For Michelle Lau Ong, her business is more than just about financial gain and building an empire. Ong is the founder of cliqNship, a leading door-to-door and logistics solution provider that specializes in moving shipments across the country and around the world with just 1 “cliq.“
Founded in 2011, cliqNship has become one of the pioneers of eCommerce in the Philippines with clients from various industries. It has stayed strong through the years, adapting to the constant changes in the market.
“I have always envisioned cliqNship to be in the business of helping other businesses through our services,” Ong shared. “Our goal is to always empower fellow entrepreneurs to grow. We’ve been at the forefront of eCommerce in the Philippines since it began and have worked with companies of different scales and nature. In these modern times, running a business is no easy feat.”
Ong has made it a point that cliqNship will continue to explore more ways to meet the needs of their clients, along with their client’s clients, considering that their clients are also entrepreneurs who are catering to the needs of their customers just like they are.
Ong shares lessons that she has learned over the years which she has “always believed in and live by until now.”
1. Have perseverance and grit.
Innovation takes continuous effort and research. Ong stresses the importance of striving to achieve the best version of your business while adapting to the inevitable market changes.
“As a business owner, needless to say, things are not always as smooth sailing as we want it to be,” Ong said. “It’s how we deal with these challenges that make or break us. Do we give up? Do we continue? These are the questions we ask ourselves endless times especially during times of doubt. I always believe that if we don’t give up, we still have a chance. Learn to accept the situation and make the most out of it, good or bad.”
2. Seek to learn and improve. Change is the only constant.
“Business during our current times is different,” Ong said. “Gone are the days when our parents, grandparents work day in and day out and everything will be okay. Times had changed the ways people think, act, and behave. Same with handling businesses — always be ready for change. Do not be stuck in old ways. That unwillingness to adapt to the times ahead of us will greatly affect how our business will become and limit the potential it could be. Change should always be welcomed and treated as a learning experience and as a chance for us to improve.”
3. Customers are your best marketing.
Ong sees a business as something that has to be taken care of because a business that is taken care of takes care of its customers.
“Our customers are our heart and soul,” Ong said. “We exist because of our customers, whom we have come to know and whom we build relationships with through the years. Understanding the needs and wants of our customers are what our services and products are built on. Always try to go the extra mile. To put it simply, it’s similar to the saying, ‘Happy wife, happy life.’… Happy customers also make our lives so much easier and make us realize that what we are doing is worthwhile. And in effect, bring more value and success to our businesses.”
4. Your team is our most valuable asset.
As a leader of the business, Ong emphasized the importance of focusing on her team and nurturing them in the process, making sure that they grow alongside her.
“Now it brings me to our people … people that work with — not for — us is the core of our business,” Ong said. “No matter how great your service, your product is, if we don’t have our team to do the job, then our efforts are futile. We can never be a one-man team. In the traditional way to run a business, this is often neglected as we are all concentrating to earn more, generate more revenue as cost-efficiently as possible. But as we go through the motion of running our business, it makes us realize that these are the people who help us achieve our dreams and make them a reality. Working as a team, and learning to appreciate our team is crucial to make things work better and gain bigger success.”
5. Remain humble.
“Lastly, years of running a business and being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming. Success or failure can make or break us. We can be successful in our realm, be known for things that have changed the lives of many. Nevertheless, never forget where it all began. Do not forget to follow your gut and principles. Always do good. And remember the journey it took to get to where we are.”
Fore more advice from entrepreneurs, check out our Modern Tao Ke articles here.