Christine always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Her passion for building her own business keeps her going, even in the toughest of times during the pandemic.
Despite being new to the F&B industry, Christine built up her own Lor Bak business, got featured by many influencers, and quadrupled her revenue in just 2 years.
How did she manage to grow her business by 400% in such a short time? And how did she manage to connect with influencers to market her business?
We sat down with Christine to learn about her journey as a solopreneur and how she managed to stay adaptable even in the most trying times.
Stepping out of her comfort zone into the F&B industry
2020 was one of the most challenging times. Just 2 years ago, Christine was in a totally different line of work.
She ran her own nail salon and knew the ins and outs of the beauty industry. But when COVID hit, she had no choice but to close down her salon.
Overnight, she had a loss of income. And as if that wasn’t challenging enough, she was also expecting a child and had lots of financial needs on her hands.
But it was during this time that she knew she needed to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.
That was when she ventured into the unfamiliar ground of the F&B industry, and her business, Lorbakmama, was born!
Overcoming hurdles through amazing customer service
Needless to say, starting an F&B business is extremely challenging, especially when you’re new to the industry.
“I had to go through lots of trial and error because I had to experiment with different suppliers to get the best ingredients for my customers while also maintaining a reasonable cost,” Christine shared.
Besides supplier issues, Christine had also ran into issues where some delivery men became uncontactable. While delivery issues aren’t common, having just a few missing or damaged orders is enough to ruin her business’ reputation.
“I had to deal with customer complaints when that happens,” Christine shared, “It’s not just about the monetary losses but also about my brand image.”
In one bizarre experience, a delivery man actually consumed the order and then disappeared without a trace!
“There was nothing I could do about that order but I still needed to give my customer the best experience, so I gave them a refund for their order,” Christine explained.
Being bold in reaching out to influencers
As a new business, it was hard to stand out from competitors. That’s why Christine knew she needed to be bold in reaching out to influencers.
“I love offering my food to influencers to let them have a try and if they like it, they can share it. If not, there are no obligations.”
She explained that this was a great way to gain exposure on social media and reach potential customers she couldn’t reach on her own.
For most business owners, reaching out to influencers might seem intimidating. But Christine shares that “there’s no need to fear rejection because you only stand to gain in the process.”
“When my friend first introduced me to Cococart, I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it earlier!”
With a growing business and increased media attention, Christine was getting more orders than ever. That’s when a friend of hers introduced her to Cococart.
“Initially, I used Google forms to take my orders but it was a manual and tedious process,”
“Sometimes, there would be a glitch and orders would repeat themselves so I always needed to WhatsApp customers to confirm their orders,” Christine explained.
Some days, Christine finds that she spends “half a day texting customers” and always needed to make a mental note to update her order sheet if she happened to be out.
Running a home-based F&B business is no easy feat. Christine had to deal with suppliers, customer requests, and delivery coordination.
That’s why she needed her own website with Cococart to help streamline her business.
Cococart has made order management more seamless for merchants like Christine.
With a wide range of payment options, Christine can afford to offload the administrative side of her business and focus on improving the quality of her menu.
“Cococart’s pay as you grow model is great for small businesses like mine because there aren’t any hidden fees and I can definitely afford the service that Cococart offers.”
Lorbakmama’s tips for small business owners
One of Christine’s biggest tips for small businesses is to never fear rejection, and always be open to trying everything.
From giveaways to celebrity collabs and hosting contests, Christine is always open to trying out new marketing strategies.
While it’s important to improve your products, Christine believes that it’s just as important to build up your brand.
An amazing product can only do well if “more people know more about what you do.”
If you’ve been wondering how you can build and scale your business like Christine, perhaps it’s time to turn your aspirations into reality! Take the step of courage and start building your brand with Cococart to reach customers today.