My entrepreneur career was built from mainly formulating sales, marketing and operational strategies at the early stage of startups over the last 9 years. From Chief Revenue Officer at CDiscount to Head of Sales at Living Social and to my current role as Co-Founder and CEO of Goxip, my life is often bound by order while, “wrestling with the divine” throughout the process of cultivating a startup.
I have relied on critical success factors to drive high growth sales. First, it is important to build a global presence on day one to allow your products to be globally scalable without heavy infrastructure in each country. Second, your product needs to be enhancing people in their everyday lives, which in turn, helps capture the majority of users from the get go.
When a startup provides minimal uncertainty to their user or customer, the result is high usage which translates into high sales.
Partnering with some of the big players in the e-commerce shopping industry when developing Goxip was crucial to Goxip’s success. Some of these partners included; NET-A-PORTER, MATCHESFASHION and ASOS from the beginning. These partnerships allowed me to gain a high level of both acceptability and credibility, allowing shoppers to be comfortable shopping with Goxip. When a startup provides minimal uncertainty to their user or customer, the result is high usage which translates into high sales.
Setting up operations can be a challenging endeavor, however, having a set of advantageous strategies is fundamental for success. There is a wealth of talent in Hong Kong, but aside from talent, it is incredibly important to find those talented team members that match your startup’s culture and attitude.
- Efficiency is key, you need to make sure you hire the right people.
- Identify any operational bottlenecks (a point of congestion or blockage) and resolve them as soon as possible as a team with open and direct communication.
- Identify the gaps that need to be filled to ensure your startup is tailor made.
- Refrain from settling for staff who do not share your long term vision. Hiring and finding the right team to achieve high growth sales is the blood of your company. If you don’t have a quality team, you are not making money. Period.
Successful leadership is a major component for a successful startup. Having infectious energy along with a “hard-shell” keeps the company running and motivates the team to understand your passion and hard work. A startup is an arduous process and you need to be able to guide your staff through thick and thin.
Hiring, managing and motivating sales talents in Hong Kong can be tough. The high cost of living makes it difficult to hire people who can live with a lower startup salary. But, if you share your determination and bring confidence to the table, this will help keep your team inspired. Allowing your partners to make mistakes is also important and par for the course. Keep the motivation alive. If you motivate them while granting them the support and permission to make mistakes while dealing with a variety of challenges, over time, your team will be invincible. At the end of an often long day or week, never underestimate the power of laughter. I motivate my team with smiles and my stupid jokes. With determination, confidence, my passion and undying energy, together, we can make things fly.
My experience lies in starting up companies and driving multi-million dollars sales growth in e-commerce from the early inception onwards in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Yet, my determination to scale businesses and expand successfully in a multitude of countries across Asia started as a dream. This might be your dream too. Be outrageously determined with what you want to do and achieve your biggest dream. Like the Sumo wrestler, you will face a trial of strength in combat or perhaps you might wrestle with a divine spirit guiding you on your journey.