In August 2012 I had an idea; I would quit my finance job to build a website and sell discounted fashion items to online customers in Hong Kong. Fashion brands would give me their stock on consignment, I would sell these products digitally, and get paid before having to pay for the stock; a perfect cash flow arrangement!
Four months later in December 2012, I launched PrivateSales.hk on a shoestring budget and began pitching well-known fashion brands to take a risk on a newly created (and still unproven) website from a first-time entrepreneur – not an easy task! But I did find some success, and managed to work with leading brands such Gucci eyewear, Diesel apparel, La Perla lingerie, and Furla handbags. I would go on to raise US$100,000 in our 10th month of operations, valuing our business at one million USD. So far so good!
We expanded, hired staff, and worked with better and better brands, growing our reach to over 15,000 people in the city of Hong Kong. What happened over these following 2.5 years? That’s where my book comes in!
While I was building this business, I thought, “I’m learning a lot of information here, and I might as well write some of it down.” So I did. I began building a large Word document of “how-to” information, contacts, tips, tricks, and lessons from mistakes learned along the way in e-commerce. I actually really enjoyed the writing process, as I consolidated my learning and experience, and asked other entrepreneurs for feedback and input on what was working for them.
By the time I knew it, I had written over 300 pages, and 50 chapters, within the three main categories of “PLAN Your Business”, “START Your Business”, and “GROW Your Business”. Each chapter became a step-by-step guide to completing that task and moving a growing online start up forward in that particular area.
I have called the book “Online Business in Asia: How To Sell Online To The World’s Largest Market” and it has just been released on my website OnlineBusinessAsia.com and on Amazon. A few weeks prior to launching the book, I was lucky enough to have a New York Times bestselling author review it. He said:
“This book gives you the proven steps you need to plan, start, and grow your Online Business In Asia. Customers are buying online right now and will buy much more online in the future. Apply what you learn in this new book and you will be there to serve them.”
– Ron Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of Uplifting Service
It certainly is true that more and more customers are turning to buy products and services online, and I have seen this first-hand with my own e-commerce businesses. My main message in this book is: It’s never been easier to start your own online business. There are so many great tools out there, and there are no more excuses.
I designed this book to be the ultimate guidebook to selling online in Asia; there’s no complicated theory or empty speculation inside. Just helpful information on what to do, and what to avoid, as an online entrepreneur in Asia. Written by me, an entrepreneur in Asia.
We also created a series of fun videos about the book, like this one below:
Throughout the book, I also carved out small sections as case studies on what worked (and what didn’t work!) on that particular topic, for example how PrivateSales.hk tackled email marketing using MailChimp, or outsourced our logo design with Freelancer.com. I have been completely transparent in the hope that this paints a realistic picture of the challenges and realities of succeeding in any business. Business success takes hard work, but it is certainly worth the adventure and rewards.
I hope you get great value from this book, and have many adventures yourself in online business as a result of being inspired and equipped by the information contained inside Online Business in Asia.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up your copy of Online Business in Asia here.