Hello Sushi! by Sione Palavi
Searching for prime product quality is always a struggle if you are a food lover. Establishing the first business of its kind is another story of hardship all on its own.
A qualification in both music and IT one would think Sione would pursue at least one of these areas. However, after working several jobs he has discovered that product and customer service quality was not always consistent. With a full work schedule, being involved with netball, fitness group as well as his online media, Sione soon realized that finding an equilibrium point between his personal and work life was proving difficult. So he set out to establish a business with the aim of improving product and customer service quality.
With a profusion of cafes, restaurants and retail stores dominating the majority of the market, Sione sought to try a new approach. An idea of starting a business with the main focus in selling sushi. Thus the inception of his business, Tropical Vibes. Sione has highlighted that in its infancy stages, there were numerous struggles, starting off with very little capital, cash on hand, and almost no recognition. However, with technology ever so evolving, comes with it a dawn of new ways to promote ones business.
Well versed in social media, Sione used this to his advantage, creating a platform to further his commercials. Always full of energy and ever so hyper, he is constantly active on his online accounts most notably, tiktok, where he conducts makbang videos and his online advertisements as well. When asked about his business status since its inception, Sione acknowledges its steady growth and credits his fan base for sharing his online contents and also word of mouth. Both the past and present ways of advertising, has brought more recognition to his business over time as his ambitions are to sustain and expand in the future. All this would amount to zilch should the product and service quality be not up to par. Having previously worked at the Ministry of Tourism he knows all too well the importance of image presentation and stresses the importance of “Quality and Consistency” before, during and after a transaction.
As a result of price inflation, the search for prime product quality proves ever more difficult; the rush to just fling products on shelves disregarding its state of quality to earn a quick buck is an inclining trend. Here then is where he hopes to fill that scarcity of product quality with his friendly sushi service, tropical vibes.
Every entrepreneur out there will always have an end goal from its original position when starting a business with the most common answer being Longevity. With it comes a set of challenges one will have to over-come and learn from for the sake of income growth. Tonga’s business market is a plethora of seasoned and experienced entrepreneurs who knows the nuts and bolts of this occupation. Competition is very stiff and often unkind to those who fail grow during the rainy days. Traditionally, to become an entrepreneur, the advice given was to get educated first in the line of business in-order to be well versed when operating one. However, with cost of living inflating each passing year coupled with a constant rise in unemployment, especially with youths, entrepreneurship would certainly be a brighter avenue to pursue.
Removing oneself from the monotonous normality of the island life format will never be easy, as is the case with Sione. Taking the courage to forge his own path on a trek that has been paved to him only through his working experiences. The courage to stand firm and accept the innovation challenge and be willing to fall and grow. The benefits since starting his business has allowed him to be he own boss, enjoy his personal life more, actively engaging with his netball team as well as leading a women’s fitness team, 105 strong and above all, more healthier than ever. With unemployment constantly on the rise he encourages youth entrepreneurship and for young business owners to step forward and make their claim. “The profits won’t always be there, there will be a loss” but the most important thing is to “don’t lose the drive”.
He plans to open a Sushi Bar in the future in Tonga!
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TYEE Innovation/Admin and Media