WBS Connect is a special lunch initiative where we will invite 3 members each time to personally find out more about their business needs and wants. This gives a deeper insight into each of our member’s businesses and enables us to connect them better with what they’re looking for, within WBS or outside of WBS.
Name: Jennifer Ooi
Company name: Xingze Trading
Type of business: Retail, wholesale and supply of dry food and sauces
How did you get started in the business?
A former system analyst, Jennifer got into the trade when Fook Weng, a shop famous for waxed meats, sold the business to her about two years ago. Jennifer had wanted more time to spend with her children, so running a business would give her the freedom.
Yes, freedom! That is what Jennifer loves best of her business. To her, time is in her own hands and she could implement ideas without going through a boss. When necessary, she could check her ideas with the residents of the apartment where her shop is before she makes her decision.
What do you love about your business?
Jennifer feels happy running the business though at times it could be rather stressful. Talking to customers and learning from them help to de-stress, said Jennifer.
What are your key products?
Among the key products Jennifer has are:
1. Dry food such as dried shrimp, ikan bilis, noodles, bee hoon and waxed meats during Chinese New Year season. Some of these food are kept in chillers to keep them in good condition.
2. Sauces such as oyster sauce, black pepper sauce, soya sauce, abalone sauce and chilli sauce.
What are your Unique Selling Points (USP)?
Jennifer’s unique selling points are:
– One-stop convenience store
– Call us for your needs and we’ll help you find them.
How can WBS help you?
Having joined WBS for slightly more than a year, Jennifer feels that by attending the talks organized, she can get and grow ideas. She likes to participate in the factory visits as she can learn how to grow businesses, see the processes involved, build the persistence to succeed, how to overcome obstacles and how to synergise with others. WBS is also great to grow network.
How can you contribute to WBS to improve/grow?
On her contribution to help WBS improve or grow, Jennifer said she likes the people in WBS – they are caring and the bonding is great. She feels that there is so much to learn from in WBS as the members are generous in sharing their knowledge and skills.
(The writer would like to acknowledge that Jennifer readily contributes sundries from her shop when WBS organizes community events for the less fortunate. Thank you very much for your generous donations, Jennifer!)
Any ethical issues faced in business?
Jennifer said she did encounter some ethical issues in business. She quoted a case where a supplier, who had promised to sell only through her, went back against his words and sold directly to her customers. She ended up having to call up her customers to inform them that she had such supplies and delivery service. Luckily for her, some loyal customers did come to patronize her store and gave her some business.
Another issue is on-time payment. Jennifer said while there are customers who may drag payments, delaying payment to suppliers may also happen when there is cash flow problem.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is:
Follow your heart, go for it!
If you work for others, at the end of the month, your money comes in.
In business, at the end of the month, your money goes out!
The writer would like to thank Jennifer for attending the interview despite having a sore back on that day. May you be in the pink of health always and all the best to you, Jennifer!
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 012-4100861