However, when it comes to business, I will have to disagree with these 2 statements. First impression counts. Which shop will you walk in? The more appealing one or the less appealing one? I am sure you have the answer.
As a business owner myself, I will not take any chance that will lose a customer. I will do present my best to lure in the customer. Whether they purchase anything or not is not important at this moment. If they don't even walk-in, not to mention buying.
I will like to present a case study on this particular business, "Winkz Winkz Cafe" in Hougang Interchange.
Winkz Winkz cafe is selling western food such as fried chicken wings etc... The business was not doing well and eventually, they joined a local TV program 抢摊行动2 organized by MediaCorp as their last resort to turn the situation around. They emerged as the winner and was taught by Chef Daniel to improve on the taste of their food. Now, they have good and tasty food. However, business did not picked up tremendously. To cut the story short, I got to know of their plight and decided to help them to improve on their outlook.
After a few days of observation and evaluation, I conclude that there are 3 main areas that I can help.
- The outlook of the shop
- Marketing strategy
- Implementation of strategies
All these took place in the span of one week. However, the shop was transformed overnight. This transformation proved to be a success. Immediate, the press took notice of this transformation and was being published in "Chinese Paper" the next day.
Not only that, this transformation also attracts more customers and sales rocketed. A few months later, I was re-engaged by them to design the shop again as they have expanded.
In conclusion, I will advise all business owner to squeeze out some budget for marketing. This will be money well spent.
All these happens for a reason.
My reason is God. Read on to find out more.
That moment, I felt the Lord is speaking to me to help them. I started to share my testimony on how I started my business with them and told them that I may be able to help them. They seem doubtful. On a the same Sunday, I got my cell group members to go to the cafe to taste and give me feedback on the shop as a short survey on the state of the shop. On general, the feedback was the food is good but the image and packaging is bad. The shop will go unnoticed. I decided to help them.
This issue became one of the item we prayed for during our weekly cell group prayer. I begin to
pray for them and asking God to anoint me for ideas and concept. Here's the miracle, on that same night, I came out with the entire concept including marketing and advertisement design. Praise God. They too like it and so I went on to produce it.
My Cell Group members also help to repaint the whole shop. The date of installation was set on the week Friday. After Cell Group Meeting, my brother and I went to do installation for the shop overnight. The whole process was very smooth. On the next day which is a Saturday, I got a call from the sister saying that the transformation had got great impact. Many people who passed by their shop actually stop, look and buy from them. Some even said “I didn't know it was a cafe before”. It attracted lots of stares as it became a “Orchard Road” standard.
The transformation was so great that some members of the public thought it was another failure of the show. This was a new shop replacing the old one. Reporters came too. It was even featured in Xin Zhou Ri Bao on 15 Sep 2009, on the 2nd page which they clarified that the got a free “makeover” by a sponsor. Weeks passed, their sales soared, making the business profitable. However, God told me not to bill them. The work I did will easily worth more than $XX,XXX as a commercial dealing. So I abide and never billed them.
So question here was, did God rewarded me for this? It's a confirm yes. God never shortchanged me. My business (iGongZai) never have a lack of customers. I even managed to sell the business as a franchise to some entrepreneurs which expanded my kiosks to 5. It was not about the blessing in finances (of cos its good to have). Its more about God using us as a vessel to reach out to people. If we are willing and submit to Him, God can use us from anyways and any direction. It doesn't stop here. Now, half a year later, their cafe is expanding, taking up another shop space as “dine-in”. They ask me to help again. This time, I was not so willing as I felt they should mature more in term of thinking and planning. So I told them to improve on their attitude and build on their character. One of the ways is to join me in BBG which they will definitely benefits. Praise the Lord, they actually went with me on the week before Easter and got a treat out of it. After meeting ends, Pst Ming just suddenly came by and ask to pray for them. It really touched my heart.
I also wanted them to be involve more into the planning and execution part. I gave them some task to do in a stipulated time. However, they did not fulfill as required. I was very angry with them. In my heart I was thinking, why should I care so much when they don't bother. I thought what is this? I am super busy with my business and SOT and Family, you need my help and yet you don't care. I wanted very much to leave them to fend themselves. In the past, I 100% confirm will scream at them and really walk away from them. After being molded by church teaching, I too experience changes. When I think that “do they deserve me to help”? Immediately, I thought of Jesus died for me even before he can confirm whether I will repent before him. So I decided to calm down and speak to my leaders for wise advise. Praise the Lord, I was impacted by them and held my cool. The situation was better and I continue to help them. After all its not so bad as I didn't have to wash their feet.
I really wanted to thank God for transforming my life, attitudes and character.