Patrick Cheo established Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group (AKLTG) with Adam Khoo in 2002. As the Chief Executive Officer, he oversees the management of the Group’s finance, marketing and operational activities.
Patrick is instrumental in initiating and developing the Group’s overseas ventures in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. A fervent believer of growth, he constantly explores new markets and opportunities.
Hi fellow EOers,
Sorry to interrupt this chatgroup as I thought it would be good for me to contribute something here to some members who might need this.
I guess this crisis is going to affect almost everyone in our chapter whether you own a small or a big business.
For those of you who are feeling the stress of cashflow issues, unpaid suppliers, paying the next month bills etc, I want to share that I can relate to how you are feeling because I went through that stage before.
Thus I would like to share some of the things I did which have helped me sleep well at night and made our company stronger after every crisis.
This is the time for you to exhibit the highest level of leadership to your staff.
Explain the situation to them and how it is affecting the business. If you are worrying, the staff can see it all over your face.
When there is a need to make cost cutting measures, tell them upfront so that they can plan their own personal budget. But you have to lead by example with the highest cut and trust me, your accountant will know.
If you have dedicated and loyal staff, they will understand your situation.
I never really send emails to my staff but have had to send 2 emails to them this year to give them a macro picture of the business and how we are being affected.
There is a need to exert to your staff the will to fight.
Many times the battle is already lost in the mind. There is a saying that in crisis, comes opportunities.
But when the mind is not clear, they are unable to look out for the opportunities.
This is really the best time to examine your business model. What part of your business is following the pareto principle of 80:20? Do you want to invert the ratio?
I am also taking this time to restructure one of my business units so that when all this is over, they will be much stronger with more capabilities.
In order to sleep well at night
I started implementing a Google spreadsheet which gave me a line of sight to all the numbers in my business.
The most important tab is a cash flow forecast of the next 25 weeks, week by week with many line items.
Cash balance is also tracked across the multiple bank accounts. My accountant also sends me a detailed listing of all the Account Receivables and Payables which helped me to input my Working Capital Ratio.
Everything is updated every end of Friday so that I can enjoy my weekend in peace.
Back then, I owed suppliers for many months and I called them personally to apologise to them and work out a payment schedule for them.
When I needed money, I mortgaged my house, took out many short term loans which required me to pay 2 to 3% a month. Every month for a year I struggled to pay salaries and the management team were delayed often.
The above 3 points helped me a lot and I thought sharing them might help some of you who are going through the first crisis in your life.
I actually have much more points to share but I thought I better keep it short here in this chat.
I am currently in the second day of my army ICT and trust me, it is not easy to lead my Batallion and knowing that some parts of my business is in trouble. But life goes on.
If you want to know more about the Cashflow planning, feel free to reach out to me. Maybe if my ICT is cancelled by Friday, I can teach those of you who are interested.
May the force be with you!
– Patrick Cheo
@2020 Entrepreneurs’ Organization Singapore