Bye Bye Alibaba!

We have been a Gold supplier on Alibaba.com for 2 years now and we decided to stop promoting our wholesale business there. We are just too busy with our existing customers and our retail shop and don’t have the time anymore to accept any new wholesale customers. Therefore, we decided to shut down our Alibaba Gold supplier account and focus on our online shop instead. I am sure we will not regret this decision.

we got this Gold Supplier badge from Alibaba

we got this Gold Supplier badge from Alibaba

Japan Earthquake

Today a huge earthquake followed by a tsunami happened in Japan. We heard the news quite early and kept checking for updates while we were in the office. In the afternoon my mum called and asked me if we are ok. She knows that Hong Kong is far from Japan but she still wanted to make sure that everything is alright. For everyone: We are ok! Hong Kong is really far away from Japan and we didn’t feel anything. We are really lucky here, Taiwan and the Philippines protect us from strong typhoons and we are also not near any earthquake hit region. Our business will continue as usual and there are no delays in shipment. I really hope the people in Japan are safe and recover quickly. These news are just too horrible. 🙁

Mentorship Programme

I got a letter from the Trade and Industry Department Hong Kong that they are organizing a mentorship programme for small and medium businesses. They find a suitable mentor for companies to help them and guide them through difficult decisions and future business plans. I was looking for something like that for ages! It would be so great to be able to talk to an experienced entrepreneur about our business and maybe get some tipps what we could improve or should change and how we can expand our business faster. The requirements are quite simple: you need to have a Hong Kong company, established for less than 5 years and have fewer than 20 employees. As we fulfill all requirements I immediately filled out the form and sent it out today. I do hope we will get a mentor who we can talk to about our business and trust him/her as well. I will definitely write about this mentorship programme again once I have some news.

Software testing

This month I am busy testing our new software. Until now we used a software from Germany called Afterbuy to handle our product database, customer database and our orders. As we were growing bigger we got to the limits of this software. We decided at the beginning of 2010 to change to a new software. We tested different commercial software for 1 month but couldn’t find anything suitable for us and our business model. Therefore, Alan, my husband, who is a very experienced programmer, started to program a custom made software for our business. It was a very big decision for us because we are only 3 people working fulltime for this business, me, Alan and one packing staff. So one person spent his whole time on programming and I had to take over managing the business which was growing significantly the last months. It was really hard work but Alan finally finished the software at the end of July and we started testing it this month. As there are still lots of bugs and changes, we have to run both software at the same time which means double work for me. But we plan to shut down the German software at the end of this month and only use the new software. I can’t wait for this to happen because it will make a lot of my work easier, faster and more efficient. I would like to thank Alan for this great software! THANK YOU!!!

On holidays

I will be on holidays from 12th of July until 19th of July! Daily shipping will continue as our packing staff will work as usual. I am looking forward to relax a bit and recharge my batteries. I know already that I will return with lots of new ideas and a huge motivation for improving my business 😉 I hope everyone else has a nice summer as well. Take it easy, take a dip in the nearest lake/ocean/pond/pool and enjoy the sun!
Yours, Sandra

Alan’s First Day at work

OK, so finally the day has come: Alan started working at my office today. I wrote about this before on this blog post: My husband quit his job. He quit his fulltime job to join my business selling cute things in our online shop www.modes4u.com and other channels. His first big project will be programming a software tool to help me adding new items much faster. We have a big problem with that because we get new items all the time, often a few times per week but it is very time consuming to put them one by one into our database. Therefore Alan started writing a software program to make this process faster. This will also help us to make our shop much bigger because we will be able to order more often. I can’t wait to use his tool.

Welcome Alan, have a good start working for our business and Good Luck! 😉

100 followers on Twitter

YAY today we got our 100th follower on Twitter. Very excited because I just started there for a little while now and I was so surprised that people started adding me without me doing any advertisment about my Twitter account. To follow me, please click here: modes4u on Twitter I write about small bits and pieces about my business, news, new products and life in Hong Kong as a foreigner.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

50th order in our shop

Another big milestone in our business history: We got 50 orders in our kawaii shop. It’s worth being patient and investing the time. The 50th order went to Niort in France. Next milestone we are looking forward to: 100 orders.