Healthy Matters Tells What Matters in Running a Business
Amélie Dionne-Charest and Julien Mathieu, co-founders of Healthy Matters
“There has never been a more important time for all of us – families, employees, organisations – to look after our health. With the impact of the crisis, wellbeing will be a major challenge. Healthy Matters has an important role to play this year.”
Julien Mathieu, Co-founder of Healthy Matters
About Healthy Matters
When we first moved to Hong Kong in 2013, we had trouble finding independent health information for ourselves. We soon realised that we were not alone and that there was a huge need for reliable health and wellness information here.
Attitudes towards health have also changed in recent years: people want to live healthier, longer lives and have become more proactive. In that journey, they need trusted and actionable information that is relevant to where they live.
Healthy Matters was created to address this need and has since become Hong Kong’s leading online health resource. Our content is available on our site healthymatters.com.hk (which features thousands of expert-reviewed articles and pages, plus a directory), and a free newsletter.
We originally came to Hong Kong when Julien was offered a corporate role in the banking industry. A few years later, when we decided to become entrepreneurs, we felt that the city provided a favourable environment to set-up and expand a business. Hong Kong has been and continues to be an open, dynamic and welcoming place for entrepreneurs like us.
Our value proposition is simple: to bring reliable, relevant and accessible health information to the largest number of people here in Hong Kong.
To this end, we have established a unique Expert Advisory Board, with over 50 leading Hong Kong doctors and health practitioners with experience in both the public and private healthcare sectors. All of our medical content is systematically reviewed by doctors.
In addition, Healthy Matters offers the largest updated database of doctors in Hong Kong as well as an easy to use pharmacist-reviewed medicines & supplements database, the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Along with hundreds of online articles and guides, Healthy Matters also published Hong Kong’s first ever comprehensive guide to maternity.
Earlier this year, we launched the traditional Chinese version of our Healthy Matters website in order to better serve everyone in the city. We hope that it will help more people stay healthy during this challenging time.
We are also keen to develop partnership with companies to help them better inform their employees about health and wellness. By leveraging our expertise, we can offer tools that will help employers engage their employees and keep them healthy.
What It Takes to be a Successful Startup in Hong Kong
Develop a network:
It has been helpful to develop a network we could tap into for guidance, especially during the first few years as we were new to the market. Of course, building a network takes time, but it has been a source of invaluable advice that we continue to seek out to this day. For instance, getting involved in various organisations like chambers of commerce has helped us meet valuable contacts.
Communication is key:
Communicating is much harder than it sounds. When you live and breathe your business, most things that appear obvious to you may not be for others. If you can articulate clearly your mission, why you have chosen a particular direction, and what your expectations are, it is easier to delegate and grow your team.
We made a conscious decision to first establish credibility, even if it meant having to wait longer to reap the benefits. For instance, to build our credibility, we set up a unique Expert Advisory Board which reviews all medical content before it is published. As a content-driven company, the quality and relevance of what we publish is essential: as such, we spend the necessary time producing it because it ensures greater trust with our audience.
Be open to people, ideas and potential partners. Most businesses pivot in the early years. We did, and moved from purely organising health-related events to focusing on digital health information. The product/service you have in mind may not be the one your market is looking for, which is why you need to keep trying and testing until it works. You need to be comfortable with change – it’s the one true constant in any startup or small business
InvestHK has been an invaluable resource for us since the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey. The InvestHK team has provided advice and ideas on a variety of topics and shown a genuine interest in our success. We are grateful for their useful introductions, networking opportunities and their all-around support.