Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in e-commerce but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kayson Quach, founder of Haisue, an online retailer specializing in Asian groceries located in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Haisue is an online retailer specializing in Asian groceries. Our platform allows all Canadians to purchase Asian food products and more online and have their orders delivered to them anywhere in Canada. Whether they are from a big city or a small one, our customers can count on us to have their goods delivered at a fast pace, where every order is packed with extreme care.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been passionate about entrepreneurship. I grew up seeing my parents starting their own Asian grocery business in Montreal. My sister and I would help the business since we were little. After school and homework, my sister would work at the cash register while I would be stocking shelves. The hours were long, but we had joy building our business together as a family.
After graduating from university, I came back to work full-time in the family business, operating all facets of a grocery store. I am always thinking of ways to be more innovative in the food industry, so I started to work on a side project of building an e-commerce platform selling Asian groceries online. And this is how Haisue was born, the first fully-focused online Asian grocery retailer in Canada.
There are so many ups and downs in managing your own business, but the main thing that has kept me going so far is that I feel a sense of purpose, of drive, in what I do. Since I was four years old, my dad would bring me with him to Toronto to purchase merchandise from vendors and then re-sell in our grocery store in Montreal. Who knew that 20 years later, I would be dealing with many of those same vendors, selling their products and promoting their brands online all across Canada? Discovering my purpose and building a business around it motivates me to do what I do every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think one of the greatest accomplishments as a business owner is to see that customers are enjoying and benefiting from your products and services. For me, when I’m receiving emails or seeing reviews from customers describing how happy they are to have found Haisue, that is the ultimate reward.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
New opportunities will come along as your business grows. But as a business owner, saying no from time to time is necessary, something that is not always easy to do. Especially when starting a new business, understanding the stage of your business is key, as it helps you decide whether or not your business is ready to jump on a new opportunity. It's easy to get distracted and want everything all at once, but staying focused and making decisions for your business's sustainable growth is critical.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Turning an idea into a business and then a business into a successful one requires time. Be patient; success doesn’t happen overnight.
- Understand your industry and analyze your competition. Don’t just try to copy what has already been done. Come up with something creative and innovative that hasn’t been fully ventured, and differentiate your business.
- Hard work is vital to any business, and a strong work ethic can help your business stay afloat at times. But remember, you don’t know everything, even though you may have experience in your industry, and be open to new ideas that can help your business grow.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Have a growth mindset and surround yourself with good, kind-hearted, positive people.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.