1. Find your Passion
Knowing what you are passionate about will guide you towards what kind of business you will want to start.
How do you find your passion?
For me, it was through the years of working part-time jobs that I discovered what I was passionate about, and what I was good at.
The thing is:
2. Hard work is key
There’s a saying: “Work smart, not work hard”. This is true to a certain extent. Many Millenials are often deceived by the quote and think that the way to success is to work smart only.
Here’s what I did:
That was not all:
3. Be prepared to lose friends and make new ones
Starting a business can take up a lot of your time. You have to set your priorities right and dedicate your time to the business.
I myself am an avid PC gamer. I used to game with my friends every night and had tons of fun with them. But when I started planning for the business, I was so caught up that I didn’t have the time to play with them anymore, coupled with the exhaustion of coming back from camp.
But fret not:
4. Network is KEY
As mentioned above, having people that can benefit you and are ready to provide help is of the utmost importance when it comes to starting up. Always be vocal about what you are doing to the people around you otherwise no one knows what help to offer you.
Here’s the thing:
I wouldn’t have been able to start Nineteen95 without the help of a few close friends and family. A close friend of mine in Polytechnic, who also has his own business, gave me advice on starting up and what kind of entity to incorporate. He is also the person that helped me with my web hosting and POS system that we are currently using now.
It gets better:
Our customised cart was built by my uncle at a heavily discounted price. Fortunately, he spent most of his time in the construction industry and had the technical know-how and skills to build the cart.Another uncle of mine used to work as the head chef of the café that we procure our beans from. He was able to pass me a contact of one of the owners and this aided us in liaising with the cafe and our overall process of bean procurement.
And the best part:
5. Take every opportunity that comes
Whatever opportunity you find, be sure to take it. An opportunity, no matter how small, is still an opportunity after all.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations.
6. Learn new skills
In business school, we were taught that the bigger the company, the more you specialize vertically. The smaller the company, the more you diversify horizontally.
I experienced this first hand:
Since there was only 2 of us, I had to become the company’s procurement, PR, Content Creator, Tech Support, Sales and Marketing, Advertisement, and the overall decision maker. While Julian was the Accounts, Logistics, Bookkeeper, and Admin. It forced me to learn things I normally wouldn’t have even thought about.
I learnt how to design the website from scratch. It took me a few days to get everything down. I screwed the website up 4 times and had to start over every single time which really frustrated me. Eventually, I managed to get the website up and running a in its current condition.
The good thing was:
I was able to control what I wanted on the website and designed it to however I liked it to be.
I had to create my own content to fill the website and to use as promotional material. Boy, I hated using Photoshop and illustrator. I had zero knowledge of how to use the software. I had no choice but to learn by watching countless videos and numerous trial and error attempts.
As you can see:
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Nineteen95 the Espresso Bar
Mobile Coffee Catering Singapore