Exclusive interview from Vicaza
Tell us about yourself ?
From Malaysia, engineer by education but currently in the business development side of things with a media company. Once spent 4 years as a British Army reservist in the UK, then formed a team of 4 to drive halfway around the world in a old jeep in 2011. Post trip, I did a variety of sales and marketing stints across different industries including banking, media and recruitment before I was introduced to my current co-founder (Ginny) through a mutual friend. Almost immediately we jumped into business together barely knowing each other for 2 months and the rest is history!
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Pretty random – I was out jogging with Ginny who was a bit of a sneakerhead when she asked if there was any such services in our country. After a simple market survey, decided to further validate the idea of a sneaker cleaning business and started asking for dirty shoes from our friends while collecting some valuable insights into the behaviour of our potential customers. The business quickly grew via word of mouth and we were receiving upto 6 pairs of sneakers per day consistently, which was when we decided to open a physical store.
What’s your company’s goals?
To build a reputable brand that is strongly associated with sneaker care in order for us to move around the value chain i.e. expanding into products, accessories and maybe even streetwear, who knows.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
We primarily promote the service via social media, search engine and word of mouth. Understanding that the market is quite new to the service and product, we have spent a lot of effort putting together our website and marketing content. We are also considered one of the pioneers in the market.
How do you advertise your business?
Our business model is an online-to-offline model with the bulk of our marketing done online to drive footfall into our outlets. So yes primarily via search engine and social media mediums.
What made you choose this type of business?
It was the opportunity and gap in the market that drawn us in. However, the service business is hard work and definitely not for those who doesn’t have the patience or service mentality.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Stay focused, keep hustling. Hard work pays off. And especially for those who are venturing into service business: manage your customer’s expectations is key!
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
Based on our strong track record and positive customer feedback, also our consistent online presence & customer service.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I will definitely spend more time working internal processes from the start. As we grow, I
figured the system needs to be improved a lot to facilitate bigger volume. There is a big difference between having 5-6 pairs per day to 50-60 pairs per day. So SOP (standard operating procedure) is crucial when scaling.
How can people connect with you?
Original Publication: http://www.vizaca.com/interviews/jack-wong-co-founder-of-shoe-mo/