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Get Entrepreneurial – Best of the Best Blogger Series

by on January 21, 2012

Get Entrepreneurial - Best of The Best Blogger SeriesIn our 38th edition of the Best of the Best Blogger series, we spoke with Marcel Sims from Get Entrepreneurial.

Along with co-founder Steven Teo, Marcel launched Get Entrepreneurial (GE) as a “sister-site” of their original business venture, CoolBusinessIdeas.com, which they formed together as high school students back in 2004.

Both attended the internationally-acclaimed Nanyang Business School in Singapore and were very successful as internet marketers and business owners while still attending the university as full-time students.

GE is a site built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The site targets aspiring new business owners who have the “entrepreneurial fire”, offering tips, information and advice for small business owners who might “not know how [or] where to begin”.

With ideas and advice that range from creating comprehensive business plans to building out full-fledged marketing campaigns or leveraging technology innovation to “improve the bottom line”, Get Entrepreneurial is a start-up oriented website catering specifically to newly minted small business owners everywhere.

We sat down with Marcel recently to talk about a variety of topics, including inspirational business ideas, the pro-business climate in Singapore and the prospects of Singapore becoming the next Silicon Valley.

Your partner at GetEntrepreneurial.com is Steven Teo.  Tell me a bit about how you met and the nature of your partnership with Steven.

I co-founded GetEntrepreneurial.com while in my high school days together with Steven. Both of us have the same passion to inspire the public about entrepreneurship as well as interesting business ideas around the world. Steven has good experience in setting up and managing businesses, having managed multiple school-based event businesses and Internet marketing businesses. So, I had no doubt that his expertise would make him a good partner in an Internet business.

You run another site called CoolBusinessIdeas.com.  Tell me about the genesis and inspiration behind that site.

CoolBusinessIdeas.com is a blog about brand new promising business ideas around the world. We had the inspiration when we found out that there was no comprehensive blog about new business ideas for entrepreneurs to start back then in 2004. Today, CBI is a popular blog for potential entrepreneurs to look at smart business ideas and concepts seen worldwide. Going forward, we aim to even expand CBI to more parts of the world, sharing these snippets of inspiring business ideas.

Get Entrepreneurial WebsiteYou’re business is based in Singapore, one of the most entrepreneur-friendly locales in the world.   Tell me a little bit about the cultural inclination toward entrepreneurs in Singapore.

While the business environment in Singapore is very pro-business and robust, I would say Singaporeans generally are a bit risk-adverse and less inclined towards being an entrepreneur and striking it out on your own. Having said that, there have been many start-up success stories recently and the younger generation is getting more excited about starting a business on their own.
Going forward, Singapore has the ambition to become the next Silicon Valley with greater support from the environment and more room for entrepreneurial incubation.

What are 2-3 of the most important things you would tell any new aspiring entrepreneur?

Perseverance is extremely important to an entrepreneur. For CoolBusinessIdeas.com, we took 3 years to achieve a steady state. There were many ups and downs along the process. The crises and obstacles are the ones that really test an entrepreneur’s mettle. Entrepreneurship is a self-learning process. The process may be tough, but the reward is certainly sweet.

Passion is another attribute of success in any entrepreneur. Do what you like best. This will drive you forward no matter how tough things get.

What’s been most surprising to you as an entrepreneur yourself running your site?

I’ve always thought that you can taste success in the market with a well thought out business plan. In our experience, most of the times, our well-drafted business and marketing plans are left on the table and we had to rely on instinct in running our site based on our understanding of what our readers are actually looking for instead of what we aim to write in our websites as planned.

We also learned that as an entrepreneur, one has to always experiment, refine and find a niche in your area. There is no one size fits all solution.

I’d like to thank Marcel again for sharing his time and his passion for his business. Wishing you continued success in all your endeavors.

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