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Creating Purpose in Work - My Reason for Taking Over a Bubble Tea Shop

Essentially, there is no direct connection between me, a content marketer running her boutique consultancy, and a bubble tea shop. That's why I expected people to question my decision and ask for justification. Hence, I've created this personal blog to illustrate my reasons and hopefully inspire other solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, slashers, students, and even full-time workers to reconsider the potential of owning their own shop and starting a business outside their comfort zones. Hopefully, this can help you expand your reach and find purpose beyond financial gain in your work!

First and foremost, everything starts with me as an individual.

I rarely embark on anything solely for the purpose of making money. So if you're someone who is only motivated by financial gain, this may not resonate with you. Instead, I believe that an entrepreneurial mindset involves pursuing personal goals while recognizing the potential for financial success. This is also how I define my ideal client persona: individuals who are passionately working to solve a problem, often their own.

i) So, what problem am I trying to solve?

With Joyce Tsang Content Marketing, my goal was to address the issue of businesses, regardless of their size, neglecting the power of having a content strategy. This realization stemmed from my 7 years of experience working as a reporter, social media manager, and in-house marketer. Throughout my journey, I have dedicated myself to educating entrepreneurs through a plethora of content and successfully selling numerous content strategies.

However, over the past 4 years, I have come to realize that most clients lack the commitment and consistency required to follow through with the strategy, even though they understand its value. This is often due to a lack of resources.

While this doesn't directly impact my business, it has been incredibly challenging for me to showcase a complete client case study that I can truly be proud of. Ultimately, I can only demonstrate the impact of my strategy if it has been implemented thoughtfully. Despite the abundance of testimonials I have received, my business growth suffers if the tactics and actions recommended by my strategy are not put into practice.

This led me to question how I can ensure the creation of the best case study to showcase the true power of a content strategy.

Of course, I started to tackle this challenge within my own brand, Joyce Tsang Content Marketing. While it has undoubtedly served as my primary business driver, attracting and maintaining a strong presence among my target audience, many potential clients dismissed my success as something achievable only because it's a personal brand.

In light of this, I needed to replicate the impact of a content strategy in other scenarios where my name wasn't directly associated with the brand.

ii) What success do I desire?

From my husband and my perspective, starting Joyce Tsang Content Marketing has indeed spoiled me. Although there have been countless nights and occasional all-nighters, overall, I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with a four-day workweek and business hours that usually start after 11 am.

My desire is to maintain this routine while safeguarding my income.

The reality is that achieving this solely through running Joyce Tsang Content Marketing would be quite challenging. Since the onset of COVID, my business has been severely impacted, resulting in a six-month period with no income. I managed to get through that period by relying on my savings and introducing new service offerings (such as the Fractional CMO program, which I genuinely love). However, to better prepare myself for another potential setback, I need to have some form of a backup plan.

After reading Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant, it has become even clearer to me. Even if I succeed in increasing Joyce Tsang Content Marketing's income by tenfold, it would not fulfill the definition of success I have in mind, which is maintaining my current lifestyle. Running a boutique consultancy means I am unable to step away from my work, and at best, I am no different from a self-employed individual. Everything relies on my shoulders, and if I am absent, so is the business.

Therefore, this became the initial trigger for me to consider branching out into a different realm of business model that can increase my revenue without diminishing my time for life.

iii) The opportunities of investing

I am currently halfway through my EMBA program with Quantic School of Business and Technology, and it has truly guided and inspired my life decisions. One particular chapter on accounting prompted me to revisit my business's financials and gain a deeper understanding of the numbers involved.

Running a limited company as a sole founder, content marketer, and shareholder means that everything is straightforward. However, the program delved into analyzing the acquisition of businesses, exploring the benefits of taxation, economies of scope, and more. Suddenly, I became interested in evaluating different business takeovers, examining their financials, assessing their WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital), and determining if they would be profitable investments.

This newfound interest motivated me to search for local business takeover opportunities.

iv) The reality of operations

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not looking to start something completely new that would disrupt my current lifestyle. Therefore, even during my search for potential business takeovers, I set specific criteria for my agent.

I would only consider businesses that already had some form of an established system, documented financials, and an existing staff. I had no interest in learning an entirely new skill or personally running a shop.

While there were other F&B opportunities that offered better returns, I knew they would be overwhelming to handle. Dealing with supplies, HR, and recipes would all be uncharted territory for me, and I recognized my own limitations. After filtering out various options, I was left with this bubble tea shop.

The shop was initially founded by three young university students during COVID. They each had full-time jobs and relied on a team of seven part-time employees to run the shop. They had established suppliers, tested recipes, a year's worth of financial records, and were located in a neighborhood without direct competitors. Most importantly, I felt comfortable with the physical setup and branding of the shop. I saw great potential and opportunities in how my marketing abilities could help reduce costs and increase revenue.

Overall, I could have simply taken over the shop without making any changes, and the business would still run fine. However, I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my marketing abilities. After all, there was minimal marketing done previously, and the shop had been generating revenue for the past three years mainly through word of mouth and a few collaborations.

v) Creating purpose in work

Initially, I assumed that Joyce Tsang Content Marketing would remain separate from the bubble tea brand, as they operated in completely different industries and had distinct messaging platforms. However, everything changed when I attended a talk by Tommie Lo, the owner of Preface.

Tommie successfully merged the messaging and branding of his educational core, Preface, with his coffee brand, Preface Coffee and Wine. Both ventures represented something he was passionate about and contributed to the overall branding of education. This inspired me to reconsider my approach to incorporating the bubble tea shop under the Joyce Tsang branding.

After creating the content strategy for my new bubble tea shop, I realized that it could indeed be done. While Joyce Tsang Content Marketing focuses on providing entrepreneurs with a content strategy for driving growth, my bubble tea shop provided a space to connect with young people on a daily basis and served as a meeting spot for my network. In essence, it also contributed to driving growth but in a different way, with a different product.

As a result, both of my brands are designed to help people explore their full potential, which led to the key messaging for the bubble tea shop as "Spark Growth Over A Drink."

In conclusion...

Adding this new arm to my business has undoubtedly required me to work more hours than I had hoped, but I understand that this is just a stage of establishing the proper foundations.

I am proud to have my husband, Gigi (my interim operations manager), Jason (my interim facilities coordinator), and my team of shop staff supporting me in visualizing and realizing my dreams. We now have a systematic monthly supplies ordering framework and a centralized platform for our team, which includes shift-setting tools, chat, training, tasks, and more.

Although small, I believe my bubble tea shop has the necessary tools to grow and scale properly in the future without requiring my daily intervention. I am excited to implement our new POS system and CRM platform later this month and introduce a plethora of new ideas for our menu, membership program, collaborations, and more.

Come connect with me over a cup of fruit tea or bubble tea and share your entrepreneurial ideas with me.



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