Reasons Start-ups Succeed

There’s no doubt about it: startups are hard and they’re risky. In fact, on average, 9 out of 10 startups will go out of business. Although founding a startup is inherently risky, there are a few things that can increase your chances of success. American investor Bill Gross conducted a famous speech at Ted Talk, where he talked about what he learned from the data he gathered from hundreds of companies

Person Holding Pen Pointing at Graph

The Three Most Important Factors

Timing

Above all else, the most important thing is timing! It actually accounts for 42% of the differences between success and failure for startups. Success is dependent on whether people need or want your product. If you enter the market when there won’t be demand, you won’t make any sales. So before you anything else, be honest with yourself and truly assess whether the world is ready for or in need of your product.

After timing, the team and idea behind a startup are the second and third most impactful factors (accounting for 32% and 28% of differences between success and failure, respectively).

Clear Glass With Red Sand Grainer

The Team

Your team should be a communicative and complementary group with the necessary knowledge, skills, determination, passion, and willingness to work. The leader should have the social ability to network, build partnerships, seek out investors and other funding sources, talk to the press, and recruit and inspire workers. As startups don’t typically have large teams, the employees you choose are important.

People Looking at Laptop Computer

The Idea

The product itself must also be based on a strong idea and executed well. While the product doesn’t have to be entirely unique or the first of its kind, it does need to differentiate itself from other products in some aspect or another and it shouldn’t enter the market after it is already saturated with similar products. Ideally, you want your product to be so appealing and interesting that people will want to talk about it and, in a way, advertise by word of mouth for you.

Clear Light Bulb Placed on Chalkboard

Other Important Factors

Commitment

If you are going into a startup, you have to be passionate about it and love the work. After all, you are embarking on an uncertain journey. If you aren’t passionate about it, how can you put in the necessary time and effort to make it all work. You must be determined and refuse to give up when things get difficult or you face challenges. At the same time, you must also believe in your startup. If you don’t believe in it yourself, you can’t expect others to do so. Additionally, to succeed, you need to make profit which won’t happen if you don’t take risks. And you won’t take risks if you don’t believe in yourself and your startup.

Asian freelancer working at home

A Well-Defined Vision

With startups, you need a well-defined vision; it’s best to have an idea of where your business is headed from the get-go. One of the biggest things is to have a sensible business model and financial plan. Not running out of money is crucial to your startup actually functioning so have a plan that includes a budget and how to raise funds. Second, as a startup you will almost certainly have limited staff and resources. This means you’ll need to figure out how to be productive and know what to prioritise.

Black Binocular on Round Device

Adaptability

Successful entrepreneurs know when to shift their plans a little. It’s important to observe what is working for both yourself and your competitors, to listen to feedback, and to learn from your mistakes. When things aren’t going quite as well as you’d like or you see opportunity for improvement, adapt and make the changes you need to make!

Woman Sitting in Front of Macbook

Mentorship

If possible, having a good mentor to guide you can make a world of difference. Mentors have gone through the process themselves and often experienced similar, if not the same, challenges. This can make their advice an invaluable resource when you find yourself in a tough spot or are unsure of what to do.

Photo of Men Having Conversation

美國投資家Bill Gross在2015年進行了一場Ted 演講,講述他在多年投資初創經驗的數據中得出的結論。究竟決定初創是否成功的因素為何?讓GoBuddy和你看看吧!

人脈支援 mentorship

一間初創開始時會遇到的問題,可能會在一位有經驗的Mentor的幫助下迎刃而解。他們的經驗和建議可能是一間初創十分重要的資產!

適應力 Adaptability

一間初創在不同變化、不確定性中能否靈活變通?在現今社會變得愈趨重要!

意念本身 The idea

很多初創都是由一個突如其來創意點子誕生的。而該點子是否能解決市場問題,回應市場需要,是否可執行等,都是重要因素。點子是初創的核心。

團隊能力 The Team

團隊是決定初創成敗的關鍵因素,在初創裏團隊通常只有數人。這個時候,尋找合適的人,找出最有效的溝通方法,會令投資者對初創信心大增。

時機 Timing

最後,Bill Gross的發現竟是大家都不太討論的因素—-時機!的確,Microsoft誕生在電腦科技剛開始起步的年代,Uber誕生在APP潮開始萌芽之時。時機或是不可或缺的關鍵!是時代造就成功,還是這些成功帶起熱潮呢?

Hong Kong Local Craft Beer Brand: Mak’s Brewery

GoBuddy believes everyone could start an online business for free. Our team is dedicated to provide a one-stop cloud platform solution to transform your business. Today we are honoured to have Mark, co-founder of Mak’s Brewery, to talk to us about their entrepreneurial story, and the experiences of doing a craft beer business in Hong Kong!

About Mak’s Brewery

Mak’s Brewery (hereinafter referred to as Mak’s) was established in 2014. It is the first craft beer brewery in Hong Kong that was founded by Hong Kong natives. Mak’s was co-founded by three founders.

The origin of Mak’s Brewery…

The story begins with the college careers of the three founders—they originally hoped to try their own business after graduation, and came into contact with the craft beer brewing industry by chance. Mark mentioned that there were not many brands of beer brewing in Hong Kong at that time, and after they came into contact with these brands, most of their target customer groups were foreigners or tourists, so the idea of creating a craft beer brand belonging to Hong Kong people was born.

Positioning of purely locally made beer.

Mark explained that local manufacturing is not just a definition of production location. Marketing, whether the product meets the tastes of the locals, and whether the resources are invested in local circles, etc. are also the meaning of “local manufacturing.” Therefore, in the early days of Mak’s establishment, they spent a lot of time promoting knowledge about craft beer, so that more people could try different flavors of handmade beer, hoping to make Mak’s closer to the local market.

Difficulties encountered in making a craft brewery in Hong Kong?

The biggest problem is…

Mark admitted that there are not many people in Hong Kong who have a deep knowledge of craft beer, and the problem that Mak’s faced was how to get more people to contact with craft beer, and to balance the needs of different markets and appropriately allocate company resources.

Expand product categories and try different promotional methods

Interestingly, in addition to selling craft beer products, Mai’s Brewery also sells different types of products such as shampoos and T-shirts. Mark said with a smile that the initial development of these products was with a fun mindset and a try, but in fact, the development of different products is also valuable for promoting handmade beer and local brands.

In addition, they will also try to participate in different bazaars and workshops to better understand the tastes of the locals and meet the needs of customers.

The importance of online tools?

Mark said that in today’s society, social media and online sales channels are quite necessary for brand promotion and publicity, so they will also use different online tools to expand their brands. But he emphasized that before choosing a tool, you must first understand the customer groups that your brand needs to contact, so that you can effectively use different channels to achieve better promotional effects.

Tips for people who want to start a business?

Don’t do it for…

Mark said that they started their winery business with a fire, and he sent a message to young people to be clear about their brand positioning and market needs, rather than blindly following because a market is very popular.

Pay close attention to market changes and maintain a big picture.

Because social changes are becoming more and more rapid, Mark mentioned that entrepreneurs should always pay attention to market changes and overall trends, and be prepared for future instability. Finally, he also suggested that everyone think about the arrangements for personnel deployment, resource allocation, and entry and exit mechanisms before starting.

“Building a career is a small puzzle in life, if you have an idea, you might as well give it a try!”

Mak’s Brewery

Website: https://www.maksbeer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaksBeerr/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maks_beer/

If you are thinking of starting a business, or if you need a digital solution for your business, simply send us an email, let GoBuddy transform your business journey!

Email: hi@gobuddy.asia

Website: http://www.gobuddy.asia

How successful online businesses stand out in highly competitive markets

It’s a crowded market out there, and if you’re an online entrepreneur, you may be wondering how you can possibly make your product or service stand out from all your competitors’. While it may seem like a difficult goal to achieve, there are a few things you can do to turn it to reality.

What Makes You Different?

Before you even start, make sure to choose an optimal product or service. When trying to decide on what you will sell, think of problems your customers have and figure out how to address them. If applicable, you should also take a look at your competitors and determine what they are missing, then fill that missing niche. Whatever way you decide to make yourself different, make it your brand.

Aside from solving a previously unaddressed issue or simply creating a better product, you can also get a little more creative in how you differentiate your brand. For example, make free one-day shipping, a lifetime warranty, or other appealing guarantees a part of your business model. You must be able to back up any offers though. Another idea is to found a startup with a cause marketing effort and make giving back to your community or a charity a pillar of your business. This method may require a large change in your business model, however, if it was not part of your original plan.

Being Honest

Be honest to your customers about your products and services. If you feel the need to exaggerate about your product’s quality, there is an issue. Instead of making things up (that end to come out in the end anyways), work towards improving and accomplishing things that you can actually brag about. Similarly, admit and mistakes you make and try to fix them quickly. Owning up to an issue and correcting it can turn a bad experience into a good one, and customers remember experiences so this is an important effort to make.

Having a Strong Online Presence

We have already posted an article that goes into greater depth on this topic, but having a strong online presence can make a world of difference for your online business.

The first step is to have your own website. Ideally, it should be simple so people can absorb information quickly and easily, as well as pleasing to the eye. Investing time and effort to ensure it is mobile friendly also means a larger audience will be able to properly view your site. Posting high quality content is another very important requirement. Consider posting on a blog too if you want more web traffic. Education content will win your business favor and reputation, and entertaining content will similarly attract readers. However, promotional content will turn people off. Lastly, pay attention to SEO.

Beyond your own website, you should aim to grow your online presence in other ways. You can try to get yourself featured on other websites. This will help you gain exposure with a new audience and increase your credibility. If possible, having others endorse or positively review your product will help boost its popularity. Another method is to become an online resource. Participate in chat forums answering questions and responding to comments. Lastly, make sure to be active on social media! Social media is an easy way to become a part of people’s everyday lives. On social media, you can interact with customers, post content, and market your brand. Just make sure to tailor your business’s social media persona to appeal to your target audience.

Customer Service

Customer service is another factor that matters heavily to customers. In fact, about 75% of customers in one survey said that they consider customer service a test of a company’s competency. If your customer service is notable, that’s an instant plus for your business and it’ll help you stand out. As a testament to just how much customer service matters to buys, 73% of respondents in a PwC survey said it was an important determinant in their purchasing decisions. The same survey also found consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for a superior experience and will be more loyal to brands that provide them.

Always Making an Effort to Improve

Once you have a plan, it’s good to stick to it. But, nonetheless, be willing to change it if you see the opportunity for improvement. Keep yourself informed about new developments in your field and be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Produce new and improved products as your company grows, and as you always want something to differentiate yourself, be willing to adapt and change if increased competition means you are no longer unique.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2017/02/23/7-ways-to-make-your-business-stand-out-in-a-crowd-of-competitors/#24878a9f62fa

https://www.strategy-business.com/article/How-to-stand-out-in-a-crowded-marketplace?gko=9a505

【GoBuddy創業聊天室】香港暗黑系創作者:奈樂樂 Naloklok

GoBuddy相信,每個人都可以建立自己的網上生意。我們的團隊致力為客户提供一個一站式平台,讓網上生意從此變得簡單。今次我們很榮幸邀請到香港暗黑系創作者奈樂樂來跟我們聊聊他一路上在文創路上獨特的創作經歷,和在創作行業遇到的各種故事和心得分享!

關於奈樂樂

奈樂樂是一位香港黑暗童話繪本作家,擅長以短篇故事描繪及諷刺現實,代表作包括引起社會關注青少年精神健康的動畫作品《跳下去的一秒》,並曾獲得多項原創漫畫奬項和「2019青藝節青少年藝術家年賞-多媒體組別」十大青少年藝術家等等。他畢業於香港理工大學設計學碩士(國際設計與商業管理)課程,後來獲頒發獎學金到拉脫維亞藝術學院攻讀視藝碩士。

奈樂樂的創作過程

是什麽讓奈樂樂投身創作?

當被問到這個問題時,奈樂樂分享了他求學階段的一個故事。

當初奈樂樂在香港理工大學修讀設計與管理學,在一次偶然的機會下碰見一個在拉脫維亞進修美術的機會,於是他把握機會,成功領取奬學金並前往當地,開始了他的美術啟蒙之旅。他提到,那次機會是一個讓他重拾畫筆的契機。

開始原創故事的創作旅程⋯⋯

而有一次,藝術學院繪本科的項目是要學生們畫一個繪本,要構思一個故事並把它用美術方式表達出來。本來奈樂樂只希望用一些有名的童話故事作藍本,但他的老師問了他一句:「難得可以畫自己的繪本,為甚麼不使用自己的原創故事呢?」於是他在自身經歷中尋找靈感,創作了他的第一本黑暗童話,並獲得很多正面評價!

奈樂樂作品《跳下去的一秒》(書中插圖)

同時管理設計公司和插畫品牌

因為奈樂樂有著管理設計公司和藝術的豐富知識,於是回港後他成立了設計公司,為客戸提供品牌策略及多媒體設計方案;同時他建立了插畫品牌,然後把他在社會上觀察到的事結合, 創作一些可以警愓讀者、用非傳統方式帶出寓意的繪本故事。

品牌定位?

一開始奈樂樂是把讀者定位放在青少年身上,但他意外地發現把作品放上社交媒體後許多大人、各年齡層的讀者因跟故事產生共嗚而關注他的品牌。他又提到在過去的書展跟很多青少年的讀者接觸,令他希望把定位更集中放在青少年身上,能把故事寓意更深刻的闡述。

創作人可以如何在逆境生存?

奈樂樂教授青少年繪畫技巧

現今社會環境讓各行各業都遇到許多挑戰,對創作人來說更甚。有什麽貼士讓大家更能把品牌意識宣傳開去呢?奈樂樂給創作人們提供了三個貼士。

首先,他提到自己會利用社交媒體分享一些創作教學(如Photoshop技法,人像速畫技法等等),在提供豐富教學內容的同時能讓插畫品牌獲得更多曝光,一舉兩得。另一方面,偶爾創作一些貼近社會的作品如賀圖等,也能在網上爭取自然曝光。

而如果環境許可,他也鼓勵創作人們參與一些實體活動如簽名會、書展、寄賣等,讓品牌接觸到目標群眾為止。

在香港做創作遇到的挑戰?

奈樂樂與他的學生

香港和其他地方的文化氛圍

在香港創作定會遇到挑戰,奈樂樂笑言香港人比較「實際」,在書展大賣的書多是金融、旅遊這類書籍,反觀文創類的書,大部分人會認為網上也可以看到,從而讓文創類書籍在香港較難生存。對比台灣、日韓等地,前者的文創氛圍較本地強,人們較願意付出去支持創作者,後者則孕育許多暗黑類作品和畫家,市場環境大不相同。

在出版社遇到的難關?

由於奈樂樂的作品偏向暗黑系,當初尋找出版社時曾遇到不少的難關,他舉例大部份出版社普遍認為香港繪本市場不大,且偏向喜歡出版「正能量」和色彩較鮮艷的作品。但他表示,這並不會影響到他創作的理念,他深信堅持做自己認為對的和喜歡的事,最終會得到大家的認同和讚賞。

奈樂樂作品《童話與現實的邊緣》(封面插圖)

給創作人的話⋯⋯

前軰的話⋯⋯

奈樂樂引述一位前軰曾跟他分享過,創作的歷程是以數年,甚至幾十年計。在別人看到你的作品前必會經歷一段自己默默拼摶的日子。他寄語在這個階段的創作人不要放棄,在過程中尤其不必太在意社交媒體的Like數,讓自己更專注在創作上。

主動爭取機會

奈樂樂提到創作者可以在本地尋找一些比賽和資助,例如D lab 3「香港設計·授權支援計劃」和 「動畫支援計劃」等等,都是可以讓創作人增加曝光率和經驗的。

多尋找合作伙伴

合作伙伴可以讓作品受到更多關注,他表示和別人品牌合作是很好的方式去接觸更多不同的觀眾。

未來的方向⋯⋯

奈樂樂表示,他每年會出版一本新書,而未來一年也將出版新一本繪本《讓我吃雪吧》。他也開始將繪本翻譯成英語,希望打入國外市場。另一邊廂,他計劃繼續開辦網上教學和製作更多教學影片,讓更多人能在家學習繪畫。他也希望在這段時間開發一些新產品,擴大自己品牌。

相關連結:

奈樂樂在GoBuddy: https://naloklok.gobuddy.asia/

奈樂樂官方網站: https://naloklok.com/

奈樂樂Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nalok.lok/

奈樂樂Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naloklok/

奈樂樂電郵: nalok.lok@gmail.com

D lab 3: https://dlab.hk/index.php?lang=hk

動畫支援計劃:https://www.animation-ssp.com/zh/

如果你也有創業的念頭,或正在為你的生意尋找一個合適的網上解決方案,歡迎聯絡我們,讓我們在你的電商之路進一步協助你!

電郵:hi@gobuddy.asia

網頁:www.gobuddy.asia

How to stand out in E-commerce

With many businesses providing an online shopping platform for their customers, staying visible in the e-commerce era can become challenging for a lot of companies. Customers are overwhelmed with millions of options and often check out various online stores to receive the best deals.

1) Spend Money to Make Money

Very cliche but very true. When businesses are at their initial stage, they get so engrossed with the idea of success and making profit that they forget that they will continuously need to invest a lot at first to be able to yield rewards in the long term. If you have an online store, know that it’s important to spend on advertising.

2) Become Socially Active

If you are an E-Commerce business, you NEED to be active on all social media platforms- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Having social media presence really does help with raising awareness about your brands, connecting with potential customers and it is also a great way to answer your customer’s queries! The best thing about using social media to promote yourself is that it is FREE, unless you use different tools like FB/IG ads or sponsoring yourself through them.

3) Showcase your USP (Unique Selling Point) at every chance you get

As an Entrepreneur, it is crucial you know what your USP is and that you’re able to ensure that other people know about it too. Your USP is what makes customers choose you over your competitors. It is something which reflects your brand and sends out a message about why you started this business in the first place. Your USP should focus on your target customers because if it doesn’t, your USP will have no meaning. What is the point of having a unique selling point if it isn’t directed to anyone, right?


如何在電商中突圍而出

隨著許多企業提供在線購物平台,對於許多公司來說,保持可見性會是一大挑戰。客戶的選擇不計其數,電商的突圍方法是?

1)長線VS短期投資

雖然這好像是大家都知道的,但很多小企業會想要為短期回報而大量投放資金在單一方面,忽略了長遠效益。如果你是在電商方面的生意,記得考慮市場推廣和下廣告的資金。

2)跟人互動吧!

很多現今企業發現真實網上互動的重要性,會在社交媒體建立社群。如果你抱著同樣想法,建議內容更貼近真實和人心,才能突圍而出。

3)明確知道你的USP

一開始便知道你的獨特處,能讓你明確自己在市場中的定位,從而訂立合適的市場政策。

Reference:

https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/ppc/ecommerce/16-ways-to-stand-out/