It’s been said that desperate times call for desperate measures and in 2009, Pam Siow was desperate. The then 28-year-old had racked up more than $14,000 in credit card debt. Recalling how she used to avoid looking at her credit card bills, Siow says, “I felt terrible knowing I was so deep in debt even before I hit 30 years old. At that point, it felt like everything in my life was going downhill. It was then that I decided I needed to do something radical in order to turn my life around.”
Her radical idea? Setting up a simple, three-page website to connect violin schools with no online presence with potential students. She earned a commission from the schools each time she referred a student. To her surprise, the website took off almost immediately. Within four months, she was raking in five-figure sums and soon left her job as a marketing manager. After paying off her credit card debts, Siow used this simple business model to build similar websites, connecting potential students with schools offering various types of music lessons.
Fast forward to 2013. Siow has since expanded her business by setting up Internet Biz Owners Club, where she coaches groups of aspiring entrepreneurs on the fine art of online marketing.
She shares her top three tips for budding businesswomen:
1. Emulate a Success Story – “Find a role model and learn from him/her instead of starting from scratch. If you want to earn money fast, it’s a better idea to model after a business that’s already successful than to invent something new.”
2. Marketing is Key – “Allocate at least 70 percent of your budget to marketing. Why? You’ll only make money when you have clients, so it’s crucial you spend most of your time acquiring new clients.”
3. Think Long Term – “Focus on the returns on investment. In any business expenditure, think of how much returns you will enjoy, rather than how much the investment is.”
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.