David Choy, Siubo.com
Your 「超實用」programme with BOSSible on 27th & 28th Nov was superb! All aspects of your talk ‘get to the point’, this is rare in the market, as lots of ‘experts’ simply read out a collection of data from books or the Internet! Your great selling point is to share your real experience to help others. I have read your interview by the HK Economic Times on 30th Nov.
You probably would remember me – the talkative guy running some unsuccessful tutorial school businesses in Belvedere Garden, Tsuen Wan. In fact, I got 2 centres in the same shopping complex – one’s financial performance is struggling round the break-even point and the other one is way below the margin. As a result, I suffered from psychiatric disturbances and fortunately, with doctor’s certification, the Landlord will consider finding a replacement tenant for the bottom one. The better one’s leasing term will expire soon. Thank goodness!
My advise to business startups first-timers (創業初哥)，renting a shop without thinking twice, three times, four times, etc.. is committing mental suicide!! Some money-hungry property agents and fly-by-night business consultants only tell you the most optimistic forecast but not the average or worst scenario, that’s their tool of the trade of getting commission paid! If you really have to rent a shop, economic and business forecast aren’t sufficient, other crucial factors including the owner’s character and soft skills as well, e.g. some customers prefer communicating with certain type of owner-managers, especially in education.
I agree with you to a very large extent that especially in this Knowledge Century and a services based economy, the Internet has long become the ‘Shop Front’ for all business sectors. From my own experience, I purchase cinema tickets on the Internet, search for products before buying at site, and even looked for 2nd hand cars through popular car sites. Our geography makes an ideal setting for e-business. For most non-product selling services, you don’t pay over the Internet anyway, but the Internet’s main use to to attract customers and deliver the right message, i.e. what you point out “Able to Sell”.
If one’s psychology tells an office is a must, it’s best to start with business centre in good locations as ‘official address only’, more comfortable to work at home!! If one really need an office for admin and paper work, then do research and look for some cheap small ones in Sheung Wan, North Point, etc. But again, great majority of customers never visit the office.
However, to be more efficient, I agree there are lots to be done to improve hit rates, key words, etc. For every business community today, ‘networking’ is vital even with or without any immediate business intentions. If you drop in the pub in Wanchai or LKF, give me a call.