This week on FEW Member's Corner, we would like to introduce you to Amy, Founder of Good Wills, who provides Will writing and consulting services in Hong Kong.
Hello Amy, could you tell us a bit more about your journey?
I am Amy Kwan, a Hong Kong and Australia (Queensland) solicitor. I have recently founded Good Wills, a Will writing company. It is my very first time being my own boss. It is my very first time being my own boss. Prior to that, I worked in the legal industry for 10 years, in the areas including Wills and Estate and Corporate Law. When my mum passed away, I realised and appreciated even more the importance of having a Will. In Eastern culture, including Hong Kong, writing a Will is generally perceived to be only necessary for the elderly or the wealthy.
I would like to change the world’s perception on this, and most importantly, I am determined to make the entire Will writing experience more down to earth and as simple as possible.
Why did you start this business?
One of my main objectives in promoting Will is that will is not only for the elderly and that everyone at different stages of life will need a Will. I am very pleased that it has been successful as my clients’ age ranges from early 20s to 80s. One of my early 20s’ clients is a nurse, who truly appreciates and does not take life for granted due to her job nature as she sees patients battling with life and death in her daily work. She not only understands that life is unpredictable, but also the disadvantages of not having a Will – that your family would not only be traumatised by your passing away, but also all the uncertainty and hassle that you bring them if you die without a will. I am truly impressed with her forward-thinking mentality towards her succession planning, which is a shame that it is not yet the mentality in the present society, especially in the Eastern culture. This is the reason why it has become my goal and passion to promote and raise awareness of Will writing in Hong Kong – that it should be a necessity rather than something to be considered only when you become elderly.
While Will is still relatively “new” to the Asian culture, it has been around and in fact increasingly common in the western countries. If you Google “will writing”, almost all of the search results in the first few pages are companies offering Will writing services from the UK or the US. In the US, 4 in 10 adults have a Will. In the UK, the “Will writing industry in 2018 report” claimed that 45% of the Great Britain population now has a Will, a figure increased by 6% from 2017. I wonder how the statistics in the Asian population shows as there is no official statistics being conducted, but it is my wish, with the effort that I am putting in now with my company, that we would see an upward trend in the number of people having a Will and that Will writing is becoming a more common practice in the future society.
So far, what's the most challenging part of your journey?
I would say so far the most challenging part of my journey is adapting myself from a team player to a decision maker. Being an employee for the past 10 years, I have become a strong team player working in different countries and legal fields. In my previous role as a corporate lawyer, apart from being a team member who follow instructions and provide ad-hoc support, I was given the opportunity of being the lead associate in various deals, which allows me to gain the experience of working independently and managing other team members whilst dealing directly with the clients and other parties in the deals. This wider exposure and experience have been very helpful to me now as an entrepreneur which I am very grateful.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
I am still learning everyday since I’ve founded my company, but the most memorable lesson that I have learned is that change is the only constant in the business world. Anything can happen, and even in the most trusted situation that you could think of, there are still uncertainties that you could not have predicted and controlled. So I’ve learned to be flexible and adaptable – having the right mindset to deal with whatever situation that could occur. If the plan does not go according to my original plan, accept it and come up with a new plan. In this ever-changing high technological world, the ability to react to changes quickly can be crucial in determining the success of your business.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
On building credibility and trust with different parties…
As a consumer myself I always like to think from the customers’ perspective. Not only that I am determined to provide the best and the most professional service possible, I would also think of different ways to make the customers experience a pleasant one. For example, I charge fixed fee so that clients know exactly how much they are paying for the entire service so to eliminate any uncertainty for them; I provide complimentary information session to clients so that they can get a general overview about will first before committing to having one for themselves. Experience tells me that through these different activities, I have managed to build a more intimate personal relationship with my clients and this is when your credibility and trust from your customers start to bloom.
On the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business…
Passion – You gotta love you what you do, it is as simple as that
Determination – Passion itself is not enough, you need to be disciplined and determined enough to make it happen, especially when things are not going your way
Investment – Every business involves some sort of investment, including capital investment and not to forget, investment of your personal time, space and putting yourself in a stressful yet rewarding position