Starting a Business in Korea

Flower Gift Korea Journey Part 2 – 5 Month Update

It has almost been 5 months since my family has launched our online store, FlowerGiftKorea.com

Things have been up and down since we started, but I have to say, things are looking very good. Every month we sell more than the previous month, our social media presence is growing, and as of now, we have close to 25 five star reviews on Facebook and Google!

First off, I want to thank all of our customers for trusting us with their orders. Honestly, there is nothing more important than valuing your customers/clients.

Selling things primarily online is pretty tough at first. First of all, people need to know that you exist. That can be difficult, but we have been working really hard. We post something on our social media accounts almost daily and do our best to respond to emails/messages as soon as possible. Also, as I mentioned in another post, most of our first few customers were people that I or my wife knew, or a friend of a friend. So, it always helps to know a lot of people when you are trying to run a business.

It’s been fun making flowers, putting together orders, and delivering them to various places in Seoul, Gyeongido, and Incheon. Over the last 5 months, we have added a bunch of new products that were requested by customers. We added wines, a chocolate bouquet, new flower designs, and cakes (these needs to be requested). However, we haven’t been able to add balloon products, which was requested as well, but maybe in the future we will add these. And we still are in the process of adding more and more products for people to choose from, so they can send gifts to their loved ones in Seoul and other areas in South Korea.

Every day has been different, so far, our smallest volume of orders has been just 1 small chocolate box, which only cost $13. However, we have had as much as 5 orders in one day, and for some odd reason, the day we had 5 orders, we had the biggest order to date so far, where one person spent close to $600 on various gifts.

Flower Gift Korea delivery in Seoul South Korea

Also, it would be nice if we received orders well in advance, but I would say that about 35% of our orders are made on the day of delivery! Luckily, we’ve been able to fulfill all of the same day order requests. And the cool part is that we sometimes get multiple orders to places in the same neighborhood, which makes the flowers easier to deliver in Korea.

It’s been a lot of fun receiving orders from all around the world. For the record, most of the orders are coming from the US. Also, most people have been buying from us by placing their order directly on our website. However, some people communicate with us on Facebook and we send them a personalized invoice via email. You can hear me talk about where most of our sales are being made, and how much interaction we get on our various social media accounts by listening to one of our latest podcast episodes.

Though things have been going well for Flower Gift Korea, there is one thing I need to fix. I need to fix my sleeping habit. Since most of the flower orders are placed by people living in the US, the orders and questions via Facebook or email are sent while most people should be sleeping in Korea. So, on most days, I wake up 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night and check to see how many orders have come in. I don’t know what it is, maybe I’m paranoid, or maybe I’m just excited. And whenever we get a big order, I wake up my wife and tell her, and we celebrate for  few minutes before we go back to sleep.

It’s really fun and exciting to wake up to money coming in to your paypal account.

Oh, and I still remember the first time I transferred some of the money from our paypal account to our bank account. Since my wife never used paypal before, she didn’t really feel like the money was real when it was stuck in our paypal account. But once she saw some money show up in her bank account, she knew it was the real deal.

I will do my best to keep you guys updated with the progress of Flower Gift Korea and share relevant information that can help you further build your business in Seoul and other parts of South Korea.

MIK 049: Starting a Business in Korea – Making Your Very First Sale

This is the second episode in a series of podcasts where I talk about starting a business in Korea.

This episode is about making your very first sale as a business person. That means money that does not come from a paycheck or from your parents, but from someone who has decided to give you money for something that you offer. Making your very first sale is very important and I share how my first sales for 5 different businesses helped motivate me and pushed me in the right direction.

If you don’t have time to listen to the podcast, I will list the first sales for my 5 businesses right here:

Business 1: Business Network Korea

I founded a networking event called Business Network Korea in 2012 and made my very first sale (entrance fee) some time in August 2012.

Business 2: IGL English Education

I started my own small hagwon in early 2013 and made my very first sale some time in March 2013.

Business 3: Affiliate Marketing off Various Websites

I did some affiliate marketing off of some of the websites I ran and currently run, and made my first sales sometime in 2014.

Business 4: HagwonStart.com Guide and ebook

I created this website to help anyone start a small hagwon in South Korea. There is a startup guide as well as an eBook for sale. I made my very first sale of my information product in March 2015.

Business 5: FlowerGiftKorea.com Flowers and Gifts

One of our past guests, Jessica Fry, decided to send flowers to her Mother living in Seoul. So, we were able to make our very first sale in April 2016, the same month we launched our online Flower Gift Store! Actually, we made our very first sale for this business on the very day we launched the business!

In this podcast I share more about about my first sales and about the realities of getting your first sale in any given business. There are a bunch of factors involved in getting your first sale and I share from my experience what they were for me.

If you haven’t made your first sale yet, don’t lose hope. It can take awhile to get the ball rolling in a new business. However, if you haven’t made any sales in the first few months, ask people for their opinion and receive some constructive feedback.

Check out the podcast to hear in detail about my first sale for my 5 businesses and other related information.

Links to Past MIK Guests I Mention in the podcast:

Dave’s ESL Cafe

MIK 048: Starting a Business in Korea: Think, Plan, Fail, Adjust, Wait, Repeat

This episode is the first episode in a series of podcasts where I talk about starting a business in Korea.

I’ve been able to start and maintain a small hagwon business called IGL English, which is located in Seocho, Gangnam. I also have created a blog that documents some of my experiences specifically in the hagwon industry, so anyone looking to start a hagwon one day can learn some tips. You can check out the blog/site by visiting hagwonstart.com Also, I’ve started a whole bunch of other things prior to my hagwon, some worked, and some didn’t work at all.

One of the things I started awhile back was, “Business Network Korea”. It was a place for foreigners to meet Koreans for the purpose of doing business. It started off great and there was even an article about in the Korea Herald. Here’s a link to the article: Ready, set, meet: Business Network Korea hosts speed networking for entrepreneurs . However, I couldn’t continue it and two other people took it over and further expanded it.

In this podcast I share more about my experiences starting some businesses in Korea and share some things to expect. The most recent business I have started is FlowerGiftKorea.com which is a flowers and gifts delivery service in Korea. It is catered to English speaking people all around the world who want to send a gift to someone in Korea. I started it with my wife, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. So, I have fresh information and comments regarding starting a business in Korea.

It’s not easy to start a business. It takes careful planning, adjusting, patience, and a lot of hard work. But, there are a lot of rewards that come with starting your own business.

Check out the podcast to hear what I learned from my experience trying to start various businesses, making my first sales for my various businesses, and what to expect if you are planning on starting a business in Korea one day.

Links to Past MIK Guests I Mention in the podcast:

HoneyHair – Jessica Fry

Bird Riders Food Delivery – Zach and Ben