Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I am a boss

My internship is over! I cannot believe that i survived two and a half month of doing things that are not right for me. Right after internship, i went back home happy and excited to get my business prep as a legit and permanent job. 
It is hard, up till today, my parent are still very skeptical about this e-commerce thingy being "permanent" and not having a stable job. 
But i like what i do, although there are sometime customers are pain in the ass because i am also doing customer service job, which include replying to impatient people who would scold you for replying slow or delivering slow (even though it is not 10-14working days yet)
These are obstacles, 
below are goals.

As you can see, i really need to find a space for keeping and packing stocks, because i had literally no space left at home. 

So i tell myself, in order for my parent to think i am having a REAL job and not wasting my life sitting at home in the room, i need proper planning to make this business grow. 

1. What type of clothes business?

I did some survey, my sister keep bugging me to self manufacture my own clothes, but i know well my market audience are not the type to buy premium ready stocks (this would cost me to loose a lot of money if i dive right in )
As i devote myself into the e-commerce world, i realise there are four type of clothes business going on . 

1. Ready stocks (which often retailing price are expensive to cover any loss) 
2.  Preorder (retailing price are cheaper because they have nothing to loose)
3. Self manufacture clothes (price are premium price because dude, you literally "handmade" everything)
4. Daigou (which mean you go to a certain country for a week and help people buy clothes in that country)

Currently, mine is Preorder, i tried to do "readystocks" but it always tend to fail/cannot sell out/ stocks kept in storage box so long i just cheap cheap sell out in the end. I wanted to do readystocks because i know many people would love the idea of paying today and getting it by tomorrow. But literally, i have my own ready market audience now, and they like low price, for me to sell readystock i need to mark up at least 50% of the modal so that i won't gain so much loss, but, again, people like low price. This is one of the obstacle. 

I won't go too far with self manufacturing my own clothes because, like i said, i do not have a strong base of readystock customers. 

I did Daigou twice a month last time just for shoes, (it was crazily pack!) and would love to venture into clothes, the thing about daigou too, the waiting time is long because you need to ship it from that country to Malaysia, but again, people like diversity. If you get it from Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, stocks that they cannot get it themselves, the market is wide for that, plus you get to travel
for free.

In conclusion: i will stick to Preorder and also Daigou (twice a month) as this two are pretty safe. You may say the revenue are quite little and this business will not stay long, because there are so many shops out there doing preorder as well. 
I want to say that the biggest and top 1 clothes website in Malaysia (SallyFashion) are based preorder up until now. They do sell a few readystocks but they are known for preorder. I am going toward that direction but i am also offering an extra special service: doing permanent Thailand Daigou in addition to my website. 
Special leh. 

2. Get an office

 i need to find a space to work. After surveying small entrepreneurs out there like me, i come to conclusion that there are a few option to choose. 

1. A retail office (retail in front, office at the back)
2. a small studio apartment as an office
3. two offices: one for headquarters, one for retail 
4. work at home 

 Me and my boyfriend had figure out the best space is a landed house but in Penang, it is not cheap at all for renting a landed house. 
We opt for an apartment unit, with two rooms at least, one for me to sleep, another for keeping and packing the stocks. The living room will be my office space and photo shooting space (this mean i need to find a good lighting spot for the photo to turn out well) 
on the other hand, i also worried that it feels like i am kept in a prison because i sleep there, work there, stay there, i am afraid i get depression from not going out. Ho Ho. But i guess with proper layout of the office (make it work condusive) and having fun with my own photoshoot, i think i can manage it well, 
sounds like a dream home. 
Better find one soon . 

3. Get your shop registered

Yes, by registering, you can proudly tell everyone you own a business, you can get your own enterprise, you get to be called a boss, your customer will trust you more because you are legal, and legit now.
Nice leh, but it comes with a price. 
You are entitled to pay tax. 
I don't mind paying tax but my account sucks. (i am a top scorer in accounting back in secondary school by the way, now i don't know why i have to take out my calculator to count 7+5)
I don't think such small business should also even hire a part time auditor just to clean up the mess, haha. 
And everything need a receipt and invoice after that, which means more paperwork, more jobs, more trouble, more problem. 

That's the pain you can get. 
Not only getting tax by government, but you also get individual tax as well. See how many tax you get after registering..
After registering, the government will monitor every transaction in your bank account like scare you earn too much and you don't deserve earning that much .

Another good thing is that you can open a business bank account, which mean no more feeling pain whenever someone ask you to help pay something something and then you see your own personal account like not earning money because you keep using whatever you earn to pay for something else. 

I need to be thoroughly discipline after registering. 


5. Get a website

From all the planning, this is the only plan that i had put my butt into it. I bought an e-commerce website, me and my boyfriend had been working on it so hard because we both are not really tech-savvy when it comes to all this html stuff. Right until now, there are still many things we haven't understand on how to operate certain functions. Me on the other hand, try to upload like gazillion products on it so that it syncs with whatever i uploaded on instagram. (there are about 1000+ items on my instagram, i am dying)
The reason why i got myself a website is because i believe with a website, i can reach out to more people. Although after buying a website, i heard from one entrepreneur telling us that a website doesn't work, he only gets one order from it so far (mind you, he gets 1000+ orders on shopee and lazada) 
this makes me question myself whether if this website can work or not. I know not many people would like to flip open their laptop or computer just to browse your website and purchase something on it when it is so much easier on whatsapp or instagram.

But a website helps you to keep track on the order they placed (zero error in packing!) and also keep tracks on your progress, it syncs with other marketplace as well, plus as a customer it benefits them too. They no longer need to scroll thousand and one time just to find a certain product. With a website they can just browse according to category, to search word. They get the measurement on hand, they don't need to wait for anybody to reply their messages to give them confirmation and bank account or to calculate the whole total for them. This slows the process, but a website makes it fast!
this is what i believe in. 

On the other hand, i am still left with two weeks to work on it. The website will be launched this 1st of June.
Do stay tune. 


 6. Get post friendly 

This is not much, but for me, and only me to do so, i hurt my back previously just for carrying too much. I don't wan to hassle myself to drag bags and trolleys of parcel to the post office just to get blank stares or frowned by the post office workers. 
So yes, another plan that i took the initiative to do was to register an account with Poslaju under Easyparcel. 
They provide pick up service, which mean they pick all the parcels at your location instead of you dragging packs of parcels and hurting yourself all the way every week. 
The only thing about Easyparcel is that it is a middleman service, their system are quite slow in updating, which worries me because it would take an extra 1 day for the customer to get their item . 
and sometime they missed pick up which makes me very frustrated. so i rather drop off at the nearest poslaju office, so then again, i am still considering whether to continue with Easyparcel or not. 


Yup, that's pretty much it. i only made 3/6 from planning and is already mid of May. I need to get it done fast because i don't want to be slacking off something that i've been dreaming so much every single day. 

A dream is a dream, but a dream can be real by acting on it. 

I often get inspired by so many sellers out there doing it on their own or doing it with a partner and they manage to do it big. Some quit their full time job for that, some juggle between their 9-5 job (i salute this). 
Right now is the e-commerce world, youngsters are quitting their job to start their own business, revenues are higher than getting fresh grad pay, but how do you make that revenue into a CEO, a boss revenue in order for you to be capable to hire people, to start a REAL office, to be eligible to be called an entrepreneur? 

I'm working on it.
I believe i can




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