Digital Marketing interview

Tra My Pham, Program Manager at Spring Activator

How has the current health situation impacted the entrepreneur space?

  • Access to capital changed drastically. Loans and grants are more available. In contrast, I’ve heard that there’s been a decrease in equity investment. 
  • Access to market has also changed. Because of lockdowns, many businesses who used to sell offline in retail spaces are now having to move online. This results in a need to find new ways to find, connect and engage with customers. For companies that ship physical products worldwide: numerous shipping rates have increased, while shipping delays are occurring more frequently.  
  • Shifting demands. Customers might be wanting different products and services, or the same products and services but a different delivery format. Industries that are highly impacted include tourism, hospitality, F&Bs and education. 

What are the three most common challenges you see entrepreneurs face and what are your suggestions to remedy these challenges?

  • Lack of time. As entrepreneurs, we always have too much on our plate, and too little time. I suggest prioritizing your tasks based on impact. Out of your to-dos, which will have the biggest impact on your growth or engagement / retention metrics, which will have benefitted the greatest number of customers?
  • Mental health. This is a time of changes and uncertainties. I think it is very important to have a close-knit community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, and friends whom you can reach out to discuss ideas, get advice and encouragement.
  • Not knowing that we don’t know. To grow a business, entrepreneurs should equip themselves with diverse skills and experience. Set a time every week to attend a webinar or podcast to get new ideas and learn new things.

What advice would you give to people who want to enter the world of entrepreneurship?

I’m a big advocate for having co-founders! I find that launching, running, and scaling a business from scratch is very tough. There are many different aspects that require you to have diverse skills, passion, and time. Having at least one co-founder is a great way to divide up responsibilities and to ensure you always have support.

What are three pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self when you’re starting your own social enterprise/small business?

  • Learn how to do customer discovery the right way. We have several masterclasses on this in the Resilience Program. A book that I highly recommend on this topic is The Mom Test.
  • Find at least one full-time co-founder and several mentors.
  • Join a good incubation program. It equips you with valuable skills, mentors and community support.
Tra My Pham

TRA MY PHAM

Tra My co-founded and scaled two start-ups in the retail sector. The first, Bisu Bisu, is a customizable accessories brand. The second, The Craft House, is an offline and online co-selling marketplace for e-commerce start-ups. At Spring, she finds a team with whom she can continue doing what she loves: supporting entrepreneurs along their journeys of product launches, pivots, and growth.