Becoming an entrepreneur can be scary as it is exciting, and you’d probably want as much advice as you can get (even if you don’t heed them all). Looking to start your own business? Singaporean LadyBosses Robin Lim, Co-founder of Made Real, and Ang Jingyuan, Founder of Style Lease, shared some tips during the latest segment of What She Said, a global speaker series launched by W Hotels Worldwide in 2016. The stylish event was hosted at W Singapore and moderated by Melissa Lim, Co-founder of LadyBoss Asia.
1. Make full use of technology
Because Style Lease constantly has garments going in and out of the showroom, tracking their movement can be challenging. However, Jingyuan will soon have her clothes tagged so they can be virtually tracked. “Every stage [of where they are] can be monitored,” she said.
Robin believes in personalised nutrition, and that different people need different products to nourish themselves. She initially wanted to have a nutritionist available to her customers, but realised that it’s too much of a manual process. “We now have have a virtual nutritionist. All you need to do is answer seven to 10 questions, and it’ll analyse the answers to recommend the right products. It can even recommend products for pre-natal and post-natal care, and for weight loss,” she said. Made Real also has a live chat service so that they may immediately address customers’ questions and concerns.
2. Learn how to solve problems
During an internship, Jingyuan learnt that in order to solve problems, it’s essential to not take things personally and be objective. “I learnt problem-solving, which helps me manage my current business. I also learnt that my role as a founder is basically a problem solver. And for that to take place, you’ve to react very fast. Damage control is important.”
3. Stay confident and look at the bigger picture
“The biggest problem is an internal problem [with yourself],” said Robin. “When you start to question your motivation or your team. All other issues can be solved with money. With time. With resources. All your friends can tell you you’re doing an amazing job, but it doesn’t matter [if you don’t believe in yourself,” she added.
Jingyuan had this to say: “Sometimes, when you reflect on an issue at a later time, it may not be as bad as you thought it was. Also, learn to share the issue with your partner, family or co-workers. They can offer solutions you didn’t see.”
4. Keep yourself inspired and persist
Robin shared that creation keeps her inspiration flowing and pointed out the importance of seizing opportunities. “Keep an open mind and open heart. Have the courage to try new things as things that we regret are chances not taken,” she said.
Jingyuan emphasised talking to other people to see what’s missing in your target market and to take the leap of faith. “There’s no such thing as a wrong decision. The reality [in business] is to create and take opportunities.