Sally Victoria Benson, Co-founder of Macau Lifestyle

We would like to introduce to you the media expert, Sally Victoria Benson, Co-founder of Macau Lifestyle.

About Macau Lifestyle

Macau Lifestyle Media Ltd. is a young media company dedicated to promoting Macau. Its main project is Macau’s online lifestyle magazine, Macau Lifestyle. It is more than just another website about a city – it goes further. Reaching out to both, local communities and visiting guests, we are passionate about the city we live in and excited to share the best it has to offer.

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Hello Sally, can you tell us more about yourself?

My name is Sally Victoria Benson, Im the founder and editorial director for MacauLifesytle.com. I was in a completely different industry before as I am a professionally trained Actress and spent 6+ years acting on tv and movies in China- Speaking Mandarin.

What inspired you to start your company? 
I moved back to Macau (where i spent my childhood) and met Katya who was working on an idea for a lifestyle guide website for the city. I was immediately draw to the idea as Macau was in desperate need of such a guide and now living there as an adult I faced the challenges many people face when in Macau. Where to go, what to do, what to see and where to buy stuff. Katya and I clicked almost immediately and have been very good friends and business partners ever since.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in Macau Lifestyle? 

The hardest lesson for me was to accept that you never really switch off. It's impossible to not be thinking about your business. I thought id be able to have 'me' time and even when you have 'me' time, you still have the business on the mind.


A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE

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On growing teams…
Running a business isn't a solo job. You have to grow your team if you want to grow. Take time to hire the right people. Invest time and money in helping them grow and develop within your business. Listen to their ideas, respect their opinions and make them feel valued as a member of the team and business. Gifts are good too. Everyone loves gifts! 

On mistakes to avoid and best practices for fundraising journey… 
Macau Lifestyle had an initial Loan from the government of Macau as part of their young entrepreneurial scheme. It was helpful but no where near enough to fund our business, which we didn't completely realise back then. We haven't taken on any funding since but if I had the time over, i’d have raised more initially. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?

On building credibility and trust… 
Time. Consistency and a good attitude. Keep doing good work, knocking on those doors, asking for favours and then just give it time. You will gain the credibility and trust the correct way.

On the top three things to consider before starting your own business… 
First, is this life for you? Instability, low pay, long hours? Can you do it? You need to be self motivated with you are your own boss, if you don’t have this personality, it can be a hard few years.

Second, is your idea actually good or you just think its good? make sure you do some research, evaluate your idea and the market you want to launch it in, how does your business make money?

Third, do you have a decent savings account? Investment to fund the idea or someone to pay your bills while you earn no money initially?