Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” This young lady we speak to decided to start a company to empower more people out there. Starting a company on your own is hard, we recently bumped into her grabbing dinner before heading back to work, at 11 pm.
Ms Joelle Pang spent some time with us to share more about her company and what encourage her take this leap of faith.
M: GetKlarity has come a long way and with the numerous clients that have come onboard. How do you see yourself innovating and moving forward in the future?
JP: GetKlarity is currently the leading beauty and wellness app for beauty lovers to book the best spas and salons in Singapore, at exclusive prices. It is true that barely 6 months into our beta launch, GetKlarity.com has already attracted over 20,000 beauty and wellness lovers to our sites, many of which have been booking from our network of more than 120 spa outlets! We are extremely encouraged by the support we have seen from our community thus far, because it’s a testament that we are creating a solution that solves a pressing everyday problem by enabling customers to discover and book high-quality personal care services at a time, location and budget that works for them.
GetKlarity has always been known for our trustworthiness and the strength of our beauty lovers community, because not only do our in-house beauty experts hand-select the best beauty and wellness experiences for our platform, we also test them out personally to provide you with honest reviews which we share on our GetKlarity Magazine (blog.getklarity.com).
Even while innovating, we are still keeping our core of trustworthiness and community in mind by constantly getting feedback from our Customers as well as Spa Partners, so that we continue to deliver features that are close to the hearts of what they want and are really looking for. This will enable us to be the trusted platform that connects customers to top spas and salons in the long run.
M: Leaving the corporate world, you chose to embark on this endeavour, why so?
JP: To be absolutely honest, I never thought that entrepreneurship is a path I’d pursue. In 2008, I founded my first successful startup in the fashion e-commerce space and was juggling both a day running my startup for a good 2 years before finally making the bold decision of being an entrepreneur full-time in 2010. I went on to drive other startups in fashion marketplaces, online publishing and big data before finally doing what I love – building my own tech and innovation startup, GetKlarity, a beauty and wellness platform to enable customers to discover and book the best spas and salons, at exclusive prices.
So why GetKlarity? Because I believe in empowering people to be confident, through the way they look and how they feel about themselves. My vision for GetKlarity is to make taking care of yourself so easy it fits right into your busy schedule, by creating a platform that takes the guesswork out of discovering the best spas and salons, and empowering you to book them instantly so that you actually get to enjoy the ‘me-time’ you deserve.
M: With the long hours invested in this business, how do you actually find a balance with your family and friends.
JP: It is true that driving a startup takes 16 to 20 hours a day – it’s our biggest sacrifice, and also the very thing that determines if you’re cut out for the startup life. Having done this for 8 years and counting, finding time to spend with your family and friends, and more importantly, yourself, all boils down to time management. Having been a competitive swimmer since young, life has always been about maximising the 24 hours I have in a day and effectively juggling things that need to get done.
What really helps me to be productive are two main things:
1) Prioritise what’s important to you in life and even go down to ranking their importance – you will very quickly realise what are the things you can give up and what are the things you dearly hang on to.
2) Set boundaries on your time – no matter how busy I am with GetKlarity, I always set Saturdays aside to catch up on my sleep, have a hot bath and spend time in church and with my friends.
It is important to recharge yourself so as to not burn out.
M: What are some of the interesting (nasty) things you have experience setting up the company?
JP: True story: Setting up a company gets easier each time you set up a new business! You have the contacts and you know exactly what needs to get done, what are the pitfalls to avoid. The interesting thing is that with each company you set up, you will still realise that there’s so much more you don’t know and need to just ‘wing it’ along the way.
What’s more of an art though, is not setting up the company but in forming your founding team. The challenges that a startup face are always going to be very intense and the sheer volume of work to handle from day to day is heavy, to say the least. And without a team that I enjoy spending a good 16 hours a day with, even if some those hours include heated debates and the occasional not seeing eye-to-eye on key issues, there will be absolutely no chance of us achieving what we have to date, and the vision we have set for GetKlarity moving forward.
M: The app/mobile application is relatively new in Singapore, how do you intend to get more clients on board?
JP: Even though GetKlarity is just barely 6 months into our beta launch, we have already attracted over 20,000 beauty and wellness lovers to our sites, many of which have been booking from our network of more than 120 spa outlets! This is largely due to the extensive spa reviews that appear on our GetKlarity Magazine (blog.getklarity.com), helmed by top beauty and lifestyle influencer Yina Goh (of YinaGoh.com), has has enabled GetKlarity in become the trusted platform for beauty lovers to connect with the best spas and salons.
In fact, the strength of our beauty lovers community has garnered so much attention that GetKlarity has even been featured on Singapore’s primetime news (on Channel 8 and Channel U) where our spa partner shared that they have seen an increase of 50% in sales during their off-peak periods just 2 weeks after joining our platform. We are also fortunate enough to gain the support of the top brands in Singapore like SK-II Boutique Spa, The Mary Chia Group and Renaza, just to name a few. This has definitely built up our trustworthiness to other spa partners that we are looking to work with.
In addition, our easy tap-to-book GetKlarity App is looking to hit the market come mid-July 2015, you can forget the hassle of booking over the phone and being put on hold, and simply search for your desired service from our extensive list of spas and salons, and instantly book the treatment that suits your time and location.
M: Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneur wanting to start a business like you?
JP: There are entrepreneurs and there are entrepreneurial individuals. They sound like they are the same thing, but they are indeed very different! An entrepreneurial individual is someone with the traits of an entrepreneur – self-starter, highly competitive, confident, creative, disciplined, passionate, and have a good measure of leadership and people/relationship skills; and you’re going to do great in a company or startup who embraces you for the awesome person that you are, and qualities you possess.
Being an entrepreneur however, takes these traits one step further – you need to start a company from scratch, meaning that you will need to eventually handle issues such as incorporation, accounting, renting an office, getting office equipment, staff management, filing of taxes, etc. Whether you choose to outsource the administration or not, the burden is ultimately on you.
First figure out which one you are, then embark on your journey of entrepreneurship. Because like what they all say, being an entrepreneur does require a dose of insanity – make sure you’ve really got what it takes.
We thank Joelle for taking time off to speak to us! And do check out GetKlarity.com to give yourself some well deserved ME TIME!