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A Start-up’s Struggles and One Way to Overcome Them

When you are a start-up that is just starting out in this highly competitive, overpopulated-with-competition world, it is tough. Becoming the next AirBnb or Uber comes with an entire set of challenges. 

Acquiring first customers

When a speaker gives a speech, the hook is crucial. Whether or not you manage to get your audience’s attention at the very beginning is what determines how effectively your message is ready to be received. 

The same applies for a product or service. Once it is developed and out there, promotional efforts come into play. Social media becomes a significant marketing tool. The content a company puts out becomes their hook. 

Facebook, Apple, Coca Cola; their initial marketing efforts contributed greatly to their significant success today. 

There are countless products which are out there in the market, with their existences fading even before being established in the first place. A company’s first customers are crucial, because they are the people who trusted the product enough to try it. If they are appeased, a happy-turned-loyal customer is the best spokesperson any company could ask for. 

Traction

Any good driver knows what traction is, but the definition changes up slightly in the business world. Here it means the progress and momentum growth of a company alongside the growth of its business. 

There can be several reasons as to why a start-up is not getting enough traction. Just building the product is not enough. It does not guarantee that a start-up is anywhere close to success. The key – and hurdle – is making sure the company branding is oriented around the product, while giving timely and strong support to its customer base. 

If a product does not solve a problem, address a need, or even make lives easier or more entertaining – chances are, customers will not pick it up. They may not have a need for the product or may simply not be interested in using it. 

Poor presentation could be yet another factor for lack of traction. This may not just be of the product, but even the company itself. 

For instance, poor website presentation – if you run a start-up and your company’s purpose, value, and problem-solving statement cannot be effortlessly found out from your website, it is high time for it to be upgraded to include all these. 

Without a clear reason of why your product exists, the website essentially serves no actual purpose. 

The same applies to the company’s social media platforms. The best content communicates with your target audience by – for starters – telling them who you are, what you do, and what is in it for them. 

It is crucial to maintain an active social media presence by regularly updating your customers (followers) and constantly trying to engage them in interaction. Several start-ups lack in the latter aspect on their social media platforms, which is why they hardly get any interaction despite having large numbers of followers. 

Small team

Any company, big or small, cannot function without the contribution of its team; its people. Each member plays a significant role, and this is magnified when it comes to a start-up. 

Since the number of employees in a start-up generally stays in the single-digit range, there is a lot more responsibility on each member. A great deal more effort, time, energy, creativity and brain power are required to get a start-up’s wheels turning. Without any of these, forget exponentially gaining momentum; even keeping up the momentum already gained will be a tough task. 

The worst part? Despite all this, more often than not, the employees’ hard work may not even be seen or acknowledged by outsiders. It could be customers not doing their hard work justice by constantly not responding to social media posts, or it could be investors shooting down pitches so easily it is almost dishearteningly dismissive. 

Apart from that, every member needs to have an in-depth knowledge of their job scope and probably even beyond. While start-ups offer large room for learning, the work scope can seem so vast to the small team that it induces pressure as well. 

If a conflict occurs within the members, the impact is felt greatly. In order to not let it snowball and eventually affect the quality of work, the team has to resolve their conflicts and work amicably. 

Lack of results

Despite the entire team’s efforts, the chances of there being no results is high. Even after countless campaigns, posts and promo codes, the response rate can be dejectedly low. 

This in turn can induce despair in employees, because any sort of response would have at least given them a sense of direction. Without feedback – positive or negative – the members would desperately be trying to figure out what they did wrong without knowing where to start from. 

So, instead of working on tweaking their current campaign according to obtained feedback, the members will be feeling lost, directionless, and may even be going around in circles trying to figure out where to focus their efforts. 

Deadly, harmful reviews

It is difficult enough for a start-up to get the ball rolling without any sort of feedback or response from customers. Now imagine having to make a reputation for your company amidst an influx of negative reviews. 

These deadly reviews can do serious damage to even established conglomerates, so you can only imagine the endeavours a poor start-up has to go through to try and battle the impact of all the negativity. 

Kudusto.com.au founder Paul Ryan once said that this negativity could “cripple” small companies such as start-ups. 

Start-ups need to respond with carefully and intricately-chosen words to get themselves out of this mess, so that their customer base is strengthened and they can channel their time and energy on other aspects as well. 

The Solution (one of them, at least)

Here is the thing, though. Despite all the struggles that a start-up faces, there is always a solution. If there was not, then Grab and Lazada would not be where they are today. 

For my company, PHIX, our most effective solution so far has been none other than the formidable social media. 

Singapore has one of the highest social media penetration rates in the world, with over 4.7 million people being active social media users as recently as last year. That amounts to nearly three-quarters of the population. 

These statistics are astounding, and should thrill any founder and marketing team worth their value. The possibilities of using social media to build a business identity are endless. 

That is what PHIX did. We lost momentum and traction after getting hit by Covid, and we tried several ways to regain them afterward and get back to the few thousand rapid downloads and hundreds of active users we had post-catastrophe. 

But the best solution for us turned out to be social media; more specifically, influencer outreach. We worked with social media influencers by offering them a complementary service of their choice from our app, and they posted their honest reviews about it along with videos or photos of them enjoying our service on their accounts. 

The results were fruitful; with our downloads, active users and number of bookings growing at pleasantly surprising rates and instilling a sense of euphoria in us. 

PHIX is continuing to grow today, and it is all because we made use of Singapore’s high social media usage rate. The network effect of social media is so widespread and effective that the impact was almost immediate. 

Now that we have found our solution, we are going to pivot towards and expand on this aspect to ensure continued growth and success for our future as well. 

If you work in a start-up and are finding a way to overcome your struggles, this would be a great platform to expand on. 

As I said earlier, there are endless possibilities. So, you could try it our way, or experiment and find your own ideal social media solution to make your start-up successful. 

Being A Freelancer in Singapore is Tough…Or is It?

No one said being a freelancer in Singapore was going to be easy. As a freelancer, you are your own employee, boss, secretary – basically your own company. 

Sounds perfect, don’t you think? Not only do you not work for anyone, but you are your own boss. The rates you set? Yours. The days you work? You decide. The clients you handle? Up to you! 

You can sympathise with your friends who work from 9 to 5 daily, but only sympathise. Because while they complain about travel cost, fatigue and back aches from sitting on their chairs for too long, you simply cannot relate. 

All this might be making freelancing seem like a walk in the park so far. “How is it tough?” you might ask. Well, being a freelancer is much more than calling the shots and taking a holiday whenever you want. For starters, you as an individual need to possess certain qualities to even have a chance at being a successful one. 

Since the productivity of a work day is in your hands, it all comes down to the discipline you have in making sure it does not go wasted. A freelancer’s discipline goes a long way in determining whether they make it or break it in the industry. 

Not just that, but perseverance is a key factor as well. There are going to be days where the money made is zero – for several reasons. Maybe there is no project you are currently undertaking, or you might just be going through a dry spell where you cannot find a new client. Not letting these deterrents get to you is the tricky solution. 

Human nature aside, there are many other aspects that come into play to successfully create and run your one-man (or woman) show. 

Step One: Get yourself online! And this does not just stop at Instagram or Facebook; create your own business website. Make it simple, accessible, and last but definitely not the least, beautiful. Because if you don’t take pride in your work, who will? 

Social media is a platform that you definitely should not discount or write off. As a professional working freelancer who finds their own jobs, you are going to need all the connections you can get. Finding like-minded people builds up the base of your business. 

Step Two: Get your separate business phone number and large stack of name cards. Establishing your corporate identity is vital to showing your clients – both existing and potential – the image you wish to portray. More importantly, it helps instill confidence in them about your seriousness and dedication towards your work. 

Step Three: Determine the services you offer and their rates. How are you going to make money to eat without showing your clients how much each dish on the menu costs? 

Social media, portfolio website, business phone line, name cards, services and rates. If this single-sentence-summary has you sighing right about now, wait. Because there is still one last step left, and it is the best one. 

What if you could do all this…on just one app? An app that you could simply download on your phone? 

Ladies and gentlemen, Step Four: Become a Phix Provider. 

Phix gives you the all-in-one platform to establish and advertise yourself, build connections and earn money at the same time. Its simple sign-up procedure is all you need to get through to set yourself up for a comfortable income to start pouring in, with clients coming to you for your services and not the traditional, other way around. 

It would take a whole bunch of other articles to talk about all that Phix Provider can offer you, but much less time for you to actually download it and explore them all. Trust me, you will not regret it. 

Sign up now, and be the best freelancer you can be. You can always thank me later! 

Shreyaa Kanneboina, PR and Marketing Executive

4 Similarities and Differences Between COVID-19 Vaccine and Phix Customer App.

When PM Lee announced that we would be moving into Phase 3 on the 28th of the month, it was all anyone could talk about. Gatherings can take place in groups of 8 instead of 5, and the first batch of vaccines has already touched down on Singaporean land.

It might be a little tough to imagine what the title is talking about, but in the broadest sense, both the vaccine and app are lifesavers – albeit in different ways. 

Similarities

Lifesavers

The vaccine – without needing an explanation – saves lives in the literal sense. The immunity that it promises from the current pandemic has created great hope in the hearts of the Singapore community, and there is great anticipation regarding PM Lee’s statement that there will be enough to go around for everyone by the third quarter of 2021

Phix helps make life easier in a slightly different way. With over 300 services available, ranging from housekeeping to business analysis to guitar lessons, this on-demand app gives customers a wide range of services to choose from. 

And it gets better. The islandwide coverage of Phix allows you to access providers in your geo-location. Need a service immediately? You got it. Want to schedule for sometime in the future? We have you covered on that front as well. 

Free to Get

The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is free to all Singaporeans and long-term residents, exactly like the Phix Customer App. There is no charge for signing up and customers have the liberty to book as many services as they wish to or deem necessary. 

Apart from that, both the sign-up and vaccine administration are on a voluntary basis. Essentially, you call the shots. 

Quick

How long has it ever taken you to have a vaccine administered? Even if you are someone who does not do well with needles, you hardly realise when it started and when it ended while the doctor tries to distract you with soothing words of encouragement. Not even five heartbeats and the whole thing is over.

Well, it may take longer than just mere seconds to make a booking on Phix, but once you know the exact service you want, the booking process is a breeze. 

Simply select your service, key in your location, choose your provider and preferred timeslot, and you are good to go.

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A post shared by PHIX (@getphix)

Difference

Simplicity of Storage

There are not many differences between both products that comes to mind, but this is definitely one of them. 

The Pfizer vaccines need to be stored at negative 70 degrees Celsius, and this sets off an entire supply chain where the appropriate facilities to make ideal storage conditions possible need to be manufactured or shipped over. This in turn translates to considerable costs for the government. 

Using the Phix app, on the other hand, is nothing if not easy and convenient. You will agree once you start using it. 

At the end of the day, the one thing you can’t deny is that having both of these will give you nothing to lose but everything to gain, be it in terms of health or peace of mind. Skeptical? Think about it again once you’ve got your vaccine and made your first booking on the Phix Customer App.

Shreyaa Kanneboina, PR and Marketing Executive

Download Phix Customer App Now!

A Business Woman or Mum? Family Versus Career

Young working mothers have so much to take care of; from feeding to cooking to working and cleaning. For them – more than others, if I daresay – work-life balance is a goal that truly takes a lot of work. 

33-year-old Veronica Lee is no different. With her son just having started primary school and her daughter kindergarten, juggling between her career and family has become her every day. Being a business owner, this lady boss is not one of those women who has let her dreams and aspirations take a backseat for the sole purpose of taking care of her family. 

Running the household in every sense that matters has become second nature to her. The NUS business graduate set up her ecommerce company five years ago, and it has only flourished. She found not just knowledge, but love as well in college, and the happy couple tied the knot shortly after their graduation. Together, the husband and wife put their degrees to good use – as her spouse does well as a full-time employee of a bank – and bring home a sturdy income to support their family. 

Even though the family of four is financially stable, Veronica has yet to achieve the goals she has set out for herself. Being a great aspirer, her dream is to establish her company’s presence on an international level, with outlets open in Indonesia, Dubai, France; you name it.

This, however, would almost definitely mean the toughest choice of her life for her: career versus family. If she throws herself into the development of her business, she would have to pay the price for it in terms of time with her children and husband. As a mother, she would have to forgo valuable moments she could use in shaping her children’s lives and imbibing humanitarian values in them, which will go a long way in defining them and in turn impact their futures.

Stuck in this dilemma, Veronica takes a step back and analyses her day-to-day life and tries to figure out how she can optimise her time and maximise her productivity. She first zeroes in on the fact that she does the household chores by herself. That in itself takes up a significant amount of her day, which she could invest in being productive on the fronts that matter more.

Her first mental note to herself is to look for quality housekeepers soon. 

Next, she makes a decision that holistic and all-rounded learning from a young age would give her children a taste of different fields to dabble in and potentially even lead to strong passion for one of them. 

Hence, her second mental note: look for artistic classes for the kids.

Satisfied, Veronica decides to take care of these two issues first. She was scrolling through Google, looking for the services she required separately, when she came across an app that seemed to have been crafted especially for her as a packaged solution. 

Before she could even wrap her mind around the fact that the app offered both blue and white-collar services – including the two she was specifically looking for – she saw that there was a whole list of service providers available to choose from. Their ratings, customer reviews and experience gave her a much better idea of who would be suited for each of her requirements. 

Assured by the quality and ease of the app, Veronica proceeded to book a certified guitar teacher for her children as well as an equipped housekeeper for the chores. The young businesswoman was feeling much more reassured and renewed in her motivation and spirits, as she had taken a first step towards her long-term objective while still making sure she was around for her loved ones.

Who would have thought there would be an all-in-one mobile app that could fix both her needs in an instant? With that magical experience behind her, she could now turn her focus back on her family and business with a happy heart. 

After all, who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?

Shreyaa Kanneboina, PR and Marketing Executive

Download Phix Customer App Now!

GETTING PHIXED IS NOW LEGAL IN SINGAPORE.

Yes, our website is ‘getphix.com’, and we do not sell weed. 

It might sound absurd to some that I’m even clarifying this, but scrolling through @getphix’s Instagram followers was even more absurd for me. 

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A post shared by PHIX (@getphix)

When I first began working in the company, the over-800 Instagram followers had me impressed. Such a significant figure for a practically new start-up? Definitely impressive. 

Then I started scrolling through those followers, and it was obvious that some of them had only become followers because they had a completely different idea about what we did. 

I jumped onto Google to check what it had to say about us. Typing ‘phix’ in the search bar, my colleagues and I were pleasantly surprised to see our website as the seventh suggestion on the first page itself. After all, being one of Google’s top 10 suggestions is no small achievement, especially for a young start-up. 

The only damper on our spirits was the small fact that the first six suggestions were all about vaping and weed. 

And that was the last push I needed to get in front of my laptop and furiously clack away at my keyboard, because this message needs to get out there – and it needs to get out now. 

Whether you’re one of our few kick-seeking Instagram followers or just the innocent reader who chanced upon this article, you need to know this: MARIJUANA IS ILLEGAL; PHIX SG IS NOT. 

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A post shared by PHIX (@getphix)

The way we Phix you up is genuinely intended to and targeted at simplifying and bettering your lives in a 100% legal, fast and easy way. 

Welcome to our humble abode, where we help connect customers and service providers offering over 300 services. With one-half of our aim being to serve as a safe haven to providers, Phix proudly hosts a wide range of both white and blue-collar services, from housecleaning to tutoring. 

New services are constantly being added, and this way, we complete the second half of our aim by providing our customers on-demand, custom-made quick fixes. 

Phix has always been about the community. I can tell you first-hand how true that is; the efforts we take on a daily basis to communicate with as many existing and potential members of the Phix family as possible are never-ending.   

We move forward with the goal of constantly trying to reach out to as many people as we can so that we can help them to the best of our abilities. You could be a freelancer looking for an avenue to make more income, or a customer needing a service; our doors are always wide open for you. 

Legal, safe, simple, even healthy: these are not the words used to describe weed, but Phix SG. It still boggles me that a provision this good can simply be downloaded on a phone in a matter of mere seconds. 

With that, my passionate speech-making has come to an end, and I would like to thank you for your attention. Once again, we are Phix SG, and we do not sell weed. 

Shreyaa Kanneboina, PR & Marketing Executive

Download Phix Customer App Now!
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