Caroline Lee is the Co-founder of CocoSign, a company dedicated to electronic signature services. Caroline believes in the power of technology to transform workstyle for good and is committed to lead and adapt as a young ambitious entrepreneur.
Where did the idea for CocoSign come from?
The term CocoSign is a merger of the words – Coco and Sign. While Coco is a derivative from coronavirus or COVID, ‘Sign’ is a reminder that we help facilitate the online signing of documents from remote locations. Founded in the pandemic era, our SaaS-platform was designed to help SMBs continue business as usual. The social distancing guidelines put out by the government and healthcare organization to flatten the curve during the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated the need to work remotely. With online signing, business deals and transactions do not need to stall. They can be signed on-the-go.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The traditional eight-hour day shift also applies to me. However, management duties and my love for the brand’s vision often requires that I work overtime and treat emails overnight. The day begins with addressing my team leads, measuring milestones based on agreed metrics, treating memos and emails and occasionally sending out ‘thank you’ messages – already prepared by the HR – to our employees. To make these tasks less overwhelming, I use task scheduling apps. This makes my eight hours as productive as a 24-hour all-work shift.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The state-gate approach is my go-to tactic anyday. It begins with assessing the feasibility of a new business model to be implemented or product to be launched, followed by an analysis of the latent needs of customers, dynamics of the market, and the potential of this product meets that need. This is followed by a proper study of the customer’s end-user requirements, formulation of a product design, beta-testing, product launch and distribution monitoring.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Blockchain technology. The potential of integrating blockchain technology into systems as an encryption method should excite anyone. It can rake-off security risks associated with electronic signatures and many other online transactions. With blockchain technology, it is impossible to fake identification and it costs a lot less to implement than encryption methods and protocols we currently run.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Preparing a schedule. Everyone knows how preparing a task schedule can help you maximize your time, but not everyone religiously prepares one. Dutifully preparing a daily task schedule has helped increase my productivity as a person.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to face my inner desires bravely and learn to create and take hold of opportunities. There are many business opportunities thrown at us in our youth that we often do not take advantage of because of fear and doubts.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
“A smartphone is the most dangerous device you have ever touched”. While a smartphone can allow you to perform so many activities on the go, social media applications on them can be a huge distraction during work time. So also are intermittent calls and messages. Be smart regarding where you spend your time.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Reassure myself that I can do unbelievable things. Sometimes, when challenges look you right in the face, you have to stare back at them literally and tell them you would come out tops.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Show appreciation and developing a nice reward mechanism for employees who put their all to work has helped put the brand on a higher pedestal. Employees feel like a part of the team when they are duly appreciated for their hard work.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Coming up with an ‘artificial’ business idea based on my fantasy is one failure I deeply regret. Although innovations need unconventional thinking, I recommend assessing the readiness of your product-market before making a product design or launching it into the market.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Reuse and sale of recycled plastic bottles. For small-scale entrepreneurs, reusing and selling recycled plastic bottles is a great business idea because it is not capital-intensive yet with the potential to gather social funding and government support. The world is going green and businesses that champion green environment ideas are likely to succeed in the long-run.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
One I spent on the book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki. This book taught me to be a better parent. While being a successful entrepreneur is very important, it is arguably more essential that you do well outside your career or worksphere as well.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
CocoSign. It’s helped me sign through bundles of internal memos seamlessly and in relatively few minutes.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
For businessmen, I would recommend “The Messy Marketplace”. This is because it teaches entrepreneurs how to manage their expectations when thinking about a future sale.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do not be pennywise and pound foolish”. This quote emphasizes the need to look at the bigger picture in spending. It encourages me not to be thrifty in spending so as to give up potentially big plans because of the seemingly ‘heavy’ costs they might incur.
- Blockchain technology can revolutionize encryption and security protocols we currently run.
- Assess your niche market and its ensuing dynamics before launching a product.
- Prepare a daily task schedule.