There is an interesting story from Lydia James, an entrepreneur who lives in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Lydia is very honored to share about her business journey with PayTrack, especially during this pandemic and how she adapted.
Lydia is an entrepreneur who resells the DR’s Secret skin care products. DR’s Secret offers a wide range of skin care products including moisturizer, toner, cleanser, eye care and more. This DR’s Secret brand is quite famous on social media with around 24,000 Instagram followers. This lately, skin care products are very popular, you could say they have become a necessity today. We are eager to know how Lydia got it through the pandemic, the PayTrack team has asked Lydia a few questions.
1. Q: What made you start selling online?
A: Many businesses have been affected by this outbreak since early 2020, with uncertain MCO SOPs. Among the businesses that have been badly affected is the beauty sector that I’m in. I must find a Plan B on how to survive this unprecedented challenge, selling online seems to be the only way to go and I decided to give it a try.
2. Q: What are the challenges when you start this?
A: The second MCO really disappointed me because I was going to start doing it, but Malaysian was forced to go into MCO once again. It’s really tough as face-to-face meetings with my uplines became impossible.
3. Q: Then how do you deal with a situation like this?
A: I’m very dependent on technology, especially mobile phone. We created an easy system to make it easier for our customers and agents, where for the agents themselves they don’t need to keep stock which will take up a lot of space, and customers themselves can make orders from the application directly and the goods will be deliver to their doorstep. We also turned all marketing activities to online and managed to learn how to run it smoothly and consistently after a few trials.
4. Q: What is the secret that made you stand out of the crowd from competition? And we know that you have customers from Australia too, right?
A: First, it is the power of social media. In today’s world, it doesn’t matter which corner you are in as long as you have internet access, you can run your business anywhere and wherever your target is. 1 post published on social media can connect to the whole world. Secondly, be consistent. I wouldn’t have made it if I only post occasionally.
5. Q: Do you have any tips for people who are just starting an online business?
A: Of course, the first thing is about capital. Capital is a very important aspect to start a business, set your budget first to target how much you want to spend as start-up capital. If you don’t have a big budget you can start, I would recommend you to be an agent first, because an agent can sell without the need to keep stock, right? Then secondly, choose what business you want to run. If it’s a product, make sure you are the first one to test it out.
Like me, I will make sure I try it first, because only if you get good results, then you can convince people with this product. Third, prepare yourself mentally. Why mentally? Many people think online business is embarrassing, learn to ignore negative comments and stay away from those thoughts, so that you can focus on your business and run it well.
6. Q: We believe this will be a very useful tips for beginners. So, what are your future plans for this business?
A: I really want to grow my business. Currently DR’s Secret operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. My plan is to expand my clientele to entire southeast Asia.
7. Q: We believe you can do it. If you want to find a partner in your business, what criteria are you looking for?
A: Anyone can become a partner in my business, as long as they understand the world of skin care, use DR’s Secret products, and willing to share information about our products anytime.
8. Q: Can you give a conclusion about the adaptation of your business?
A: What helped me the most is, we have a comprehensive online store. I don’t have to keep stock, my customers just need to place their order via mobile phone. And most importantly, the system are well-designed to prevent price war among sellers.
Agent who wants to be part of our team will go through a proper training program conducted by the principal, I don’t have to train them one by one.
What I mainly do is sharing my experiences of using the products consistently on Facebook/Instagram. I do provide skin inspection as a value-added service, which help me to retain loyal customers. My repeated customers know how to place order directly via app. Payment and shipment tracking can all be done within the app which made it very convenient to use.
Digitalization has been really helpful to many merchants. With just a few clicks, the world is within your palm. Therefore, in my opinion, regardless of the type of business, having an online presence and doing online marketing are inevitable. Don’t worry if you’re not knowing how to do it, you can either engage online marketing platform or join online discussion group to learn more. This could save you a lot of time learning on your own, making sure your time is spent efficiently.
We really appreciate that Lydia has been willing to spend time with PayTrack to share her experience, especially how she built her online business during the pandemic. We know this isn’t easy for most entrepreneurs, and some have even been forced to leave the business and change directions, but Lydia is a good example by looking to plan B to continue her business in the same industry.
Online business is indeed a major aspect for this time, but success or failure depends on how you manage it. Many things need to be managed in an online business, as Lydia said, you have to create a new system, to make it easier for agents to distribute your product, and make it easy for customers to buy. For a marketing strategy, you also have to stay alert to keep up with changes from time to time and most importantly, promote your social media consistently.
So, are you ready to be part of the new era by kick starting your online business? Join PayTrack Entrepreneurs Club now, there are tons of helpful information for you to get started.