Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jason Yeh, Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Noms Magazine, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Noms Magazine is a Vancouver-based food and travel online publication that started in 2018. Our mission is to help people in Canada and the United States discover the best places to eat, things to do in the city, and where to stay. Our readers range from locals in the cities we cover to visitors who are looking for recommendations while on their trip. We're proud to have seen over 400,000 people hop by our website and social media channels every month.
Tell us about yourself
My journey into the world of publishing started back in 2017 when I was working as a Marketing Director for a local Restaurant Marketing Agency. At that time, we were considering expanding our services to Eastern Canada, so I made my way over to Toronto and Montreal to scope out the marketing scene there. It was my first time in those cities, and I was amazed by the enthusiasm and knowledge locals had for their food scene.
However, in Vancouver, I noticed that locals lacked the same passion and knowledge about the food scene here. This realization, combined with my disappointment with a jargon-heavy and non-approachable article about pasta I read on my flight back to Vancouver, inspired me to fill the gap in the market. To create a publication that catered to the modern generation while also providing a tiny bit of depth and education about the city's beloved food scene.
As someone who is self-taught in marketing and PR, I love to tinker around and try new things. And because Noms Magazine isn't a behemoth company with a board or tons of stakeholders, we can be nimble and more scrappy than larger and traditional publications. This motivates me to continue innovating with our channels and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner in the media publishing world, I know how difficult it can be to break into the system, which is dominated by traditional legacy outlets and deep-pocketed competitors. However, after years of hard work, I'm proud to say that we've established ourselves as a trusted source for locals and visitors looking for recommendations on food and travel. This recognition is a significant accomplishment for us, and it motivates us to continue providing high-quality content and service to our readers.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the most challenging things about being a business owner is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with, including myself, and that is having shiny object syndrome. As business owners, we always have a ton of ideas that can distract us from our main goal and delay our progress. And when you're a small business with limited resources, chasing these shiny objects can be very risky.
Therefore, one of the hardest things for a business owner is to keep their focus on the main goal while ignoring all the shiny and colourful distractions in the background. It's important to prioritize and be disciplined, even when it means saying "no" to exciting opportunities that may seem like a good fit for the business but could end up diverting resources and attention from the primary goal.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- As soon as you have the resources to do so, outsource as much of the work you're not good at to someone else who is skilled in that area. You can't be great at everything, so get someone who is great to do the job instead. That way, you have more time to focus on other areas of the business.
- Super important lesson my mentor taught me: Don't blindly copy or follow your competitors without knowing their goals or business health. Just because a competitor is doing something doesn't mean it's the right move for your business. Instead, focus on your unique value proposition and your own goals to create a strategy that works for you.
- Stay informed about not only your industry but also other industries. You can learn a lot from seeing how other businesses tackle innovation and obstacles. Keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and evolve as needed to stay ahead of the game.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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