From childhood, Evan Chow knew he desired to be an entrepreneur. When Covid-19 hit and the gig economic system commenced selecting up in Singapore, the Year Three SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business undergraduate noticed an possibility for enterprise. Together together along with his buddies and fellow SMU undergraduates, Craig Choy and Matthew Wu, the trio got down to construct a platform – acknowledged nowadays as Quest.
Conceptualised to construct a network that brings gig employees and clients collectively on a unmarried app, the concept became to empower people to comprehend the fee in their abilties via way of means of developing a platform for them to exhibit it to others in go back for a fair, aggressive remuneration. Prior to launching, Quest had already garnered titanic guide, securing over $70,000 in grants. This included $50,000 in pre-seed investment from Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Founder Grant, and $20,000 from the National Youth Council below the Youth Action Challenge. Quest is likewise presently incubated at SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (SMU IIE) Business Innovations Generator (BIG).
In June this year, the Quest app formally hit Apple and Google Play stores. Welcoming over 23,500 customers earlier than the 0.33 month of launch, Quest finished over $150,000 in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) thru peer-to-peer transactions from each their cellular app and telegram channel. Along the way, Quest has additionally hit a few different sudden milestones. For instance, it reached the pinnacle spot on Apple’s Lifestyle charts in Singapore, pinnacle five withinside the average category, and has always been rating among the pinnacle 10 withinside the Lifestyle category.
Quest done well, in particular at the Apple App Store charts / Photo credit: Evan Chow
With his enjoy in Quest, Evan stocks with us six guidelines on how marketers can get a head begin while putting in their first enterprise.
- Make certain there may be marketplace call for for what you offer
Back in December 2020, while Evan and his buddies had simply dedicated to constructing the Quest app, they commenced considering simply how beneficial their app became going to be. With that consideration, they commenced a provisional Telegram channel as a part of their Beta segment testing. While serving as a fundamental prototype for the app, this zero-fee platform contained all of the fundamental components of Quest.
Within six months, the Telegram channel hit five,000 subscribers and the trio accrued a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of over $100,000 thru peer-to-peer transactions. Despite their preliminary doubts at the enterprise concept, the numbers didn’t lie and they may verify that there has been certainly a marketplace call for for what Quest offered. With this inexperienced light, the crew went complete pace in advance to construct the app.
- Don’t permit your inexperience be a handicap
As undergraduates who had now no longer but launched into any internships, the co-founders did now no longer have any applicable reports to fall lower back on. Additionally, Craig became nevertheless studying a way to code withinside the lecture room while he became tasked to construct a whole app from scratch.
Evan (foreground), Craig and Matthew have been all learners at SMU while the preliminary concept of Quest became first conceptualised / Photo credit: Evan Chow
“We have been terrified that Quest became going to fall flat on its face. In retrospect, that worry fuelled us and saved us continuously on our ft and keen to study extra. There are many approaches to make up for loss of enjoy. For one, the 3 folks participated in numerous competitions to pitch our concept, study from and community with enterprise experts,” remembers Evan.
Another useful resource to faucet on is mentorship; attain out to mentors who can offer advice, steerage and proportion their very own private enjoy that will help you grow. In Evan’s case, he determined assist thru The Mentoring Circle, an SMU undergraduate mentoring membership, in addition to the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence on the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).
Inexperience may be an asset in case you discover ways to use it well. As younger adults, the Quest crew became keenly aware about the most up to date tendencies which they lavishly tapped on and constructed into their app. For instance, Quest customers could be acquainted with the app’s Hero/Citizen duality. This idea faucets on gamification in UX, which includes factors of interplay and a laugh to inspire person engagement.
Inexperience can be a problem however you don’t should permit it end up a handicap.
- Tap on TikTok, however create content material that rises above the noise
TikTok may be used for extra than senseless entertainment. In fact, don’t underestimate its virality and power! If harnessed well, TikTok may be a platform that drives enterprise boom. In Quest’s case, the platform’s overall performance and target target market metrics have been used to benefit insights into how their visitors reacted to their content material. From there, the crew fine-tuned its advertising strategy.
“We’ve had a number of our busiest boom days way to TikTok, exactly due to the fact short-shape movies feed into the call for for fast gratification that’s so famous amongst visitors,” stocks Evan.
If you’re a enterprise and now no longer on TikTok already, without a doubt do not forget getting on board. But a phrase of warning: be strategic together along with your content material or you’ll danger being drowned out via way of means of the noise.
- Build the proper crew
Teamwork makes the dream work. This announcing is apt to any enterprise however it’s in particular vital for a startup. While getting your preliminary concept off the ground, you want to select out the proper humans to do it with you. From co-founders to interns, past their abilities and competency, Evan appears out for the proper cultural fit.
“I in my opinion agree with that mind-set triumphs aptitude. When it involves hiring, resumes and previous enjoy are without a doubt critical however ultimately, a person’s character and mind-set are what we’re searching at. It’s an awful lot simpler to train an character new abilities than to try and extrade their character,” observes Evan.
During the Phase 2 Heightened Alert length in May 2021, the Quest crew labored tirelessly throughout its distinctive teams / Photo credit: Quest – Hire a Hero
five. Brand attention is make or break
Have you ever puzzled what differentiates Starbucks from a cup of kopi peng out of your neighborhood meals centre? If the latter is going for 5 dollars a cup, the enterprise is certain to move bust. Yet such a lot of humans are inclined to spend their previous couple of cents on a drink at Starbucks, or Starbies as they’re affectionately called.
If you haven’t already guessed, Starbucks has nailed the logo game. Its logo – extra than only a double-tailed mermaid in a sea of inexperienced – is a universally acknowledged crest synonymous with sophistication and style. That’s the end result of an super advertising strategy.
In Quest’s enjoy as a customer-going through startup, logo attention is in particular key. On pinnacle of having its logo call available into the overall consciousness, the crew works to talk a compelling narrative to their customers to encourage downloads and engagement.
Who are we? What can we do? Why ought to humans take note of us? If you’re a marketer or interested by beginning your very own venture, those are just a few examples of questions you want to nail.
Find your niche, craft your tale after which pitch it sincerely.
- Leverage at the sources to be had to you in school
It takes lots to construct a enterprise – the preliminary outlay, the thoughts and the mentorship. No you will do it by myself and Quest isn’t anyt any exception. The trio controlled to attain a few achievement because of the beneficiant guide they’ve obtained from SMU. As scholar marketers, they have been lucky to have Quest’s boom incubated below SMU IIE’s assistance. IIE additionally furnished the crew with a co-running space, grants, mentorship or even subsidised felony assist.
Additionally, Evan additionally joined SMU Eagles Inc., a scholar-led entrepreneurship membership in SMU, wherein he’s presently Vice-President. The membership organises activities, starting from networking sessions, masterclasses, to mentorship possibilities for students. As a first-time entrepreneur, those have helped hone his enterprise acumen and form him into an entrepreneurial leader.