This Thursday night, November 23rd, the Bootstrap Business Initiative welcomes Claudia Masueger and Zhu Yunting from CHEERS to give a lecture on setting up a Taobao store, and to talk about how being on Taobao can help your business get in front of an increasingly e-commerce-dependant audience and grow to new heights.
Before that, CK asked Claudia a few questions about her company, to get a better idea of what CHEERS is, and to get a glimpse of the force behind Beijing’s best wine business.
Please tell us a little about yourself. What do you do at CHEERS? What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am Claudia Masueger, Founder & CEO of CHEERS wines. I am a Swiss mountain girl and I have never been to university. Everything I learned is from travelling, mentors, other entrepreneurs, from listening when doing research and from Youtube. I believe everything is possible if we keep our attitude positive and if we are willing to go the extra mile.
What does CHEERS offer that others don’t? Why do customer enjoy coming to CHEERS?
We have a strong internal culture and core values which keeps us aligned. Our mission, ‘CHEERS MAKES YOU SMILE’, is growing from the inside out. Our customers appreciate the warm welcoming attitude at CHEERS, the daily free wine tastings so that they can explore new great wines every day, and the outstanding events we offer.
What’s the most important piece of advice you can offer to people who want to start or develop their own business?
Know what you want, listen to your customers, control your liquidity and be happy at least 80% of your time.
Can you give us one example of a challenge you faced when starting CHEERS, that you’d be able to avoid if starting another business today?
Making mistakes is a part of the road to success. Everyone will make different mistakes and there is no common or magic solution. One big piece of advice I can offer is to always follow the law without exception. If you don’t do it, it will bite your ass one day when you grow.
Are there any business advantages specific to China or the Beijing market?
China is a fast-growing market with huge potential. You must be fast, observe the changes and be flexible to adapt but never lose sight of your big goal.
How would you explain your favorite wine to an alien who has never tried it?
My favorite wine depends on the occasion I am going to drink it. For an example, to start a nice evening with friends I would go first with a glass of cold Moscato. It tastes like lychee, peach and a drop of honey in a glass. The bubbles would give me energy to be ready for a good and fun night.
What three things do entrepreneurs need to be successful in in China?
1) Be passionate about what you do
2) Be persistent and aware of consequences
3) Keep learning every single day
What are your hopes for the future of CHEERS? Do you plan to continue expanding at the pace you have in the last few years, or do you prefer to consolidate what you already have?
The ultimate goal for China is to open 888 stores and expand the concept to other Asian countries in the next few years.
Do people expect you to be a big drinker? Does drinking feature in a big way in your everyday life?
I enjoy wine with almost every meal and I like to follow the advice of my great grandmother who was 104 years old when she died. She used to say one glass of wine makes you strong, healthy and happy! I am not a heavy drinker, otherwise I could not lead a fast-growing company.
Thank you to Claudia for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. CHEERS has branches all over the city, so you’re never too far away from a glass (or bottle!) of your favourite wine for any occasion!
For more information about the selection you can find at CHEERS, or to see where their nearest branch to you is, take a look at their website www.cheers-wines.com.
Cultural Keys is very pleased to welcome Claudia and CHEERS e-commerce expert Zhu Yunting to host our Bootstrap Business Lecture this Thursday night.
How to Open a Taobao Store – Lecture Details
Date: November 23rd
Time: 6:30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: 200 RMB, or 150RMB per person if booking for 2 or more people
Payment: In advance via PayPal or WeChat. Please email us at [email protected] to request a PayPal invoice, or add AJDonnelly on WeChat to pay via WeChat wallet.
Location: Huiyang Co-working Space, 11th Floor, Building A, Sanlitun Soho, Gongtibeilu. 北京市朝阳区三里屯SOHO A座11层汇阳国际商务中心 大会议室.
Lectures are an hour long, followed by a 30 minute Q+A session. Then there will be an opportunity for anyone wishing to introduce themselves and their proposed business to take the stage for 3 minutes to find possible partners and/or source assistance. After each event, participants will be welcome to stay and network.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Places will be limited to 20 participants, but we do hope to meet as many of you as possible there!
All photos courtesy and copyright CHEERS 2017
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