Being a health professional and an entrepreneur seems to be on two different ends of the spectrum – one is risk adverse while the other is a risk-taker. Being both at the same time can be really difficult. The health professional who is a business owner has to bring these two conflicting paradigms together. This is even more challenging when another important factor is brought in, that is using technology to assist in running the business. How can this be done? To learn more about this, the IMU Alumni Office organised an entrepreneurship talk on The Online Business of the ERA via Zoom for IMU students, alumni and staff on 21 October 2020. The speaker of this talk is an IMU Dietetics with Nutrition alumna, Wendy Wong, who is currently the Director, Operation and Marketing at Salad Atelier. Wendy has been working in Salad Atelier since 2016 when she joined the company as a dietitian. Prior to that, she was working as a clinical dietitian in KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital. The talk by Wendy focussed on an introduction as to why people should go into e-business, building an e-business, automating the process, using the right tools and to keep exploring into e-business. She started the talk by introducing herself before going into the introduction in which she introduced the e-platforms that are available for businesses and explained how she, as a Dietetics with Nutrition graduate and not a tech person, can be involved in this business with the help of technology. She then went on to explain that e-commerce is the future of business as most people in this world has a smart phone. Wendy also mentioned that the same psychology that is applied to shopping at a physical store can be applied to online shopping too. In this case, e-commerce monitoring is essential to learn of consumer behaviours and trends. When building the business, Wendy recommends that the new business owner decide on the right platform to use as a start. It would be the one that this person will like to use to kickstart the business.
|This business owner will also need to set up a team which would consist of one or more people who is a|
|Mastermind||Someone who looks at the big picture|
|Calculative||Someone who is in charge of finance and deals|
|Analytical||Someone who will measure and analyse success to provide insights on sales made|
For a start, the business owner will need to explore the platform and upload when he/she is confident with what has been done. Most importantly, the business owner would have to know his/her product well and be consistent. The next step is to automate the process by setting a SOP and allow the techonology to do the job, ensuring that processes go smoothly and completed on time. Integration is the key to this. Doing this would save time and money. Wendy also advises the use of a Marketing Calendar to optimise the timing of offers, voucher distribution and selling products in a bundle. The new business owner will also need to learn how to use store analytic tool which would be able to indicate the number of page views for a particular webssite in a platform, giving the business an idea of sales and revenue as higher page views potentially would lead to more sales. All these data can be captured and analysed by the business. As a business owner, reviews from customers, whether good or bad, needs to be managed as well. Lastly, it is important for the business owner to keep exploring, with Wendy advising the business owner to think like a customer. The owner also would have to think as to the reason for having the business online –for reveue or engagement, whether deals offered by the business is good enough, compare the business with its competitors and set a realistic target to hit. With all that, it is important to celebrate small sucesses that have been achieved.
|Discussion and Feedback|
|A discussion following Wendy’s talk saw her giving her views on interesting topics such as ways to increase brand awareness, best platform for new businesses, getting team members, social enterprise as an online business, setting brand identity for a business, finding niche market and how to keep customers engaged online without losing the human touch. In general, feedback from the participants of the webinar was positive with participants saying that they have learnt a lot from Wendy’s talk.|
You can watch the entire webinar vis this link : https://youtu.be/xhkNU3SDn84.