Ricardo Sentosa – Managing Director of Venuerific Singapore

Venuerific.com is a Singapore-based online platform that connects event organizers with space owners to rent out underutilized spaces.

Background Story Of Venuerific

The story behind the creation of Venuerific.com began in 2013 when the F&B industry in Singapore was struggling. At the time, many restaurants and bars were struggling to stay afloat due to a weak economy and a saturated market. However, the founder of Venuerific saw an opportunity in the abundance of under-utilized spaces that would be perfect for hosting events.

Inspired by the success of Airbnb, the founder came up with the idea to match event organizers with space owners who were willing to rent out their spaces. This would allow for greater utilization of space and create additional revenue streams for space owners.

With this vision in mind, Venuerific.com was born. The platform quickly gained traction in the event planning industry and has since become a leading platform for venue rentals across Asia. Today, Venuerific continues to provide a simple and efficient way for event planners to find the perfect venue for their events while also helping space owners generate additional income from their properties.

Venuerific Singapore

Share With Us The Turning Point Of The Company

There was a moment early on in the development of Venuerific.com when we knew that the company was going to succeed. We had gained traction from both venue owners and event organizers who were interested in using our platform to connect with each other. This early validation was a good sign that we were on the right track.

As we continued to develop and refine the platform, we received positive feedback from our clients, who found that Venuerific.com helped them grow their businesses. This was a strong indication that our solution was solving a real problem and providing real value to our clients.

Over time, we saw our user base grow, and our platform become more and more popular. We continued to iterate and improve our offering, incorporating feedback from our clients along the way. As we saw the positive impact that our platform was having on the event planning industry, we knew that we were on the path to success.

Share Some Key Factors That Help You In Balancing All Your Endeavors

As a venture builder, balancing all endeavors can be challenging. However, there are several key factors that can help achieve this balance:

Firstly, implementing systems and processes to automate the business as much as possible can save time and resources, allowing for more efficient and effective operations.

Secondly, finding the right leaders for the right roles and empowering them to excel can create a strong foundation for the business. These leaders can help drive the success of individual ventures and overall company growth.

Thirdly, helping the team solve problems and ensuring they have everything they need to tackle the issues can reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a more productive and collaborative working environment.

Fourthly, developing a strong culture that is open, friendly, and growth-oriented can keep the team motivated and aligned with the company’s mission and vision.

Lastly, ensuring fairness in the company by rewarding the team appropriately can create a positive work environment and encourage loyalty and commitment from the team.

By focusing on these key factors, venture builders can effectively balance their endeavors and build successful ventures.

Struggles and Challenges

As a one-stop platform for all event needs, Venuerific faced several struggles when the pandemic hit. One of the major problems was that the majority of our clients couldn’t operate their businesses due to government restrictions on gatherings and events. This resulted in a significant loss of revenue for our platform.

To overcome these challenges, we took several measures. Firstly, we focused on collecting payments from clients who owed us money, which helped us tie through the first three months of the pandemic. Additionally, we focused on our video production business, which was still operating at the time, to secure some revenue.

To cut costs, we asked our team to volunteer for non-paid leave, and the founders also took no pay for 2-3 months. These measures helped us to conserve resources and manage our cash flow during this difficult period.

We also looked for opportunities to diversify our offerings and reach new customers. One strategy we implemented was to apply to be a PSG vendor, which was approved in the 6th month of the pandemic. This helped us sell to wedding and meeting spaces, which were still allowed to operate under government restrictions.

Overall, these strategies helped us to weather the storm during the pandemic and emerge stronger on the other side. While it was a challenging period, it also presented opportunities for innovation and growth, which we were able to capitalize on.

Share How The Pandemic Facilitated Personal Growth And Changes In Company Operations

The pandemic forced us to adapt and make changes to our business, but it also presented us with opportunities to grow and innovate. One of the most significant changes that we implemented was to diversify our sources of revenue. Prior to the pandemic, we had only two businesses, but we quickly realized that we needed to expand our offerings to reduce our reliance on any one sector. As a result, we now have five different businesses, which has helped to stabilize our revenue streams.

Another important lesson that we learned was not to depend on one country or region for our business. The pandemic highlighted the importance of having a diverse customer base and the ability to operate in different markets. To address this, we expanded our business to three other cities, which has allowed us to tap into new opportunities and reach a broader audience.

Finally, the pandemic taught us the importance of automation, outsourcing, and being nimble in our spending. We invested in automating our processes and outsourcing non-core functions to reduce costs and improve efficiency. This has enabled us to be more agile in responding to changing market conditions and customer needs.

As the pandemic subsides, we will continue to implement these changes to strengthen our business and ensure that we are well-positioned for future growth. We will also continue to explore new opportunities and invest in innovation to stay ahead of the curve.

How Do You Stay On Top Of The Ever-Changing Trends In Events?

Staying on top of the ever-changing trends in events requires a continuous effort to listen to our customers and users. By staying connected with them, we are better equipped to understand their evolving needs and develop solutions to address them. This means actively seeking feedback, analyzing data, and conducting research to stay ahead of the curve.

In addition, we keep a close eye on new technologies and innovations in the industry. By staying informed about emerging trends and tools, we are better equipped to anticipate changes in the market and respond quickly to new opportunities. We also leverage our network of industry experts and partners to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the events space.

Finally, we foster a growth mindset in our people. This means encouraging a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where our team members are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and develop new skills. We provide ongoing training and development opportunities to our employees and encourage them to share their knowledge and expertise with each other.

By combining these approaches, we are able to stay on top of the ever-changing trends in events and maintain our position as a leader in the industry.

Overcoming Hindrances To Achieve Company Vision

As a company with a big vision, we are constantly facing challenges and obstacles that could potentially prevent us from achieving our goals. One of the main hindrances we face is access to capital. While we have been able to bootstrap our company to a certain extent, we recognize that we need additional resources to help us scale and achieve our full potential.

One potential solution to this challenge is to raise funding. However, we recognize that our business may not be considered “sexy” enough for venture capitalists or other traditional sources of funding. As a result, we are taking a slow and steady approach to grow our business, focusing on building a sustainable model that generates cash flow and profits over the long term.

In addition, we are exploring other sources of funding, such as grants, that can help us expand our business and achieve our vision. We are also looking for ways to optimize our operations and improve our efficiency so that we can make the most of the resources we have and achieve our goals more effectively.

Overall, we believe that with a combination of strategic planning, hard work, and a commitment to our vision, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way and achieve success in the long run.

Current Goals And Exciting Future Plans Of The Company

We have several exciting initiatives underway at our company. Firstly, we recently launched an event vendor marketplace in Singapore to make it easier for our users to find caterers, photographers, decorators, and other vendors. We plan to expand this marketplace to other regions later this year, likely in Q3 or Q4.

In addition, we’ve launched a new service called private venue management, which allows us to manage event spaces on behalf of clients. We’re thrilled to have secured our first client, Wework Singapore, and have expanded from managing 3 outlets to all 12 of their locations. We’re also in talks with other brands to expand this business.

Our tech team is also working on a side project called ciindi.com, a booking platform for small service businesses. This platform is designed to help our clients grow their businesses by providing them with a system that doesn’t require them to be listed on a marketplace.

Lastly, we are exploring opportunities to build a team in Malaysia, as we had to shut down our team there during the pandemic. We believe this will allow us to expand our business further and tap into the local market.

Do You Have Plans On Expanding Venuerific To More Countries In The Future?

So, for the time being, we are focusing on strengthening our presence in our current markets before expanding to more countries. However, we are always open to opportunities that may arise in the future and will evaluate them on a case-by-case basis. Our main priority is to continue providing excellent service and value to our users in the regions we currently serve.

Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

One piece of advice that I would like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs, which I still apply to my own business despite our success, is to stay focused on the end goal and be disciplined in executing your plans. It’s important to remember that every problem has a solution, and every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Additionally, it’s useful to learn from your competitors rather than comparing yourself to them, as you are your own competition and should strive to improve your own business.

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