When did you start your business?
We first launched in 2015 with our first product, Milk Buster Baby Bottle Cleaner. It was a fun and exciting time because everything was new, I was like a kid in a candy shop. I am a chemist by profession, but very quickly I had to learn new skills like marketing, sales, social media, and fund raising.
Five years on now, I’m still enjoying the ride, but I’ve gained a few battle scars along the way that hopefully will make me a better business owner. There have been ups and downs, but thank God for the little victories here and there that kept me going to push Nimble to where it is now.
Who inspires you?
My family inspires me the most especially when the going gets tough, or even when we are in a winning streak. My wife keeps me grounded and reminds me of my identity not being tied to the success or failure of Nimble, which is such a liberating truth. She also knows when to cheer me on and when to raise the alarm.
My 16-month old daughter also inspires me every day, not just with new ideas, but with her innocence and joy. When I’ve had a tough day, I get reminded to breathe and smile when I see her.
What’s your top business tip for getting through the pandemic?
My top tip is to really be closer to your team. With all the restrictions happening at the moment, it’s very easy to slip away and not have much contact with your team, which if not addressed can be quite disastrous for your business.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a team who are just extremely committed, hardworking, self-motivated and I can trust to deliver without us being physically together. I know that they also have their own personal/family challenges to cope with in the pandemic, but they turn up everyday ready to fight and win.
Practically, you can do this by scheduling regular meetings with your team, this is the only way to stay connected when you’re all working remotely. For example, we have a 30-min Monday huddle to share with each other what we’re up to for the week. We have a 1-hr Friday huddle to review our business KPIs, help each other out in things we’re stuck with, and also share highlights of the week.
In between, we have functional team meetings where we discuss details of projects and help each other out in unlocking certain challenges.
How is your business adapting to change?
We’ve been in a fortunate position where the pandemic has brought in more business for us with more people having hygiene and cleanliness on the top of their minds.
Aside from the big changes we had to do in our ways of working, the biggest challenge we have is how to grow our ecommerce business. We’ve been focused in the last few years getting our retail channels established and now we have to slowly put in more resources in growing ecommerce as this is where the biggest growth is expected.
We’ve done some good things like working with a new ecommerce agency and investing more on digital marketing, but we’re only scratching the surface here. Still lots of work to be done particularly in improving our average order value and website conversion.
What are you looking forward to after the pandemic?
Personally, I’m looking forward to visiting our families back in the Philippines. We had cancelled the planned trips this year due to the pandemic and they’re unable to spend time with our daughter. Business-wise, I’m looking forward to be able to work face-to-face again with the team. Although there’d be more work from home days after the pandemic, I think being able to be together physically will just make working more fun and engaging.