Business Owner Interview: Chia Perq Jon of Red Dot Photo

While many people aspire to run their own businesses, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur — especially in the digital age. It takes a specific type of personality to handle the nuts and bolts that make up a business, reaching out both online and offline. To help you understand what it takes to start a business, I’ll be interviewing different business owners regularly on Goods-wanderers blog and let there be inspiration!

Red Dot Photo has been around since 2008 and most people in the video & photography industry would probably know Jon in person, or rather heard of the Red Dot Photo. Red Dot Photo is a distributor and reseller for many esteemed Photo / Video / Audio brands. They were at the popular Funan IT mall from 2012 to 2016 and many of you would have likely passed by or purchased something from the shop. As Funan IT mall is currently under going renovations, the retail operations has moved to Plaza Singapura. The office and photography studio is located at Tai Seng.

Here are some of the interview questions i have for Chia Perq Jon today:

What ignited the spark in you to start this business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I haven't been exposed to 'modern day' entrepreneurship until I was handed Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and several other books on such entrepreneurship and mindset. I've dabbed with Insurance, MLM, and other companies and finally I decided that I preferred to 'strike it out on my own'. The first business was RED DOT PHOTO.  I felt that as a business owner, I had to have real interest in the products and services that I sell.

What is your background? Education, Work Experience
I've been in National University of Singapore for several years, starting with a Bachelor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, finishing with a Ph.d in Material Sciences. Other than meddling with Insurance, MLM, and other part time jobs, I have never really 'worked' in a 'proper' office environment.

How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?
RED DOT PHOTO started in 2008. I've started another business, Wine Journey in 2015.

How important have good employees been to your success?
Employees are everything. They're the extension of the business owner. 
Our ideas, passion, work ethic, filters directly onto the them.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I've studied a different course in school, namely accounting, law, programming. For Accounting and law, these form the basis for modern businesses in the last 100 years and not likely to change a lot in the next 100 years. Programming for the 'hindsight' perspective we get due to the current 'dot com' boom.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ability to stay motivated (or hunger/tenacity) this is the most important, to get past the initial 'honeymoon' stage. The second skill would be instincts, which can be coupled with experience to make the 'right call'. I can't think of a 3rd skill!

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Trusting the closest people with big responsibilities.

How do you build a successful customer base?
Other than being versed in the traditional marketing and social media, sincerity, being open to customers is important to build a name for the long term.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I like reading all the American greats from Edison, Ford, to modern day Jobs, Bezos etc.

What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being in control of my time.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We've our own forum, website, optimise some SEO ourselves, are on Facebook, Carousell, Qoo10, Lazada, Instagram. We organise regular imaging related workshops/competitions to stay relevant to the community.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I like to interact with cats, drink wine, play the piano, go swim and gym.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

While being an entrepreneur is being in control of our own time, the sacrifices are also.


♥ Thanks for reading as always!

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Singapore Food & Lifestyle Blogger Hello, I'm Irene

Welcome to Goodswanderers blog! The concept of Goodswanderers blog is to explore & blog about the Good things around me & my love ones. Read more long self-intro about why I started this blog here.