Client interviews

ACCOUNTING SOLUTIONS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Last week we talked to Chris Kam – founder of Budget Accounts a company that provides a wide range of accounting services.

 

chris-kam

 

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

The Risk and Reward is very transparent when you are an entrepreneur, steady income will dissipate into a myth, unless your business stabilizes. You can explore any ideas and execution is paramount to the success, you learn to swallow setbacks in silence but preferably rejoice with your staff to motivate them. To start off ensure you have a reserve to tide you through for a considerable period of time. 

What are the trends in your industry?

Automation and software has alleviated the playing field to present an arena that efficiency has to be enhanced and professional advisory needs to be a critical path to woo the potential clients. Knowledge has been greatly spread and clients are more demanding and informed so we need to cater to the needs of the new breed of entrepreneurs. 

Despite the fact that we are professionals, there are always some players who down play the importance of proper compliance with price strategy that greatly undermine the professionalism needed.

Which plans do you have for the coming year?

We are looking into more client education to enhance the level of compliance knowledge. Hence client servicing and staff competence are crucial in attaining the goals. 

We are also looking into providing more peripheral services that complement the needs of SMEs such as government grants advisory and funding.

In addition, overseas expansion is in the pipeline to tap on cross-border markets to support our fellow clients with similar direction.

What are your 3 tips for starting entrepreneurs?

– Ascertain yourself of the budget with a few simulations to test the depth of reserves needed

– Identify the critical success/failure factors in similar industry you are entering

– Try to network as much as possible, sales don’t throw themselves at you unless you are a really blessed chap

 


A TASTE OF BUSINESS

Interview with a client

Interview with one of our customers and old friend Arjen Blom, principal of WineDirections. Arjen started his business 8 years ago and uses MYOB for his accounting.

 a  We asked him a few questions:

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

In comparison with a salary job, you are in charge of all the different processes and can determine the direction of your company. It also means that you need to be a self-motivator and a self-starter, as you are a leader. It is very rewarding when a good idea with hard work becomes a success and returns a profit. But you need to remain alert to avoid pitfalls and disappointments.

What are the trends in your business industry?

The wine consumption in Singapore remains high and might even grow a bit more. But it is a crowded market with many new players, hoping to grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately many of those players don’t have the professionalism and passion, which tarnishes the image of our industry.

On the other side, the wine industry in Singapore is suffering under the labour crunch in the hospitality industry. Due to staff shortages, there is less time for floor staff to promote and upsell wines to guests, which has an impact on our sales and revenue. 


12 Aug 2015

Today, we had a great interview session with one of our customer – Mr. Garion Lim, Director of Darren Young Corporation Pte Ltd. We asked him several questions. So, let us read on and have a better understanding of him and his company.

We understand that Darren Young Corporation has been around since 1975, making this the 40th year since the company was incorporated. Could you tell us more about how you started the business, and what made you decided to begin your entrepreneurship in the printing industry.

I studied in England, UK during my younger years. Upon completion of my studies right before coming back to Singapore, I got to meet some folks who gave me an edge to the heat transfer, printing industry. That gave me the advantage to be a licensee holder of the English Premier League (EPL) Heat Transfer of names and number labels. So at that point in time, I began to sell the license for heat transfer of names and numbers labels to all the sports shop like Manchester United and several others in England.

With that connection, I got into the printing industry. When I came back to Singapore, I expanded the business by selling to shops in Queensway Shopping Centre, Peninsula Shopping Centre etc.

In the recent years, what are some of the industry trends that you noticed in Singapore, and in Asia?

Darren Young Corporation is a factory-based operated company. We operate in Singapore, with production line in Singapore as well. The trend nowadays is that end consumers, i.e. direct customers, are getting more and more tech-savvy. They no longer need a third party agent to assist in their project. Consumers these days are able to source via the internet for their preferred supplier or products.

It is a two-way thing whereby factories want to come out to the market to meet customers, thereby to fetch more revenues because of the rising cost.  So I would say it is a trend that the distance between the end consumers and factories are closing in. This can be seen not just in Singapore, but more notably in China. People in China are hardly buying stuff from retail shops. Instead, they are buying stuff from Taobao. So it is just a matter of time that this will be wider-spread across Asia, such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Singapore is catching up on this despite being an IT-savvy country. We are somewhat quite backward in terms of online transactions, online purchasing currently. This might be due to the size of our country. We are small, so if I don’t see the product, if it is not available online, I can attempt to check it out at the retail shop first.

Could you share with us some of your plans for the coming year?

For the rest of this year, we are working on the rebranding of Darren Young Corporation. We aim to be rebranded from a factory, back-end company, to a company that is out in the open. We want to support direct customers as well as agents.  

If you can provide 3 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, what would be your best advices?

First is to see the moment and recognize the need and opportunity. Then, we seize the moment as chances don’t come too often. Lastly, is to see it through and work hard.

In summary,

  1. See the moment
  2. Seize the moment
  3. Strive – Strive all the way

You have worked with our sales team and support team some time this year. Could you share with us more about your experience with them? Did you have a good impression of the team? 

We had a great experience with the team at SME Software Solutions. It was a wonderful experience.

Adrian from support team has been wonderful, and so is the rest of the support team. We definitely did not expect the level of service with the amount of money that we put in for the software and services. It was definitely as a value-for-money experience. We wish to thank Adrian for being very patient with us for the whole time.