Becoming an Entrepreneur: Your Thoughts

p2010195Last Wednesday, IPWS hosted ‘Becoming an Entrepreneur in Shanghai: The Good, Bad & Ugly’, an event where several established entrepreneurs ran round table discussions, speaking about their journey and brainstorming with our members.

We asked several of the attendees to share their main takeaways from the event and by sharing their thoughts, there might be something in here for you too… if you’re taking a big entrepreneur leap or not!


Alexandra Wang – IPWS Friend 

“The most difficult part of being an entrepreneur is to get the business started.

“Take Alex D Font’s case for example. Before Alex started his own business, he held senior management position, and had a very good lifestyle. He gave up what he had, stepped out of his comfort zone, and started his own business. It required lots of courage, but it was what he wanted to do.

“Entrepreneurs have to look for clients, deliver results and look after their employees. Most startups are not profitable at the very beginning, which requires entrepreneurs to spend their own money. Sometimes it can be very stressful. But as long as entrepreneurs have faith in their products and services, eventually their business will make money. To be an entrepreneur, you have to be extremely determined, and follow the roadmap you design. Running a startup project has never been easy, and it takes lots of effort to make it successful. However, one of my big takeaways is that you shouldn’t be intimidated the challenges. Be aware of them, and face them head on.

“Lizzy told me that she didn’t realized that it would require so many licenses to get the government approval to open a juice bar. It requires lots of patience to do business in China.

“I learned a lot at this event. Entrepreneurs must be really engaged with their audience so they can provide the right products and services. The execution is extremely important. The realization of any great idea depends on how you engage with your audiences and execute your idea. It’s a team effort to make a startup work. You need to have good people around to help you to realize their dreams.”

Ellie Underwood – New to IPWS & New to Shanghai

“The ‘Becoming an Entrepreneur in China’ event was very insightful. The speakers each took time to explain their achievements and were honest about the struggles they have experienced in setting up their businesses. The attendees were all very engaged and asked some thought provoking questions. It was a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.

“The space at The Naked Hub worked well as we were able to move freely around the room and network. It’s always a sign of a good night when the group is politely told that if they don’t move on soon, they’ll be removed from the premises! I very much look forward to my next IPWS event!”

Annie Zhang – IPWS Member & Entrepreneur

“When talking about being an entrepreneur, many people think it’s a hard thing to fulfill. I want to say it’s not that hard, but you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:

What business you want to have? This is having an idea about your career.
Which industry you will be in?
Do you like or have interest in the industry?
If you chose the industry, what will be needed from you when you start it? However, don’t worry if you don’t have them, think about who have them and can help you, then discuss with them to find a solution.
Do you know the industry well? Do you have enough experiences in the industry?
Who will be your customers? This is to know about the target clients.
What age, what background of people can be your clients and the potential ones?
Are they private customer (Chinese or Expatriates) or cooperate clients?
Which area of the world they are in?
How can you find the customers? By Internet (Blogs, Forums) Cold calls? Meet ups / Events? Exhibitions/ Conferences? Connections and Referral and so on?
How can your customer find you?
By advertising? Social media?  Meet ups Event? Exhibitions/Conferences? Connections and regular client recommendation and referral and so on?
Why the customers choose you?
Are you a professional of your business and your industry?
Do you deliver a good “product”, no matter it’s a real product or service?
Do you really understand their needs?
Do you make them feel happy and ease about your “Products”?
Can you fulfill what you promised?
Can you stand in their perspective?
Do you responsible for the problems caused by you?

“I never really thought of myself is an entrepreneur, I always just thought I was a business owner. I may be a successful entrepreneur in future. But now I am still learning and trying. I will keep going and never give up, hope you can too!”