Gerald Check

Web design

URL: Wickadvisor

Gerald started his own web design agency at the age of 20 and quickly scaled to a core team of 4 in the span of a year. He specialized in helping start ups and existing businesses get into the e-commerce space.

Business Summary

Business model: Web Solution Agency

No. of employees: 2 employees, 6 contractors

Location independence: Yes

How much time spent working: 40-52 hr/weeek

Revenue:  20-40k/month

Based on passion: Yes,

Background:

  • Location-independent entrepreneur

Related Topics:

  • Web Design
  • E-commerce
  • Service Business
  • Wholesale

From Freelancing To Running A 40k/Month
Web Solution Agency

Tell us a little about yourself and what you’re working on right now?

My name is Gerald Check, and I am a 22yro web designer and entrepreneur hailing from Singapore. I have experimented with several business models ranging from wholesale imports, flipping used guitars, to even starting an online flower & gifting store. 

I work mainly on WickAdvisor with a small team of 8 – 12, comprising contractors, part-time staff, and a core team of 4. WickAdvisor is a web solutions agency providing full-stack website design and development services. We specialize in bringing brick-and-mortar stores as well as new startups in Singapore, online, and into the eCommerce game.  

What’s your back story and how you got into this space?​

From the young age of 15, I have always dabbled with the idea of “buy low, sell high”. You could find items in the Chinese market selling for more than three times its cost, outside of China. Then, I started bringing in boxes and cartons of Chinese electronics and sold them in Singapore for nearly four times the price I got it for. This netted me my very first wave of consistent income which I used to pay off my personal expenses. It allowed me to stop taking pocket money from my parents and even allowed me to pay for my school fees on my own. 

Now, for the endeavor that got me to where I am today, it all started 2 years ago from back when I was a freelance copywriter selling my services on platforms like Carousell, Gumtree and even Fiverr. It was then when I bumped into a customer who is now my mentor and business partner. He was working with a florist who really needed a marketer on board for their online flowers and gift store as it was their first step into eCommerce. I took up the offer to partner up with them instead of working freelance.

As we were a small team of 4, I soon started to pick up more roles as I realized the florist simply lacked the knowledge and expertise to run an eCommerce business. I began studying the business model and even picked up courses on web design and development.

In a few short months, although profitable, my partner and I decided to leave the business as we were simply not satisfied with the income. That is when we formed WickAdvisor. As we had firsthand experience with business owners who had no clue on how to grow their business, we now dedicate our expertise to offer a solution to that problem. 

What makes your business unique or different from the rest?​

Aside from providing a one-stop solution for most of my clients’ web needs, it has got to be the support. We recognize that many new business owners lack the guidance and knowledge to run a web business. Unlike many design agencies who take their hands off as soon as possible, my team and I provide solid after-sales technical support for three months after project completion.

What made this an easy source of revenue for you? What motivated you ​

I do not believe in making “easy money”. Sure, the money is good and nice to have, but the reason why I decided to do what I do now is purely due to my desire to solve a problem, for small business owners and newer entrepreneurs, that I have dealt with and struggled through before.

What motivates me are the friendships and relationships I form with my clients. I am still in close contact with most, if not all of the younger businesses I’ve worked with.

Where do you see yourself and the business in the next 5-10 years?

It is hard to say. My team and I are constantly working on new businesses and sources of income over the months. At the moment, we are running 4 businesses concurrently, aside from WickAdvisor. We do intend to eventually hire more team members in the coming year. With that said, in the next 5 years to come, I’m sure WickAdvisor will still continue to provide our clients the support they need.

How many hours do you spend per day working on your business? How did you make your day more productive? ​

I spend anywhere between 8 – 12 hours on my business a day. As I run a number of projects concurrently, I find a timetable extremely helpful. Managing the number of hours to spend on a particular client or project and sticking to it definitely helps me get more out of my day.

What would your advice be for someone who’s just starting out?

  1. The best advice is to start now. The earlier you start, the more time you get to work on your craft, no matter how unprepared you think you are. Surround yourself with people who are better than you and constantly seek criticism.
  2. Price your products / services appropriately. As someone who has offered both budget and premium services, I can say for sure that the lower you price, the nastier the customers. Unless you are starting some sort of a social movement or are running your business for a good cause, never go budget.

 

What were some of the mistakes you made? If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

When I was just starting out, I did not bother choosing my clients. I was willing to work with anyone who was willing to pay for my services. This is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made starting out. If I could go back in time, I would charge more for my services right from the get-go. The lower you price your services, the higher chance you attract nightmare customers. 

Never underestimate your worth and allow your customers to take advantage of your lack of experience. Always believe in yourself, don’t worry about what others say (i.e “That’s too expensive! Someone like you should charge at least half the price!”). Many people are out there to manipulate and make short work of you as soon as you show a moment of weakness. Remember to always choose your clients well and qualify their value to your business.

Resources & Mentions:

Things we have talked about above, or recommended by interviewee.

  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss - As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is important to negotiate well. An open market is cold and leaves no room for indecisiveness. Even if you reckon negotiation will not be a big part of your journey as an entrepreneur, the book still imparts core principles which you can apply to your daily life (ie. Managing relationships, bargaining when you’re on vacation.). I’ll save you the history of the author but this book is full of real world examples and insight that will change your perspective on doing business.
  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham - Although The Intelligent Investor covers mainly topics on investing and the stock markets, it will educate you on general wealth building. As a business owner, it is important to learn how to generate more than one source of income. This book is a great way to learn more about how money actually works and how to make them work for you.

Follow Wick Advisors on Ig

For any aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners who need some help on starting out (or with web design), feel free to drop me an email at gerald@wickadvisor.com. Reach out to my team via @letsgo.sg on Instagram or https://www.facebook.com/wickadvisor/.

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