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Interview with one of our customers and old friend Arjen Blom, principal of WineDirections. Arjen started his business 8 years ago and uses MYOB for his accounting.

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

In comparison with a salary job, you are in charge of all the different processes and can determine the direction of your company. It also means that you need to be a self-motivator and a self-starter, as you are the leader. It is very rewarding when a good idea with hard work becomes a success and returns a profit but you need to remain alert to avoid pitfalls and disappointments.

What are the trends in your industry?

The wine consumption in Singapore remains high and might even grow a bit more, but it is a crowded market with many new players, hoping to grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately many of these players don’t have the professionalism and passion, tarnishing the image of our industry. On the other side the wine industry in Singapore is suffering under the labour crunch in the hospitality industry. Due to staff shortages, there is less time for floor staff to promote and upsell wines to guests, which has an impact on our sales and revenue.

Which plans do you have for the coming year?

We are looking into ways to increase our sales in the consumer segment and we will be more active at public events to increase the awareness of our brand and the wineries we represent. Due to the nature of the business we don’t need a lot of additional automated solutions. We’re good with MYOB but if and when we open a retail outlet we’d need a POS system and if our internet sales go up we’ll look into integrating our webstore with MYOB – for instance via WebNinja.

What are your 3 tips for starting entrepreneurs?

Do your market research, many entrepreneurs start a business on a gut feel and no research. - See that you have enough financial reserve to survive at least 3 months running with losses. - Be proud and confident with the opportunity of being your own boss, you are a blessed person with a great opportunity ahead of you.

Do you have any special promotion for our readers?

All readers that sign up to our database, receive an additional 5% discount on our Wines of the Month promotion prices for the months of May and June – find the promotion here http://www.winedirections.com and send your details to arjen@winedirections.com

 

Arjen Blom - Principal of Wine Directions