Owner of Nutra-Planet, Sam Hong, is a respected, hardworking man that gave me advice that will be very useful in the future. Nutra-Planet is an online supplement store that has been growingly rapidly the past few years. I met with Mr. Hong for about twenty minutes, and discussed things such as: the education needed to work in his business, his job setting, required skills, and many other things.
I chose Mr. Hong because I have been a customer with his business for a few years, and his warehouse/office is in my home town. He was a very polite man, and he said that he always enjoys the chance to share his knowledge with people. I interviewed him at his main office and I dressed business casual. I really learned an abundance about owning your own business, and it gave me an idea of what I needed to do if I decided to own my own store.
The first question to Mr. Hong was the type of education needed, not just to work there, but to actually have an opportunity to advance. He told me that he is interested in someone who knows both the business aspect and the supplement knowledge aspect of running the business. In order to pursue this path, I would be more successful finding a major supplement chain like his that has opportunities for advancement. My major now is marketing, and he said that will definitely help me in the future. I need to know the business aspects if I want to run day to day operations.
My next question for Mr. Hong was the type of job setting that his business offered. He said that his main goal was to make his customers’ experience a pleasurable one, and that the environment was a major factor in making that successful. From the casual, friendly atmosphere to the layout of the online store and warehouse, all things need to come together to make the customer want to come back, and tell all their friends about it also. This requires a knowledgeable staff that is helpful to everyone, and a friendly personality is as important to him as the experience an employer brings with him.
When I asked Mr. Hong about the skills that were required to be hired in an upper-level position in this business, he told me there were two different avenues to advance through; the business aspect or the customer relations aspects. He said that it is crucial for his employees to work well with other employees, and be able to take criticism and advice. Although I am majoring in business, I would still love to work hands on with customers. Aside from the obvious skills of knowing about supplements, Jay said the single most important skill he looks for is “people” skills. The personality to interact with others and assure them that you know what you are talking about when it comes to supplements.
The interview with Mr. Hong went very well, and he was said that he was happy that he could answer my questions. He emphasized that it is very important to stay in school and make sure that I graduate, because if I ever need any loans or anything it will help out tremendously if I have a good background and a degree. I will make sure that I interview more people in the future because I believe that it is a huge help to talk to someone face to face instead of reading stuff online.