Address: 6001 Beach Road
#01-32 Golden Mile Tower
Contact: +65 8499 7333
Breaking into a traditional industry
You might be tempted to dismiss 24-year old Jerome Lim, the owner and proprietor of Panda Curtains, as a young kid who’s in out of his head – but we wouldn’t recommend counting him out just yet.
In a trade that’s, for the most part, dominated by players in their 50s and up, this young businessman is making quite a name for himself in the local curtain and blinds industry for his excellent standard of service and trendy selections.
In fact, he’s secured for himself the exclusive rights to sell the popular blinds from blinds-manufacturer Win.Us, the top customised blind makers in Korea, in Singapore.
The curtain industry may not seem like the obvious choice for most people his age, but Jerome admits that one of the reasons he enjoys this line of work is because it’s so different from what his generation is expected, or inclined, to do.
Besides that, it’s really the joy of service, of leaving his customers happy with their experience and purchase at Panda Curtains, that motivates Jerome and keeps him coming back each day.
For Jerome, the key is to have his customers walk out of his shop smiling – even if they haven’t bought anything. Leaving a good impression in his customers’ minds is what keeps them coming back when they’re ready to purchase, and also makes them his shop’s most effective advertisers.
“Most of my customers come through referrals. They’re not walk-in customers,” he explains. “I have people who were customers 3 to 4 years ago who come back to buy from me.”
To get this level of customer satisfaction, Jerome places great emphasis on ensuring effective communication between him and his client. He tries to learn not only the design of the home and what the client’s looking for, but also about the client himself. In taking such a holistic approach, he feels he’s able to deliver the best results for his clients.
That passion to deliver the best results for his clients comes at a sacrifice – unlike most of his friends who are out enjoying themselves, he spends most of his time at the shop, or thinking about it. But he credits his family for keeping him sane, and helping him with his business, and doesn’t know where he, or his shop, would be if it wasn’t for the hard work of his mother, father and brother.
Jerome’s advice to other young entrepreneurs is simple. First, they need to make sure they’ve got the right people in their team. Suppliers, for example, can make or break your business, they must choose reliable ones who deliver on time, and provide good quality products. Second, they must take things one step at a time, and not rush through things. Running your own business is an overwhelming task, so they should just do what they can, to the best of their ability and grow the business slowly and carefully.
And last, and most importantly, they must enjoy what they do. Don’t go into something just because they think they can make money at it – a business takes a lot of time, effort and sacrifice, and they won’t be able to sustain it if they don’t have the passion for it in the first place.