We talked to Jane Peh of Pawjourr, a pet agent and here is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jane Peh: We are based in Singapore, and the government is doing a great job containing the COVID situation now. Chinese New Year was pretty bad since I am from a large family, and gatherings are limited to 8 pax — our family is huge on Chinese New Year, so it was pretty upsetting. That said, we understand and applaud the government’s coming up with these regulations to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Pawjourr.
Jane Peh: We started the company in 2019, and it has definitely been a rollercoaster ride since then! It was a random idea as I was browsing through social media and looking at dog accounts — the idea to combine social media, marketing, and pets just hit me. I’ve never thought I will be an entrepreneur, but I guess life works in mysterious ways.
How does Pawjourr innovate?
Jane Peh: 5 years ago, you would never have imagined that your pets can earn money and work as a “pet agent” for them. We know that pet owners love to share photos of their pets on social media — we saw an opportunity and decided to leverage that to help pet owners earn money whilst creating content they love.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jane Peh: When the pandemic hit, we were affected quite badly since we were a media company and the budgets were halted for marketing. There were lots of shipment issues for pet food companies as well since their products are not delivering on time, and there was no need to do marketing (they can’t fulfill the demand). We had to tighten our burn rate and be very careful with how we are spending money every month — but it was also a good time to look at the entire business’s model and see how we can create new revenue channels.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jane Peh: I think the lesson here is that as a media company, revenue is highly dependable on how well our clients are doing, etc. — we also realized that we needed to diversify our revenue channels. That is when we started looking beyond just being an influencer marketing agency, but also how can we bring value to pet owners, brands and earn recurring revenue each month? We have since expanded into Pawjourr.com, which is a pet parenting website for dog and cat owners.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Jane Peh: We started looking at online tools like Asana, Google meet — I think it was challenging for the management team to try to manage and get things still moving at a fast pace whilst working remotely. It’s just a lot easier to turn around and talk (we are a small team). We had to set up processes very quickly to ensure things move just as normal.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jane Peh: Our competitors are basically pets magazine, pet guides, Google, forums, and influencer marketing agencies. We are a pet-owner-centric company and prides ourselves on being a human brand. I think in today’s world, it’s very important not just to be a “brand”, but a brand that people can relate to and that is human.
Your final thoughts?
Jane Peh: 2020 has been a tough year, and things will never be the same anymore. The best companies take it in their stride and adapt quickly — hustle on.
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