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Allergy-Friendly App Updates

Get the latest happenings!

New Features Announcement: Save time and find more product details. Adding more prepackaged label information all in one place. We listened to your initial feedback and made some updates.

Here are the latest updates regarding the Korean Convenience mobile app.  New features include brand name search, meat, and drink filter, USD/Korean Won toggle, ice cream products added, and Korean subheadings/titles added.

Korean Convenience has surpassed the first two-hundred downloads on both platforms!  ​​🍾🥂 Cheers!  I’m super excited about this slow launch and can’t imagine what the future holds for the Korean Convenience app.  I’m pouring all the excitement back into the app to improve the features and speed. Thanks again to the Korean Convenience subscribers for investing in the community, and supporting the app’s development.   

So here are more details about the new features and how to use them.

Brand Name Search

Previously, if you wanted to search for a specific brand you had to search through all of the products available. Now, you can go to the  ➡️ “ALL PRODUCTS”  ➡️  See All  ➡️  Filter  ➡️ Select Brand  ➡️  Hit Apply”.  Search by brand name and check out what is available from the most popular Korean brands.  Featured brands include Binggrae, Calbee, Crown, Nongshim, SPC Samlip, and more.

Meat Filter

When the Korean Convenience app first launched the suggestion was made that it would be even better if you could filter the meat options.  Because we recognize there are various dietary requirements such as Halal and Kosher. 

We want to add a meat filter to the ramen category so that you can find exactly what type of flavor, and ingredients fit your dietary lifestyle.  Scroll to the ramen category and hit the  ➡️  See All option and choose between beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. 

Drink Filter

Want if you just want to buy a bottle of tea?  Thirsty for a specific beverage and don’t want to scroll through all of the drink products available?

Go to the drink category  ➡️  See All and choose the best option.  With our drink filter, you can search through the products available and find coffee, juice, milk, tea, sports, and yogurt drinks.

Weight & Korean Calories 

The front and back photo is available with every product that is featured in the app.  However, another aspect of dietary management can also include calorie intake and tracking.  We want to help you make the most informed decision when purchasing your favorite snacks.

At the end of every description, you will now find the total Grams and Korean calorie information.  We’re putting more information in one place so that you can find product details as conveniently as possible.

USD Price (coming soon)

In order to give better functionality for people who don’t currently reside in South Korea we needed another option for pricing.

USD pricing information will give a closer retail price for anyone who doesn’t live in South Korea yet still wants to purchase Korean snacks.  *Pricing is subject to change depending on weight, quantity, and region when buying purchases.*

Database Improvements

Some major improvements to the Korean Convenience database:

  • Added new foods, which brings the database up to 300 in total!
  • Improved brand names; e.g. “Samlip.” -> “SPC Samlip”
  • Add calories and grams for each product. (Coming Soon)

Final Note

Get the latest app updates on iOS and Android today!

Do you wish there was a feature on the app that is not available?  Let us know in the comments down below.  

That’s all for now. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any future updates, subscribe to the newsletter (no spam, I promise!).

– Erica Dozier @koreanconven

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How I Started A Business In South Korea

Small Business Interview Highlight

This guest post is written by Richard, a small business owner who moved to South Korea to teach English to adults.  Eventually, he shifted to opening a successful translation company.  Having traveled to over sixty countries, his love for travel and living the digital nomadic lifestyle was nonstop until the pandemic.  

Discover how he adjusted his small business during the pandemic and his advice for future entrepreneurs who want to open a business in South Korea.

First Job

I worked many jobs before graduating from University at a car dealership, restaurant, hotel, and fitness center. I always enjoyed the work part, but not the side quests and the lack of pay in proportion to my results. As a result, I found that I was usually the one leaving.

After graduating from University, I landed a job at one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country. I thought I had made it. The only catch was they didn’t have a commission structure in place. I was young and naïve, so I believed them when they said they’d have one eventually. I would close million-dollar deals and get a small bonus at the end of the month for a few hundred dollars. Eventually, my department was dissolved, and I had to start over with new accounts. I became disillusioned by the corporate rat race and quit soon after. 

South Korea

I wanted to try something new, so I went on and found my first overseas job. It just so happened that it was teaching English to adults in South Korea.

At the time, I had no intention of staying in the country for more than a year or two. But as time went on, I found myself enjoying the country, especially how healthy and delicious the food was. 

The one thing I still didn’t like was working for someone else. With coerced office gatherings and unpaid overtime, Korean company jobs can make ones in the US seem like part-time gigs. I realized that no matter where I lived, I’d always encounter the same problem. It was at that point that I decided to start my own business.

Small Business

Fortunately, I found a Korean partner who was going through the same thing. She worked a few jobs after graduating from University, even one in Singapore, and encountered the same problems. 

We brainstormed three different business ideas:

  • café
  • study room 
  • translation company

We decided which one fit our primary aim of making decent money while not dropping from exhaustion.

Cafes took a lot of capital and would take years to recoup, not to mention the long hours and interactions with the general public.

The study room would tie us to Korea indefinitely, and we wanted to be location-independent.  Or at least be able to take a vacation longer than a few days (Korean tiger moms are no joke my friend who ran a study room was harassed for taking a few days off for his honeymoon).

Translation services seemed like the best idea since the work can be done anywhere and doesn’t require a physical location.

Richard in Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar
Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar

Business Growth

We started cold calling and going to networking events to find customers. The first hundred dollars we made seemed like a dream come true. We were able to recoup our initial investment of 2,000 USD after a month and grew the business until we had savings every month. 

It was hard work, but it paid well, enough for us to pack up everything and slowly travel the world for five years until the pandemic hit. Many of our clients were cosmetic companies. Unfortunately, wearing masks while lowering disease transmission does not make people want to wear makeup.

Business slowed gradually during the whole ordeal. To combat this, we started getting work from NGOs and pharmaceutical companies who were making said masks, among other things like no-contact thermometers.

In our free time, we work on our blog, Lingua Asia, where we share info on Korean business, culture, and shopping that can’t be found elsewhere. The website used to be our international-facing translation website, but we decided to convert it into a second income stream. That has kept us occupied while not being able to travel. We’ve grown our blog from a few hundred visitors a month to 40,000 in the course of a few years. 

Here are a few things I’d recommend to anyone starting a business in Korea:

Buddy System

Having a Korean partner you trust is generally a good idea. Even after living in Korea for a decade, I still don’t fully understand the culture and decision-making process. I’d simply recommend splitting the profits into personal accounts every month and having equal access to business bank accounts. At the very least, it helps to have a Korean friend whom you trust to run things by. Also, find like-minded individuals to collaborate with who reciprocate.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Don’t ever criticize your customers, partners, or anyone else for that matter when running a business in Korea. You will not come out ahead. You might also isolate potential customers and advocates. A few people I didn’t get on with turned out to be loyal customers. Find new customers or partners instead and vent to close friends.

Cast A Wide Net

Korea is a dense country with plenty of people to provide value. Throw a rock in Gwanghwamun, and you’ll hit two potential customers (Please don’t actually do this). Instead, go out with a decent suit and a pocket full of business cards (put these in a nice business card holder) to events and meet people. Follow the previous rule and be engaging by asking questions about others and charismatic by caring about the answers.

Don’t Overextend

Never set a pace you can’t keep. My initial goal was to grow the largest translation company in Korea until I realized I don’t like managing people. I learned that there’s a lot of room between failure and a fortune 500 business. If you’re happy running a one-person show, then embrace it.

You can find many reasons to start your own business. Once you find one that makes sense, the rest will fall into place.

Thanks for reading.

Written by: Richard Walker 

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Best Books For Non-Tech Founders

best book non technical founder

A Reading List For Non-Tech Founders

While it’s essential to know how your mobile app works (wireframe outline), you also need to know what to do after you’ve created your layout.  How do you market, sell advertisements, and obtain downloads from the app you just created?  Here are the books I recommend to get started.

Level Up

Written by Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson this book dives into Stacey and Lara’s journey of meeting, and their success and failures with running a small business. Their mission is “To help small-business owners like us change the game and Level Up.”

The DevOps Handbook

They say that you should build a strong foundation for your home so that it can withstand rain, snow, sleet, and floods.  This book is great for non-technical founders to read as it showcases the need for integration. Let’s face it you’re not going to develop your mobile application without assistance.  

Knowing the development process will help you work with your UI/UX developers.  It also doesn’t hurt to learn some of the technical terms such as dark launching, performance testing, and stream mapping.

Also Read: Advice From A Non-Technical Founder

Rise & Grind

Rise and Grind is written by FUBU Founder and Shark Tank host Daymond John.  The book discusses how you need to rise and grind every day.  Any entrepreneur can relate to Daymond’s stories of how he needed both grit and persistence to launch his clothing brand and build it into a 6 billion-dollar business.  I found this book the most helpful on the days when you need extra motivation.

App Secrets

This book discusses how you can use the business strategies of other apps like Uber, Instagram, and Candy Crush.  While no two businesses will achieve success in the exact same way, it’s good to read how these businesses developed their app to go viral, obtain millions of downloads, and are now billion-dollar businesses.

Also Read: Mobile App Development Costs

Mobile App Marketing & Monetization

Alex Genadinik wrote this book for independent entrepreneurs like myself.  He shares his strategies on how to get thousands of downloads, and app store marketing.  It’s great to read about the success of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, but I’m not a million-dollar tech company.  I need simple and effective strategies that I can implement with the limited resources that I have available. 

If you’re a non-technical founder I hope this post and others that I’m writing about my journey to build an app will help you get started.  After all, no one can define your business better than you can.    

If you have any must-read books for non-technical founders with limited resources, I would love to read your comments below. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest updates, and news on the launch of my mobile app Korean Convenience.