By: Natasha Gale L. Vergara
Izumi Matsuo – or Chang as she wants to be called by her cousins – is proud to be a career woman. Her mother is a pure Filipina and her father is Japanese in blood that’s why she is a JaPinoy. Their family owns the Kochikara Surplus Automotive Parts and Assembler, but she wants to stand on her own. In fact, she’s rounded up a well-known online shop on facebook – selling fashionable clothes, shoes, and contact lenses.
The popularity of Changaholic and Lowest Deal lies in Izumi’s recognition of a deep hole in online communities and filling it – deep not only because of the amount of buyers who liked their products but also their financial power.
As such, we decided to interview her and gather high quality advice on how to start an online shop, update it, and be a kick-ass business woman.
1.) What originally gave you the idea to create such specific online shop?
I’m a mother myself, narealizekopagkataposkngmaipanganaksiKenji nawalanangmasyadongtrabahongmapapasukanangmgananaynakatuladko. So I knew there was a market gap. And nagresearchakokunganoyungusongmapagkakakitaan – nearly 50% nangayonsamga may business anggumagamitng social networking – at alamkopwederinakomakasamadito.
2.) Ideas are often so hard to implement – tell us a bit about how you started and what were your first steps in creating an online shop.
Changaholic and Lowest Deal were always designed to be a multi-platform lifestyle shop, so habangginagawakoyungdalawang shop naunang step din, paghahanapngpwedengibentaanginumpisahanko. I am a traditional marketer, mahiligakobumiling kung ano-ano, kaya naisipko ‘bakithindinalang kaya akoyungmagtinda?’.Pinag-aralanko kung panomabebentasa market yungmga products kogamityungfacebook. I knew I wanted to work with Korean style shoes, clothes and contact lenses, kaya naman dun nakonagfocus kung anoangipapakitakosamga buyers.
3.) Could you share some tips on how someone would go about growing an online shop to the extent of Changaholic and Lowest Deal?
Well, kelangannilangmagbasatungkolsapagpapatakbong online shop. Yun yununakongginawasapagpreparengChangaholic and Lowest Deal. Hindi kosinasabinaalamko nab ago akogumraduatenagagawaakongisang online shop peroalamkona if ever man na gusto kongmagtayongsarilikongnegosyo, I’d have lear from the best. Don’t just save money for your dream, save knowledge. Maliban dun, kelanganmolangpatunayansamga prospective buyers monamapagkakatiwalaanyungshop and nakafocus din ang may-ari.
4.) What has been your main difficulty or barrier in running the site to date?
Yung basic? Hmm. Time, money tsaka resources. I’m an entrepreneur. Kun anoyungkinitako eh babalik din yungsa business ko. And habanglumalakiyung shop at dumadami din yung buyers, pahirapnangpahirapnasyangimanage. But I do it. Nagtatrabahoakobuongarawperonakakayanankonaman.
Guys, that may be your cue to start lining up! This is your cue to remember that though the internet seems all encompassing, the amount of potential business to fill is infinite. Think of all the business you participate in, even by default, and consider the opportunities for those online.