Xiao Yu's Second Venture
Following the move to Shenzhen, Yu realized that this next step was not going to be easy. Everything he had learned from before prepared him for what is to come. Upon landing in Shenzhen, he moved into a tiny apartment that didn’t have a lot of room. This 20 plus square meters was going to pull double functions as a bedroom and a warehouse.
“As far as I was concerned, this is where I would sleep, eat, run his online business, pick and pack orders as well as shipping. With a computer, a printer, an Ethernet cable, I officially opened his online store,” said Yu.
Learning from his first business venture, Yu set a very low bar for himself: reaching a monthly income of RMB 10,000 by the end of 2020 so he can make ends meet. He started a Lazada store but soon after he was approved, COVID-19 outbreak occurred and he had to put his business plan on hold.
“I remember thinking to myself: No. This is a test and a sign for me to keep working hard and not give up. I didn’t start listing new products until the end of month. After receiving my first order, sales steadily increased.” Yu remembers fondly.
After receiving his first order his sales steadily increased and his store’s 30-day sales amounted to RMB 32,268! Yu easily achieved his target goal and he decided to focus on the home furnishing category and opened six stores to serve consumers in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
“Whenever I noticed that sales were gaining momentum, I just rode the wave by applying to participate in “Flash Sale” campaigns on Lazada to give the sales another boost!” Yu’s store was the best-performing store among all six was his Thailand store and shifted his focus to his Singapore store a month later. It upgraded to a Level 7 shop with a monthly sales of RMB 110,000, reaching a net profit of at least RMB 20,000.
“There were definite challenges but I learned from all of it. Compared to when I first started, I am much more seasoned now.”
When Yu first ventured into the cross-border e-commerce business, he recorded a video and uploaded it to Douyin or TikTok as it is known throughout the rest of world. In it, he was seen busy with packing and shipping orders in a small room piled up with cardboard boxes. Much to his surprise, he received hundreds of comments and followers after posting the video that Yu take notice of that.
People were getting curious, so he changed the videos and renamed his Douyin account, “Yu’s Entrepreneurial Diary ” where he shared information gathered from Lazada University and his own story:
Some people commented below his video: “I saw a younger me through your video! I cannot help get nostalgic for the days when we were occupied with sourcing goods and packing orders. I miss those days!” while some peers also watched his video and commented, “It’s hard and exhausting, but I don’t regret a second of it. Cheers for posting this video!”
Soon enough, one of his short videos that talked about Lazada logistics went viral. After that, Yu began posting videos more constantly. To shoot those videos, he also bought a Canon camera that cost several thousand dollars and learned video editing. Now, Yu has over 46,000 followers on Tik Tok which makes him a social media influencer.
“For a long time, I invested in work with no social skills. Now, communicating from my apartment slash warehouse, I feel a lot less lonelier. These short videos become a window for me to express myself,” said Yu.
For someone who is only 26 years old, Yu is a definite hustler! He’s busy with his Lazada business but he’s also keeping an eye on the vlogging community. He is hopeful about his future and what is to come.
“I want to continue traveling and visit other parts of the world. Growing up, I’m always swinging between extremely confident and deeply self-abased. That’s just how my brain works and why I’m always full of new ideas.”