Post COVID-19 Challenges

COVID – 19 and its impact
For more than two years, businesses all over the world faced the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, and the chaos it brought upon all of us.
IN the last two years or so, every way we saw the business needed to shut its door, as government gave the order that to do so.
This was an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Every one was encouraged to stay at home.

The main objective was to stop the transmission of the virus in crowded places.
Due to this measure, a lot of businesses need to stop operation.

A lot of workers were lay off, some lost their jobs due to cash flow issue.

While others lost their jobs because the owners were not able to sustain the business operation.

The reason being the operation has zero income.

Government effort to ensure zero cases of COVID-19, resulted in a lot of businesses having zero income. so is this trade off a good measure?

Luckily most governments decide

  1. to ramp up the vaccination processes,
  2. come to their sense to live with the virus, and
  3. slowly opening up the economy again.

Are you ready to face the challenges of the re-opening of economy?

Some businesses, while during the isolation and tough measure of government in containing the spread of the virus, were taking measure in preparation of the re-opening of the economy.

  • the smart one would have reviewed, and made changes in their business operation.
  • Some start the automation of some of their processes.
  • Others decide to divert to some other more sustainable businesses,
  • more in tune with the demand and requirement of the new normal.

What are the  consequences of business not in operation for more than two years?

  1. Lose of good workers.

Due to the slow down in business, companies in managing cash flow, most of them will just lay off their workers, so with skeleton work force, now with the opening up of the business, new workers need to be recruited.

One good example I noticed in Singapore was the fast food chain – McDonald.

They seem to be going round to try to recruit staffs in anticipation of business on the upward turn, now that the government has decided to relax the rules.

  1. Cost in training the new recruit.

I spoke to one of the McDonald manageress, she said the new staff needed training and obtained the necessary food health handling certification before he or she can start the work.

That mean cost is involved.

  1. Take time to recruit new staffs

If a business only starts its recruitment now following the government announcement of the opening of economy and live with the virus, by the time you manage to get the new staff on board, it will be another month gone.

Then the new staff needs to get acquainted to the new work environment and the way how the new company work.

  1. Machinery need to be maintained.

During the two years shut down, some of the machinery might not be in working condition.

And now need to restart,

  • the company need to carry out maintenance, and
  • services to ensure the machineries are in tip top condition.
  1. Looking for new office space.

Some companies might have given up the extra work space during the two years closure.

Now with the re-opening, they have to look for new work space, hence need o incur extra cost

Did you do some preparatory work during the two years scaled down operation?

Some managements have foresight, while waiting for the economy to open up again, they have already gotten their plan in place.

So once the economy opens up, they can hit the ground running, and getting business in as others are just about to do the necessary adjustments to face the new normal.

One good example is Changi Airport.

Once the government announced the opening of the boarder, they just hit the ground and run.

We can see from the data, in the first quarter of the year 2022, the numbers of human traffic and cargo passing through Changi Airport.

The news reported that Changi Airport had the highest in both categories among all the airports in the region, or even in Asia, beating Hong Kong.

Businesses good at adapting and innovating, will have not problem in operating in the new normal.

During the two years, we see what are the businesses which can survive any crisis or emergency shutdown.

If the business operators can make the necessary adjustment, and implement the changes, there is no reason the business can not grow and improve.


Good management will always innovate, adapt and make necessary adjustment to face the challenges.

If you need help from us, you can click HERE

With the new normal, challenges ahead


How To Manage Cashflow Effectively Part III

We have covered the importance of cashflow and the differences between revenue and cashflow.

Also we noted what we needed to do in preparing a cashflow forecast.

Now we want to cover the most important part on managing cashflow effectively.

In managing cashflow, we want to make sure we have surplus cash available all the times.

Ways of ensuring effective cashflow management.

  1. Monitor the cashflow forecast closely.
  2. Ensuring billings are done promptly.
  3. Fully utilize the credit term given by the suppliers.
  4. Take advantage of the government incentive schemes.
  5. Keep minimum inventory.
  6. Implement effective debt recovery and collection.
  7. Review expenses regularly.
  8. Maintain a good financing line of credits.
  9. Cash in on the discounts offered by suppliers.
  10. Demand for deposit for big sales contract.


  1. Monitor the cashflow forecast closely.

When we have the cashflow forecast, we usually notice the following scenarios:

  • We forecast a positive cashflow.
  • control of payments over a period of time.

So, in reviewing the cashflow, be it a weekly cashflow or a monthly cashflow, we will compare the actual and the forecast.

Since we always forecast a positive cashflow, we will not have to worry if the following work out:

a. the actual inflow of weekly cash in more than that forecasted. (assuming we are doing weekly cashflow).

b. the actual outflow of weekly cash is less than that forecasted.

if the above two scenarios play out, we are very sure that we will have cashflow surplus.

Reason being since we already forecasted a positive cashflow in which the cash inflow is more than the outflow of cash, therefore if the actual inflow is more than forecasted, and the actual outflow is less than forecast, we will have super positive cashflow.

On the contrary, if the actual inflow is less than forecasted and the actual outflow is more than forecast, then we need to review and find out the reasons.

Hence, by monitoring the cashflow closely ,we are able to take remedial action promptly, and rectify any weaknesses in operation immediately.

2. Ensuring billings are done promptly.

No billing means no payment by buyers, and no payments by buyers, we will run into cashflow issue sooner or later.

To ensure the inflow is not disrupted, we have to ensure our billings for work and services done are sent out immediately the moment work or service is done.

3.Fully utilize the credit term given by the suppliers.

a good business will take full advantages the credit terms given by the suppliers.

This is basic good cashflow management,

The main idea is – don’t pay the suppliers promptly and make sure debtors pay you quickly, that way you will not have any cashflow problem.

Sadly a lot of times, we see the opposite happen.

Bosses in their efforts to get in good term with suppliers, will instruct to pay the suppliers promptly, usually even before the end of the credit period.

And some bosses did not even bother to chase the customers to pay up fast, worry by doing so, will offend the customers, and this makes the finance staffs’ job more difficult.

4. Take advantages of government incentive scheme.

A good management will always take advantages of the government incentive schemes available.

Government such as Singapore government always has some good incentive schemes to support the businesses, especially the small medium enterprises.

So, to have a more effective cashflow, it is quite useful to take advantages of the schemes.

5.  Keep minimum inventory.

This may be arguable for some people, for me I am not one who favor keep a lot of stocks.

Having less stock mean the holding cost will be lower, and less space required to keep all the stock items.

This in a way , will not hold up the cashflow.

However there may be a different school of thought especially after the post COVID-19 situation, that depend on what industry you are in.

For manufacturing outfit, keeping raw materials at certain level may be a good idea but excessive inventory? I doubt that is the way to manage the cashflow.


6. Implement effective debt recovery and collection.

Debt collection and recovery are very important for a business’ cashflow.

If a company has a lot of bad debts or long outstanding debts, this will affect the cashflow.

If the finance department is not able to ensure the debts outstanding is within the credit terms given, then it is about to review the debt collection system of the company.

7. Review expenses regularly.

Management should take time to review expenses regularly.

Especially when the weekly cashflow forecast vs actual analysis is done, any obvious signal of expenses deviation need to be investigated and assessed.

By reviewing the expenses, if the management can do away with some of the unnecessary expenses, it will go a long way in helping to improve the cashflow of the company.

8. Maintain a good financing line of credits

Though the company may be in good healthy cashflow position, it does no harm in having a good financing line of credits standby in case of emergency.

With the readily available financing line of credits, it will not be a stress but it does not mean the company can simply go out and spend lavishly.

Having the line of credit readily available is just some sort of insurance for the operation.

9. Cash in on the discounts offered by suppliers.

Suppliers may offer some discounts for the business, and any company which operate on prudent cashflow management, will definitely take advantage of that.

To some extent, the discounts offered may offer the business some help in the cashflow position, all the more crucial during the challenging time like now.

10. Demand for deposit for big sales contract.

whenever a company has a big contract or order, it is good that it can get some deposit from the buyer, this will ease the cashflow of the business in fulfilling the orders.

it will be even better if the company can arrange installment payment from the buyers.


Staying on top of the game in term of cashflow management is vital to the success of a business.

We should not let some missteps and miscalculation disrupt our cashflow management.

Take immediate action and rectify soonest possible, and you will not have to worry about cash crunch.

Always remember, take action, no matter how painful the action may be.


How To Manage Cashflow Effectively – Part II

Today we continue our discussion on how to manage cashflow effectively.

Having realized the importance of cashflow in a business, which in my opinion, is more important than profit.

We can have a very huge profit, however if it is not reflected in the cashflow of the business, then it is high time we take a closer look at the operation.

How do we prepare a good and accurate cashflow forecast?

To manage an effective cashflow, we need to ensure we are able to prepare a good and accurate cashflow forecast.

There are a few points we need to take care of in preparing the cashflow forecast.

  1. Identify the outflow and inflow of cash in the business.
  2. establish the right line of communication for flow of information.
  3. outlined the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forecast
  4. Prepare, discuss and monitor the prepared cashflow forecast.
  5. adjust and amend as the situations become clearer.

1. Identification of outflows and inflows of cash in the business.

We need to know what are the outflows and inflows of cash into the business.

For inflows, the obvious item is the revenue of the business, then in the course of business, we may secure some financing. both these two are the inflows of cash into the business.

Besides the above mentioned two, sometimes, shareholders may decide to increase the capital of the business, this will be another item as inflow.

As for outflow, we have to decide which are variable and which are fixed items.

For fixed item, it can be the rental paid for premises, and leasing of equipment which have fixed rental rate.

I like to categorize the outflow into operating, financial and capital in nature.

in terms of operating, we are talking about fixed overhead and variable overhead.

you can also classify into direct and indirect payment, just to make it clearer and easier to understand the natures of outflows.

Direct payments can be expenses such as utility expenses, salaries for the staffs.

2. Establish the right line of communication for flow of information.

In preparing the cashflow forecast, it is important that we have the right line of communication for flow of information.

If we want to have an accurate forecast on cashflow, it is important that the operation side know what information to furnish to finance staffs, so that they can use the right data to prepare the forecast.

Finance staff must also know who to look ask for information, the right data, same with other department like marketing and customer services.

3. outlined the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forecast

In preparing the forecast, we have to make sure we have the assumptions correctly spelt out, and the factors used.

Without showing the assumptions, readers and users will not know what are the basis and how the forecasts are prepared.

4. Prepare, discuss and monitor the prepared cashflow forecast.

a cashflow forecast prepared and just left it on the shelf will not serve any purpose.

the management staffs need to monitor and discuss the forecast every now and then, to see how much is the deviation of the actual from the forecast.

5. adjust and amend as and when the situation become clearer.

if the management of the business is able to monitor the forecast regularly.

they will be able to see the deviation of the actual from the forecast and if need be, make the necessary adjustment, so that the forecast is more reasonable and sensible.

We can also use the cashflow forecast as a tool to make business operation better and more efficient.

from the cashflow forecast and in the weekly review of the forecast, we can see whether we are not doing as good in our debt collections, if that is the case, then we can take the necessary action, may be to beef up the debt collections process, find out why the customers are not paying.

If we pay more than  as forecast, we have to find out the reason.

By doing so, we can improve our business process and operation efficiency.

Getting the real cash position to match the forecasted figures, require a high discipline from every one in the business, thus, the importance of timely review and analysis between the actual and forecast.

Most companies are not able to survive a short term cash flow shortage, if no forecast is available, business will not know where it goes wrong, not to mention to take the remedial actions.

Cash flow forecasting is tedious and arduous,  bear in mind, it is also a very important tool.

This critical process will let you know how much cash your business can generate, it can also enable you to know what you need to fund future expansion and working capital.

While your forecasts will never be 100% accurate, by preparing it frequently, you will develop an uncanny ability to make a more accurate forecast if you can devote the proper resources to cash flow forecasting sooner rather than later.

In my next article, I will talk more about how we can make use of this business tool more effectively.

If you want to learn more about cashflow, you may want to go HERE

How To Manage Cash Flow Effectively – Part I

Cash Flow, a term every business man is familiar with, it is also a term a lot of business man misunderstand.

So what is a cash flow?

Cash flow, to a finance guy, is the most important thing in a business.

However, if you go and tell the boss this, he will disagree, he will tell you sales is the most thing in a business.

if cash flow breaks down, definitely the business will break down.

People may argue without sales, you don’t have money coming into the business.

However people tend to forget when you start a business, you need capital, that is cash flow!!!!.

In a nutshell, cashflow is the amount of cash that is moving in and out of your business cycle at a certain period.

Positive and Negative Cashflows

If you have more cash flowing into your business than out of your business, then you have a positive cashflow.

That means you do not have to worry about meeting your payments requirement and settling your expenses especially the salaries of the employees.

On the other hand, if your cash flow position shows a negative cashflow, perhaps it may give you some worrying signs.

Negative cashflow may indicate your inability to meet your financial obligation, you may also have difficulty in paying for your expenses, worse still, you may not able to purchase goods to sell.

Thus, the importance of having enough money to meet all the business obligations is also knows as Working Capital.

What is the different between Sales and Cashflow?

Earlier I mentioned about sales and cashflow, and people think these two items are the same and one.

Actually the two terms are quite different, though these two terms go hand in hand and related closely.

Without sales, after the initial start up capital, there is no inflow of money to the business and this will create a big problem for the business to operate smoothly.

Hence, sales to certain extent is an indication how much money will be coming into the business.

What about Profit and Cashflow?

quite a few people like to think profit is equivalent to cashflow.

You can hear people ask a question – the company has so much profit, but why isn’t there money in the business at all?

Some are puzzled the business has so much profit but having difficulty to fulfil its financial obligation.

A good credit analyst will do the followings:

  • look at the profit and loss account of a business,
  • he will also look at the changes in the financial position of the business.

By looking at the changes in financial position of a business, it is easier

  • to determine whether the business has healthy and
  • positive cashflow, or whether
  • the business is facing acute cashflow deficit despite being very profitable.

Therefore, the management must learn how to read the statement of changes in financial position.

Importance of understanding changes in financial position.

This is to enable them

  • to grasp a better idea and take hold of the situation.
  • By doing so, at least the management has a rough idea
  • of what is the position of the liquidity of the business, and if need be,
  • take some actions to strengthen the cashflow of the company.

Why does cashflow matters and important?

Just imagine, if you do not have the cash in hand, a lot of things in the business will come to a standstill.

You may not be able to pay the salary of your employees, this will badly affect the morale of the staffs.

When suppliers hear you have cashflow problem, the first thing they do is to cut the supply and this will affect the operation of the business.

Worse, if the suppliers decide to take drastic action to recover the amounts the business owed to them.

This will definitely

  • damage the reputation of the business
  • when suppliers file for action to wind up the business or
  • put it under judicial management.

Managing cashflow and learning how to do it effectively, is a fundamental process.

A process which eventually will lead you to grow your business in a more profitable and sustainable way.

Once one has learnt and finally know the inside out of cashflow management, it is then the time to start looking at growth of the businesses.

Next I will be talking about How To Manage Cashflow Effectively in my next article.

Learn to manage cashflow



How To Prepare A Practical Budget?

Definition of Budget

Budget is a tool used by business as a guide, if it is prepared professionally, it can be a very powerful tool.

Budget is a business plan to enable the business to maximize the resource in order to achieve its plan or objective.

It is an estimation of revenue against the expenditure over a period.

What are the advantages of having a budget?

1. Having a clear business plan.

2. Act as a control of expenses.

3. Use as a benchmark to appraise the performance of the staffs.

4. Serve as an internal control feature for the organization.

5. Enable business to adjust and make changes when the deviation is too great.

1. Having a clear business plan

With budget, the business will have a clear direction in their business plan for the upcoming financial year.

Management can then plan their business plan based on the budget prepared.

After preparing a good budget, management can focus in achieving the target set.

2. Act as a control for expenses

after preparing the budget, the business can use that as a yardstick to ensure expenses are within the budgeted boundary.

Any deviation from budgeted amount will need to be investigated and action taken to rectify if it is human error.

3. Use a benchmark to appraise the performance of the staff.

Every year, business need to appraise the performance of the staffs.

To do that, the company needs to have some benchmark and barometer to assess the staffs’ performance.

Budget is a very good tool to appraise the staff performance, it is a more objective and transparent method.

Failure to achieve the target set in the budget, it leaves very little room for the staff to argue for his case.

Unless the budget prepared is unreasonable and unrealistic, then the staff may challenge the appraisal done.

If we prepare a very reasonable and realistic budget, this can be a very powerful budgetary control tool.

When it is used as the benchmark for staff appraisal, the targets are clear and not disputable.

4. Serve as internal control feature for the organization

when one set up an internal control feature, one of the feature it can use is the budgetary control.

Frequent analytical review of the budgeted amount against the actual achieve, the management is able to use that to find out the flaws and the shortcoming in the operation of the company.

As an internal control feature, and through analytical review, we are able to see weaknesses in the operation and take necessary rectification actions if need be.

We can also use budgetary control to tighten the control especially on the expenditure, be it revenue expenditure or capital expenditure.

5. Enable the business to adjust and make changes when the deviation is too great.

Through monthly analytical review of the actual against the budget, the management is able to make the necessary adjustment.

Budget is not rigid, it may become not realistic due to the changes in business environment, changes in government policies or any event which is beyond the control of the business.

When this happens, management must at the first instance to revise the budget and adjust the business plan accordingly, if this is not done, then the budget may no longer become achievable.

If you are interested in how to prepare a good budget, you can purchase a copy of my lazypeopleguide e-book on this topic and gain some insight of it.

In my e-book, I will provide a comprehensive layout of the budget preparation and what you need to look for.

As usual my e-book is for those busy business persons who do not have the times to go through lengthy report and write up about how to prepare the budget.

It is a more practical guide, and it is easy to grasp the idea and concept.

If you want to learn more or wish to find out more in detail, you may contact me either using the contact form or drop me a message in my email.

How Important Is Budgetary Controls To Your Business?

In business, one of the question people ask is – Do we have to do a budget?

then the question is – how important is budget to a business?

if we were to go into more details, you may come across the term budgetary controls.

So, what is a budget?

For a business, a budget is a plan to estimate the revenue and expenditure of the business for a period, normally it is over a period of twelve months, it covers the financial period of the business.

On personal level, a budget is a tool people used to control their expenses

We can notice the different between a company having a budget and one without any budget prepared.

For a company having a yearly budget, the company looks more organized and structured whereas one without any budget, will be like swimming in an ocean without any direction.

How important is budgetary controls to a business?

We have seen earlier that a company without a budget is like operating a business without any direction. It is more ad hoc than anything else.

Without a budget, is tantamount to without any planning.

Simple meaning of budgetary controls

Budgetary control is the mechanism of comparison the budgeted amounts against the actual performance of the operation.

The budgeted amount is the forecast of the revenue and expenditure of an organization based on past performance and the market conditions and current business environment.

It is a process of business planning involving financial planning, business plan and setting of business goals and so on. I will have a separate discussion on how to prepare a business plan HERE.

If budgetary control is implemented effectively and properly, it can be a very powerful tool for a business to monitor its operation, at the same time, achieving the goals set, not to mention to make the business more efficient and productive.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of budgetary control?


1. Acted as a tool to assess performance of respective departments and divisions in a company.

2. Setting of reduction of cost as priority.

3. It helps to improve efficiency and productivity.

4. Improve discipline of staffs in valuing how they spend the company money.

5. It can be used a benchmark for appraising the performance of staffs.

6. Serve as a guide in assisting the company to achieve its long term goals.

7. Enable the company to compare the forecast ed expenses and the actual spending and make necessary adjustment.


1. Information used in the budget is very subjective and may not be realistic.

2. Preparing a good budget is a long and tedious process

3. Inter departments coordination is challenging especially between operation and finance.

4. Comparison of actual and budget may be a problem when there is an adverse variant, it may demoralize the department concerned.

5. Reasonableness and realistic of the budget figures may be challenged by department if it is not to their favor.

6. Top management needs to give approval for the budget, if the approval is not given promptly, it defeats the purpose of comparison of budget and actual.

What are the limitations of budgetary control?

1. As we know, budget is based on historical cost, hence its accuracy and reasonableness are very subjective.

2. In a volatile economy environment, budget figures may look awkward and not realistic at all.

3. Changes in government policies and taxes structure may affect the budget.

4. Changes in nature such as natural disaster, market condition may affect the comparison between budget and actual.

What can you do with budgetary controls ?

1. We can use this to control the cash flow.

2. Operational controls.

3. Cost analysis for the business

1. Using budgetary control to monitor the cash flow.

budgeted cash flow forecast is another form of budgetary control.

with a proper cash flow forecast, we can monitor the cash flow when we compare the forecast and the actual.

2. Operational controls

by having a good budgetary control, we are able to identify the weakness and highlight the needs to take rectification action.

When the analytical review is done to compare the actual against the budget, we are able to identify the area need more attention.

At the same time, we can also use the analysis to implement better control.

3. Cost analysis of the business.

Budgetary control enables us to find out areas which need to be controlled.

using budgetary control, and from the analysis, we are able to find out which sectors’ costs are not in the norm of the business operation.

We can then take necessary action to arrest the worsening situation.


Budget is a plan devised to help a business operate in a more orderly and systematic manner.

It is a yardstick for a business to measure performance and improve efficiency.

By having a good budget and using it as budgetary control, a business will be able to have a good business plan which cover all spectrum of the business.

With a good business plan, a business is able to improve and grow according to plan.

Therefore, let us prepare a good budget and use it in a positive way as a tool for budgetary control.

How a business face Resilience vs. Efficiency issue during COVID-19


COVID -19 as we now know, have created a lot of challenges and issues especially for businesses in general.

Before the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, majority of the businesses only thought about efficiency in their operation, hardly any management leaders consider resilience of their operations.

After almost two years of facing COVID-19 pandemic and counting the cost affected as results of the pandemic. A lot suddenly realize whatever they used to rely on may not work anymore.

In Business School, lessons learned on efficiency and how to drive for utmost efficiency are some common topics.

Efficiency seemed to be the key word if you want to be the top management leader.

Anyone who can show how to run an operation efficiently, others will look at him in high esteem and consider him the expert to keep the operation alive and popular.

But now? whether the efficient manager is highly regarded? that depends on a lot on whether he has some operational issues as a result of COVID-19 whereby almost everything comes to a standstill.


Efficiency is profit maximization with the lowest of cost and achieving it in the shortest time possible.

In good time and under normal condition, this seems to be a good doctrine to adhere to.

Any manager who can achieve results with the utmost efficiency is deemed to be the star performer.

Japanese coined the term – Just In Time management, This is the benchmark of efficiency at clockwork operation.

What is Resilience?

Resilience seems to be the opposite of efficiency in business world.

According to the definition in Marriam-Webster Dictionary :

Resilience is ability to recover to its original state or shape after some adverse conditions or something bad happen.

So in term of business, COVID-19 pandemic is a good example as almost all businesses are badly affected and whichever able to recover are considered to be very resilient.

Does Efficiency complement Resilience or contradict it?

We notice how COVID-19 had affected businesses over the last two years.

Some efficient companies seemed to do it badly as times go on since every thing seems to be on standstill.

Factories which used to be efficient were the hardest hit as they ran out of raw materials to manufacture.

They are not able to get the new supply in since suppliers also stopped working, so now the once efficient factories now are facing awkward situation.

They do not have enough to raw materials to produce, previously in their effort to cut down holding cost, they did not stock materials beyond what was required for production.

So is efficiency at the expense of resilience?

To be efficient, one of the common measure management take is to be lean and keep cost low.

However, COVID-19 rear up the ugly side of being efficient at the expense of resilience.

We can look at the following examples to have some ideas of how COVID-19 can provide a good case study on efficiency vs resilience.

1. Health care system.

For years, hospitals are trying to be profitable, be it public hospitals or private run hospitals, to do that, they will keep a tight rein on staffs especially on nurses and healthcare staffs.

During COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and all these made the medical staffs stressed and overworked.

2. Logistic and Supply Chain

The current high cost of logistic and supply chain after the slowdown is very obvious.

During the height of the pandemic, some ports tried to be efficient during the good time and now are facing a lot of operational issues, due to the long jam and congestion as factories start ramming up their operation and cargo start to move again.

A lot of ships and tankers mothballed at harbor, at the height of it, you could see a lot in Singapore.


Photo taken by Chee Shi

3. Construction industries

In the good time, construction firms try to be lean as possible and keep minimum workers especially migrant workers. With the pandemic, when people can not travel freely, and workers movement come to standstill, construction firms suddenly find they are in a jam, as their workers especially migrant workers can not report back to work once they have gone back to their home towns for a break.

Efficiency and Resilience as Optimization .

1. Efficiency is short term.

2. Resilience is long term.

Therefore, do you prefer a long term policy or a short term solution?

How do we balance the two in order to achieve the objectives we are looking for?

COVID-19 forced us to innovate and learn new ways to manage our businesses.

The best outcome from the pandemic is seeing most of the businesses decide to take steps to innovate.

Those businesses which are adaptable and creative are finding the challenge to innovate and improve.

The use of Artificial Intelligent is making the businesses more robust and sustainable, hopefully can survive another severe and critical situation like COVID-19

Some businesses emerge stronger and better prepared.

Others take the opportunity to be more efficient and thus becoming more profitable.


A good lesson learned from COVID-19 is to fuse efficiency with resilience, finding the middle path to make the business stronger.

Fareed Zakaria, WaPo, 10/’20:

“The pandemic upended the present. But it’s given us a chance to remake the future.”

If you have any comments and feedback, please feel free to leave your comments in the comments section below.

I will be glad to get back to you.

Do you have any experience which you wish to share about COVID-19 and how you tackle the pandemic in term of business operation,  do share your thought here.


How Important Is An Employee Handbook ?

What is an employee handbook?

Employee Handbook is a document prepared by a company or organization specifically for their employees.

It usually spells out the terms and conditions of the employment in the company or organization.

The hand book serves as the holy book of the company outlining the followings:

1. The mission of the company or organization.

2. Some will also include the vision of the company.

3. Policies, rules and regulations of the company are also included.

4. Terms and conditions of employment.

5. Codes of conducts.

6. Staff benefits.

Why is an employee handbook so important to the company?

for any new employee who just join a company, a good employee handbook will help him to acclimatize to the company faster.

A good Human Resource staff will save a lot of times if they have prepared a good employee handbook.

By giving a copy of the book for the newly hired, the recruit will understand the company better and know the culture of the company.

The newly hired will understand what benefits and what are the terms of the employment. In the nut shell, he knows what he is getting into.

Failure to have a comprehensive employee handbook

most of the time, companies do not see the need to have a handbook prepared.

They only realize how important and useful the handbook is when there is pressing issue on staffs matters, dispute in employee relation.

Some companies soon realize without a comprehensive employee handbook, there is something missing, such as company culture, organized

What are the purposes of the employee handbook?

1. Outlining the company’s vision and mission and value.

A company usually has its own vision and mission, some companies even have their value stated.

A good place to record the vision, mission and value of the company will be in the employee handbook.

By stating these in the handbook, the employees, especially the new recruits will be able to understand and buy in to the culture of the company.

2. Means to communicate to staffs of the company’s policies and procedures.

Instead of issuing the company’s policies and procedures separately and in piecemeal method, by having the policies and procedures included in the handbook, will be a better avenue to keep track of the various policies and procedures the company.

now and then a company may issue a policy or update its policy and the handbook is a better place to keep track of the changes.

3. Guidelines for company to ensure consistent enforcement of policies.

For a company to implement its policies and regulations consistently, it is easier if the handbook is readily available to record and indicate all the policies and regulations, whenever a decision needs to be made, the management can always refer to the handbook.

4. Benchmark for employees performance and appraisal.

In a handbook, company can always outline its staffs performance and appraisal benchmark. In the handbook also, usually one can note the grades of the staffs and what positions they can look forward to in terms of career advancement in the company.

5. Serve as the code of conducts for employees.

Usually the code of conduct is outlined in the handbook, any grievances and discipline issues can be referred to in the handbook.

For any employee who has violated the Codes of Conduct, the handbook is the right place to find out what action can be taken.

6. Avoidance of ambiguity of policies and regulations of the company.

When in doubt, refer to the handbook, that is what the management needs to do, so are the employees of the company.

Points of Pitfalls of Handbook to avoid.

1. Update the handbook regularly.

It is important that a handbook has to be updated regularly and those replaced sections should be deleted and removed from the handbook.

2. Avoid making the handbook becoming a cumbersome document.

A good handbook must be very effective communication tool, therefore it is important that it is not a cumbersome and thick document, usually when it is too thick, one tends to discard reading it.

3. Make policies which are easy to enforce.

Management must make sure the policies made are easily enforceable and not one which is too details and people have problem understand it.

it is better it can be written in plain language instead of having all the legal jargon.

4. Review and amend outdated policies to keep up with times.

with the changes of times and advancement of technology, management must update and review the contents of the handbook, so that the company has an updated version of the handbook.

5. Have separate sub hand book to cover relevant topics.

instead of putting all the topics in one thick handbook, management can try to separate the various topics and have sub handbook for ease of reference.

Management may want to consider having separate documents for the following:

a. Codes of Conducts.

b. Safety procedures.

c. training manual.

d. appraisal and recruitment procedures.

by having a separate document, the employees can refer to the relevant books for whenever they face some issues and the documents can be easily accessible by all staffs.

Finally it is important to make sure the company has a handbook which is in compliance with the government laws and regulations on employments, and managements.

Simple And Easy Ways To Start Small Business

handy usage of mobile appWhen one starts a new business, the most commonly asked question is how to start and how to go about doing it.

In this technology age, a lot of start up are business related to Artificial Intelligence,

the peopled who start this are mostly peopled who have knowledge of computer programming and tech geeks,

most of the times, these people may be able to create a good application, but whether they are able to run and manage the new start up is up to the promoter of the business.

I have come across a few of these peopled who can invent some good applications, program but running the company? that is totally a different story.

Most of the technology start up failed because the owners do not have the necessary knowledge to run the business.

Why do the new tech start up fail?

1. The owner is too engrossed in the program.

2. No proper business plan is prepared.

3. Business owner fail to identify the market for his creation.

1. The owner is too engrossed in the program.

A lot of owners of the technology companies like to spend their time in the programming of their product and they are very passionate about this.

Most of the time they will spend their time fine-tuning their product and trying to make it as perfect as possible,

Because of this, they neglect their main task, the task of getting their business operating.

2. No proper business plan is prepared.

Most of the new start up do not know a proper business plan is important.

A good business plan acts as a guide for any business and can provide the following:

a. It gives the business a direction.

b. With the plan, the business can focus on achieving the target set.

c. it outlines clearly the targets to be achieved.

d. Enable the business to prepare and be more organized.

3. Business owner fail to identify the market for his creation

Business owner sometimes fail to identify the market, they just create the app and then try to market it.

there are tech businessmen who created the app and then only want to find out how to market the app instead of creating something required by any industries.

What Should Technology Companies Do In Creating An APP?

Before any app is programmed, it is advisable that the technology firm take the following steps:

1. Find out what application is badly required by any business

2. Create the app specially tailor to the demand of certain industries.

3. Make sure the app is user-friendly.

4. How the APP can help the business?

5. Whether the APP help to improve efficiency and productivity.

Before a business man wants to market a new APP, he must know how his APP can help the business he is targeting to sell the APP .

How useful and how the APP is able to help any business is another thing always overlooked by the APP developers, they may just create an APP which is so generic and thinking one size fits all will do.

This is just some pointers for new start up to consider.

If you have any comments and feedback, please feel free to leave your comments below.

How To Restructure A Small Medium Enterprise (SME)

Do you want to restructure your small medium enterprise and make it more profitable?

There are a lot of Small Medium Enterprise (SME) in Singapore, and most of them depend on the government to guide them, by providing subsidy and incentive through Enterprise Singapore, or previously commonly known as Spring Singapore, instead of going ahead to restructure the business to face the new challenges.

Instead of embarking on businesses where government is providing subsidy, a business entity should embark on a business after careful analysis and evaluation and determine the feasibility and profitability of the business, if not, we will lose focus on what we set out to do in the first place.

It seems that a lot of SME only take on business where government is providing subsidy and incentive, it gives the impression they are looking at collecting the goodies or really want to do the business?

Before a SME is restructured, the owner of the business must know what he wants for his business for the next few years or decades.

Why do we hardly see SME expand beyond Singapore and become Multi National Corporation or MNC?

There are quite a few reasons for that.

  1. As mentioned above, a lot of them are in business or start the business because government is providing subsidy and incentive.
  2. Lack of succession plan from the pioneer of the business, most of the time, the owner or operator of the SME find it difficult to continue the business as his children are not willing to take over the business and he does not have a professional manager to run the show for him.
  3. Element of change and evolve with time is lacking, with the change of business environment especially with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all sorts of businesses and life, there is a need to have new normal in the way business can operate and survive.
  4. Most SME in Singapore were started in the last century and even though some may have been taken over by the children or the 2nd and 3rd generation, however will it be operated by the 4th generation or 5th? considering now the children seldom follow the parent to the office , even they do go to the office, they will still be busy with their mobile phone instead of observing what the parents are doing.


So how to make a SME change to MNC and expand beyond Singapore and move out from their comfort zone and find more challenging business in the region and beyond?

Can We Help?

If you are one of the SME who is thinking of expanding and taking the next step to become a better business entity and one which employees like and enjoy working in, do contact us and we can work out the plan for you.

What Else Do We Offer?

At the same time you may want to subscribe to our short business solutions in our Lazy People Guide and learn a thing or two, if you are interested, you can click HERE to learn more.