situation for the next strategy, “Trick Tiger Leave Mountain”, is the opposite of the previous situation. You are established and have an impressive office. Your clients are wealthy with big mansions. Instead of you visiting their mansions to negotiate with them, you invite them to your impressive office. You send an impressive car with a chauffer to fetch them.

You arrange your meetings with your clients so that one arrives about 10 minutes before the previous one leaves. When you new client arrives, have your assistant manager entertain him very well, with choice wine and cigars if necessary. Prior to this coming, you have his permission to take photos and make drawings of his mansion. Your assistant manager will then present him proposals, which he studies in the 10 minutes of waiting, that can change his mansion into a palace – at a price he can afford.

If you manage your timing well, you will give both clients the impression that you have a lot of business, and they have to fight for your service. This strategy is “Trick Tiger Leave Mountain”.

In a situation where you have a monopoly and your business is good, you can use the strategy, “To Catch So Release”. When a client comes to you for some minor work, you decline saying that you are too busy, but suggest he comes to see you again at a later date. When he sees you again, you decline his business again, and suggest he sees you later. When he sees you the third time, you propose to enlarge his original work, saying that since you have allotted time for him, he should take advantage of it instead of waiting for the next opportunity.

When you are about to complete some minor work for a client, suggest to him to have some bigger work, telling him that since you are already working in his house with your equipment, you have economic of scale and thus can give him a discount. For example, before completing your work of mending his fence, you suggest to do some landscaping for him. Before completing your work in cleaning the chimney, suggest to repaint his house. You must have attractive brochures to show him. This strategy is “Throw Stone Attract Jade”.

Time and resources are limited. Instead of spending your time and resources to market to poor house owners in a small village, spend your time and resources to market to wealthy clients in big cities. Your profession as house management is mobile. Even if your workers stay in a small village, you can bring them to work in a big city where your wealthy clients are. After deducting extra expenses for your workers, you still make a bigger profit. This strategy is “Catch Bandits Catch Leader”.

Speaking generally, this strategy is fundamental. In other words, instead of using the other strategies in a small village for poor clients, you can use the same strategies in a big city for wealthy clients.

You can also apply this strategy on yourself. You may start as a one-man house manager. Later you may have a team of workers to work for you. But you are not going to remain as a house manager, even with a team of workers. You can become an architect, building houses instead of just painting them.

The journey from being a house manager to an architect takes time, but all journey starts with the first step. The first step is the vision. The second step is to chart the direction. The third step is walking firmly and briskly to your destination. With this strategy of three steps of vision, direction and walking towards destination, an additional attack strategy is that you will become an architect in five years. Those without this strategy will remain where they are in twenty.

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
22nd January 2014

W36 Strategies

Notice the difference of the same house after Dominic painted it

The question and answer are taken from the thread More Fun! 36 Strategies in the Shaolin Wahnam Institute Discussion Forum.



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