Unveiling Mr Bottle’s Magical Journey
Kien was fascinated with magic and it was his ambition to become a magician. During his university days, he pursued this interest on a part-time basis, and when he graduated, he fully dedicated himself to the craft.
He realized that most parents and events were not solely interested in magic shows. This realization led to the expansion of their services to include balloon sculpting, and he even got his university friend to provide facepainting. Over time, they gradually broadened their service offerings. Nevertheless, the barrier to entry in this industry is quite low so they must keep innovating. Their strength is their creativity, which prompted Kien to introduce and start unique concepts to malls. Fortunately, few malls embraced their ideas, such as organizing bubble events in Singapore, Xiamen, and Shanghai.
Mr Bottle also built a niche in creating amazing kids@work events for their corporate clients. Their list of clients includes prominent companies like Citibank, PayPal, MOH, Chubb, and many more.
Learning To Overcome Challenges
According to Kien, his primary obstacles revolve around people, and he is continuously striving to address these challenges. They have a considerable number of part-time employees, and they have implemented a scorecard system to assess their performance. They are also in the process of introducing incentive programs to keep them motivated.
To cope with the escalating costs in Singapore, they are actively exploring the possibility of hiring full-time remote staff. It has become crucial for businesses to prioritize innovation as a means of survival.
Challenges And Opportunities During The Covid-19 Pandemic
During their interactions with their customers, they inquired about their interest in virtual events. However, they discovered that the pandemic has caused significant shifts in people’s lives, such as job changes and uncertainties. As a business specializing in children’s events, they faced a particular challenge as many parents perceived virtual parties to be less enjoyable.
While Mr Bottle did host a few virtual parties and events, their frequency and value were not on par with the pre-pandemic period. On that note, the pandemic also brought them new customers. They shifted their focus toward their magic academy, which has become a profoundly meaningful pursuit for Kien. They now prioritize integrating the magic academy into their events, as it has the potential to directly impact and transform the lives and perspectives of children. This aligns perfectly with their core values.
Kien As A Leader
In terms of leadership as a party planner, Kien is continuously learning. He is more of a do-er and tends to lead by example. He is trying to do less and reduce his own workload and learn to let go of things. To achieve this, they are actively implementing processes and systems to empower their staff to handle various aspects of the work.
Coming Up With Unique Concepts
Kien has a deep appreciation for exploring new things, whether it’s art, travel, or other interests. As someone who identifies with type 5 personality traits, he tends to immerse himself in topics and delve into them with great depth to gain extensive knowledge. Constantly seeking out new experiences and learning opportunities fuels his inspiration to create innovative event concepts. This drive led him to embark on a magical tour in Singapore during the pandemic, as travel is his passion. He also created a personal IG travel account with 9000 followers during the pandemic.
As an example of Kien’s passion for history and culture, they recently introduced a unique baby choosing ceremony, a concept previously unheard of in Singapore. He is motivated by the desire to educate parents about the significance of this ritual.
Party For A Cause
Attending numerous parties, Kien being a “green” person, has come to realize the significant amount of waste generated at such events. As a party planner, he is responsible for organizing parties not only for clients but also for his own children. In order to promote sustainability, they often reuse themes that have been previously chosen by other clients.
On occasions, Kien finds that children receive toys that they may not necessarily need. In his opinion, the experience itself holds far greater meaning. Therefore, after discussing it with his wife and children, they decided to request parents not bring presents to their kids’ parties. Instead, they encourage them to consider donating the money to a charity of their choice.
Every year, he and his wife involve their children in the process of selecting a charity to donate to. They take them to visit the chosen charity, providing them with an opportunity to learn and understand more about them. Their hope is that they develop a deeper understanding of the reasons behind charitable giving and grow up with a heightened awareness of our society.
Measuring The Success Of The Business
As Mr Bottle is currently in a stage of growth, its primary focus remains on sales as a metric to measure its progress. Kien is actively exploring and acquiring knowledge on how to measure their core values. He has come to realize the significance of their values, as they shape the identity of their company. One example of such a value is their commitment to empowering and inspiring children at every party or workshop they organize. The ability to positively impact a child’s life in such a way would be truly incredible and aligns perfectly with their vision.
Building For The Future And Reaching New Horizons
Mr Bottle’s BHAG is to establish a presence in at least 10 significant cities, whether in China or other countries. They currently operate solely in Taiwan and Singapore. Unfortunately, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to close their company in Xiamen and halted their expansion plans in Shanghai.
In addition to their expansion aspirations, they also hope to organize a Tedx event for children. This event aims to inspire and empower young individuals. However, at present, Kien believes it is crucial to focus on building a stronger foundation for his business before venturing into new territories. By solidifying their groundwork, they can ensure a more successful and sustainable expansion into other countries.
What Makes Mr Bottle Different From Other Competitors
As part of their KPI, they aim to develop a minimum of one innovative product or package every quarter. This objective complements their commitment to providing customized programs for their clients who may get them for events.
When organizing events, they follow a scientific approach. They meticulously analyze data and examine footfall flow to carefully curate the event experience for their clients. While these behind-the-scenes processes may go unnoticed, they play a crucial role in minimizing frustration and ensuring the creation of joyful and memorable events.
Advice From Kien For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“Don’t! The service industry is not an easy industry, we deal with people all the time whether it is customers, staff, or suppliers. It is tiring with long hours and weekends are always burnt!
If you do not have a deep passion for this industry, don’t go into this. For me, to see people coming up to tell me that they still remember the parties we did for them 10-15 years ago and the happy faces at the end of events are the biggest inspiration and motivation we have for us to continue our journey.”
Visit Mr Bottle’s Kids Party’s website here.