In The Spotlight: Paul Lim, Founder of AStar Success
A man who values credibility, good business, and family. Paul Lim shows us how having the courage to take risks and venture into the unknown can prove to be the best decision for success in one’s professional and personal lives.
Intelligent businessman. Outstanding member of his community. Devoted to his family. This is his story. .
Tell us about your business, and how it all came about.
I worked with several well-reputed, listed companies in Finland, London, & South Africa – in the packaging industry as Head of Regional Sales for many years. I spent 70% of my time travelling, canvassing for sales from overseas customers – while my daughters were neglected due to my non-stop travelling schedule. Having this realisation prompted me to make a change, and to embark on my entrepreneur journey
After consulting with my mentors on business options, I decided to take on a business developing websites for customers. I had invested money and time on educational courses so that I could equip myself with the latest technologies and software in order to assist customers further in growing their businesses. AStar Success was established in January 2014, a boutique marketing agency which pays special attention to the unique and distinctive needs of small-medium enterprises.
We specialise in offering personalised, custom-tailored marketing communications, design, and printing solutions for SMEs which cover the entire spectrum of online and offline media. Our range of services include website design & development, mobile app development, graphic & print design, and copywriting.
The Biggest Challenge Is Against Oneself
Being an entrepreneur, the biggest challenge is against oneself. I needed to develop different abilities to lead at different stages. I have to diligently overcome some of my shortcomings, while leveraging on the strength that I possess in order to drive the business forward
It is essential for an entrepreneur to look out for sales professionals who have good business acumen together with innovative ways to gain market share and able to bring our business to next level
Optimism Through A Tough Journey
I went into unchartered territory with no prior knowledge in the industry during my initial venture. I experienced many trials and tribulations in starting up my website business. Being new, no one took me seriously. I had to work very hard to learn ropes from the best local and overseas mentors, so that I could propel into this very competitive industry. The journey was tough, but I was optimistic, believing that the right time and opportunity together with hard work and perseverance would eventually present itself.
We received our first orders after many months of canvassing. Gradually, our business showed growth, and sales were generated via word-of-mouth referrals. With support from valued customers, AStar was able to develop websites for various industries as well as a pocket of customers from neighboring countries.
To succeed in today’s competitive landscape, I need to more adaptable, resilient and customer-focused, to combat the challenges. I need to react swiftly to evolving market conditions and trends by adding value to our customer’s business for providing integrated web solutions.
The Value Of Reputation And Credibility
Early on, we faced cashflow issues. We were not able to collect cash fast enough from customers, and our vendors were chasing us. In the web business, if we do not remit our payment punctually, they suspend our service – and this affects our customer’s operation. If this had happened, we would have to shut down immediately because we would lose all customers.
To overcome this failure, I decided to dip into my own reserve in order to pay vendors promptly. In business, reputation and creditability are important to keep operations going. Thanks to our many supportive vendors and customers, we improved our financial status.
Giving Back To The Community
I serve in various communities and social arenas. I was the Honorary Treasurer as well as Chairman of Marketing Institute of Singapore’s HR & Finance Committee (2014-2016). I was also serving as Executive Committee for Entrepreneur’s Club (2015 to 2016), and as board member for SAFRA Jurong Club. I spending my free days with Willing Hearts, as a volunteer member of support service to the underprivileged and needy.