Out of sudden, I decided to write a blogpost on Entrepreneurship after my simple lunch just now.
My “kick” just came, and get this blogpost done within 3 hours.
It was a story of mine of how I started my very first journey in business as an entrepreneur.
The story begins here….
15 years ago, that’s when I first started to venture into business and attempted to be an entrepreneur.
I was studying in Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) in KL. My major was computer science. I love and fancy about computer stuffs by then. My neighbour and I love to sit at the mamak stall and chat all about latest news on computer hardware, games and software, till 3-4am middle of the night. Basically we don’t sleep much that time. LOL.
We usually bought the hardwares at Low Yat or Imbi Plaza and assemble (“ham gei” – cantonese) the PC components ourself at home. My PC CPU basically don’t “wear” the cover, you will see all the components hanging in the air on my working desk. Or I should say, I will never “screwed up” my PC, haha! And my table are full of different specs and brands of RAM, CPU Chip, harddisk, graphic card, sound card and etc. They were my “toys”.
I format and re-install my computer few times a week and overclock the CPU whenever I like. That’s a norm for me during those days. My housemates were like – “What this crazy guy is doing?? Don’t sleep at night. Everyday just play with his computer?”
With the above skills, I started my first business by providing computer technical support servicing the students within the Seksyen 2, Wangsa Maju vicinity. I positioned and market myself as the “Dr.PC”. This title actually printed on my own designed namecard, using Microsoft Publisher.
That time, I don’t have “Jeffery Lam” this name yet. People just called me Mr.Lam or Chen Keet.
When I started this business, I don’t have capital, no transport – car nor motorbike, no database, no clients. But I just wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I started the journey!
I remembered that was the year I got my first handphone, second hand one, bought over from my neighbour – Ericsson PH388, for RM200 – 300?, can’t remember. And, I subscribed to a Telco service provider called ADAM, with 017 as the prefix. However this telco gone after awhile, but I still like the number I got earlier, 017-8787886, quite easy to remember, hehe!
My first marketing effort was, design a flyer with my brand “Dr.PC” at the page header, follow by the my services in bullet format and short desciptions at middle of the page, lastly 10-20 of my handphone numbers in vertital format, where people can tear a tiny piece of my contact number at the bottom of the page.
I don’t have transport, so I borrowed my roommate’s motorbike, bring along my own designed and printed flyers, glue, double sided cellophane tape and scissor, drive around Seksyen 2, 4 and surrounding area to stick my advertisements at the bus stop, 7-11, LRT and lamp post.
My marketing effort was done. The next was to wait for the phone enquiries. To my surprise, it works, enquiries came in. Someone wanted to format his harddisk, and upgrade to a bigger storage. Yeah, I was so happy, I went and figured out his need, troubleshoot then came out with the solution for him. Went to the hostel room and get things done. That was my very first deal!
Next enquiry, someone want to buy a new PC, ask me to recommend what specs to buy and give him a quotation. I quoted and bought all the specs he needed, assembled the machine, format and install a piece of fresh operating system and softwares for him, delivered to a condo he stayed nearby PWTC. Again, I don’t have transport, so I got to hand carry the whole PC CPU and ride the LRT to reach his condo. Reached his house, install the PC, configure a bit, done, collect my service fee!
Another enquiry came in, a lady, whose PC sound card got problem. She stayed a bit far from me, somewhere near Danau Kota, Setapak area. LRT is not reachable, I have no car, too far to walk, my roommate’s motorbike is not available. I then sincerely and frankly told her I would love to help and troubleshoot her PC problem, but I do not have transport to go her house.
To my surprise, she said she has a motorbike, she can come and fetch me to her house! Actually I got a shock when she offered me that! I then told my roommate, he laughed and said that’s a crazy deal and offer!
Of course, in the end, I accepted her offer. She ride her motorbike, came to my condo, picked me up, I sat at the back, and went to her house to troubleshoot the sound card problem. Ok, easy job, something wrong with the sound card, just replaced a new and compatible one resolved the problem. Again, business made, deal done, service fee collected. She was so kind, didn’t charge me for the transportation fee, haha!
I was very excited, and wanted to expand my business. Again, I borrowed my friend’s motorbike and go sticking flyers around. You know, advertisement is a continuous effort, as my flyers will get tear down or other people’s advertisement will simply paste on top of mine from time to time. But this round, I am not that lucky anymore!
On my way back home, I met with an accident, my motorbike banged with another motorbike who tempted to cross the opposite road. It was too sudden, I don’t even have enough time to respond and brake, I banged into that guy’s motorbike, and I “flied out” to the busy front road, luckily there isn’t any car crossing the road. My hand and leg was having minor injured and bleeding.
The worst was, one of my upper front teeth was broken half, when I talked, people hardly understand my words and sentences. No choice, but I have to go “plant” a new teeth, spent a few months to get the process done, and it costed me around RM800++, if I remembered correctly. Now when you see me smile, you will notice something unnatural, yes, that’s my teeth. But thank god, now I still can bite and eat chicken drumstick
And I would like to thank the hero who came to rescue me when I felt down. He was the “fan ban lou” (cantonese), meaning a guy selling pirated VCD, who was there at the roadside setting up his little booth for VCD business during evening. He brought me to the nearby clinic for checking.
That’s the sacrifices and experiences of my first attempt to be an entrepreneur during college time.
2015 is approaching, I believed those who want to start your business or be an entrepreneur, is time to get yourself prepared. We still have a few more months to go before 2015. If you love my story, do share this article with your friends or simply subscribe to my mailing list. With your supports, I will get the motivations to write more good stuffs! Cheers