Name of Recipient:
Mr. Cliff Teo
Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. A customer is the most important visitor on an entrepreneur’s premises, he is not dependent on you. You are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in your work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in your business. He is part of it. You are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing you a favor by giving you an opportunity to do so. If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. Lighting.com.sg is a company which built upon the satisfaction it proffers along with the power of viva voce.
Lighting.com.sg; denoting to its products and eponymous to its website, is a company commenced by 7 childhood friends, comprising of 4 retail outlets in SIngapore and an assembly plant in China; taking charge of the fabrication of lighting products for the company. Lighting.com.sg is a pinnacle; an industry leader in the lighting industry. As Mr Cliff Teo, one of the pioneers of Lighting.com.sg elucidated on the company’s initiation: “In 2005, my friends and i came together about starting a business. Many of my friends have been in the lighting industry for many years, and the lighting industry has been quite stagnant; with no innovation and technological improvement over time.” Mr Teo continued: “We then started off as an importer and exporter, by introducing lighting designs which are more modern and contemporary. Half a year later, we finally had our own retail store at Jalan Besar.”
Lighting.com.sg’s first retail store shall be a part in a chain of events which shall proliferate the company to success. Today, with a profusion of 26 employees, working in tandem to bring Lighting.com.sg to a vaster level of entrepreneurship, along with the company’s prominence, Lighting.com.sg is an entrepreneurial paramount. However, even the most successful business would be fraught with problems, the same goes for Lighting.com.sg. “During the start of our retail branch of business, we faced some financial difficulty. We were forced to fork out SGD$40,000 for the rental, renovation works and our retail products. At that point of time, we were still a young company, so without doubt, our financial status wasn’t good.” Mr Teo cogitated about Lighting.com.sg’s rough start. Nevertheless, a business such as Lighting.com.sg; a masterpiece of entrepreneurial ingenuity, would not just fall flat under such adversities.
“We managed to raise the money through our sales, as customer recommended friends to us by word of mouth due to our good service and unique products, we began to realize the power in word of mouth marketing. In order to achieve this, we not only need to satisfy customers’ expectations, but exceed them.” Mr Teo regarded. To supersede expectations set by customers is a tall order, it involves a great business methodology in order to pull off. Despite so, with such a proficient company like Lightning.com.sg, fulfilling this criteria is a cinch.
Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you. As Mr Teo shall expound on how Lighting.com.sg managed to achieve what deemed impossible to most entrepreneurs: “At this point of time, we are the only lighting retail line that sells at a fixed price. So there are no hidden costs, or sales tactics to entice customers. We believe in honesty, and so do customers.” Mr Teo adjourned, “We have a 110% price guarantee as well, we make sure our products are not more expensive than our competitors. We also do believe that customers are right, and we built our company upon their constructive comments to make Lighting.com.sg a better place for everyone.” Such an idiosyncratic business strategy requires receptive minds like the leaders of Lighting.com.sg in order to come into realization.
In spite of all the hardship the company has to go through, Mr Teo remains a jovial man. Mr Teo then listed out Lighting.com.sg’s achievements with pride: “Customers find it weird for Lighting.com.sg to have fixed prices on your products. It is not an easy decision shifting from the normal way of selling out products.” This is very peculiar in the trade, deviating from the norm in the lighting industry to sell products at fixed prices as this often neglects room for negotiation. However, as Mr Teo explicated: “Thankfully, we benefited from it as customer welcome it as we are able to provide competitive pricing on our products.” Mr Teo then added: “We also received feedbacks from clients, when our competitors badmouth about us. Not only that, but our clients stood up for us by speaking up. We are very touched by the actions of our clients. As a result, we always treat customers as priority, as a way to return them the favor.”
“We do know that customers are what makes us grow, and how much customers do to make us do so. Therefore our customers are the people that really motivates us.” Mr Teo commented upon Lighting.com.sg’s motivation: Customers. “We are so satisfied and motivated that our clients are happy with our services and products.” Mr Teo announced with exhilaration upon how invigorating being able to satisfy customers are. “That is why we prioritize our customers, nothing is more important than a satisfied customers.” Mr Teo then began to illustrate what entrepreneurship meant to him: “It means being responsible to the society, by selling only reliable products. Entrepreneurship is a way of life to make life easier for people.”
“An entrepreneurship is all about survival. As an entrepreneur then, you are a survivor, you have to possess the fighting spirit to push on irregardless how tough things are. You also need to have a vision and foresight to make the right decision to help yourself in this survival situation.” Mr Teo espoused on what he thinks would make up a successful entrepreneur. “You also must be able to prioritize your customers before yourself. They are the people who offers you the opportunity to pursue success. If you don’t cherish this opportunity, it would be impossible to attain success.” Mr Teo then advocated budding entrepreneurs aspiring to start their own business: “Start with something that you are more familiar with, as you will find it easier along the way.”
Mr Teo also divulged Lighting.com.sg’s expansion plans in the next 5 years. “We are planning to expand by opening more retail outlets island wide.” Lighting.com.sg already has 3 more outlets in the pipelines and shall be completed by the next biennium. “Currently we have 4 retail outlets, the next one will be opened in Geylang in October.” Mr Teo pronounced on Lighting.com.sg’s fifth retail store, right along the bustling streets of Geylang.
As Lighting.com.sg’s quest for supremacy goes on, it shall redefine the entrepreneurial definition along the way. Lighting.com.sg, along with its leaders, had proved to the entrepreneurial world how success came about through the means of their customers.
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