Your Money: Kane Lui Ka-yan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2006, 12:00am

Age: 26

Occupation: Founder of City Greeny, a garden design company

YP: What inspired you to set up a garden design business?

Lui: I saw some government workers hanging flowerpots along the highway two years ago, and that inspired me to set up City Greeny in 2005.

I help schools carry out gardening projects and conduct student workshops. I work with a social worker. While I focus on gardening skills, the social worker provides students with life education through the gardening experience.

YP: How do you manage your finances?

L: There was pressure in the beginning due to insufficient clients and I had to spend a fixed amount each month on office rent and staff salaries.

Now I divide the cost into two categories: fixed cost and savable cost.

I make sure I make enough through new ventures every month to cover the fixed cost. That's my primary goal.

Then I save 10 per cent of the monthly turnover as a reserve fund.

I've also set the target of coming up with new business ideas every three months.

YP: How many staff do you have?

L: I have three staff who were unemployed middle-aged people or welfare recipients.

They are very capable workers and there's no reason why they should be unemployed.

Gardening is not difficult to master and I hope this work experience can boost their confidence and help them get involved in society again.

YP: What is your philosophy about running a business?

L: I give people the best. Sometimes I go over my budget to ensure the best outcome.

Plants offer more than beauty. If they are well-managed, you can see their growth and changes in different seasons throughout the year.

Some experienced businessmen may think I'm naive, but I am happy, and I'm making a living. My company is only two years old and I don't expect it to suddenly become a big business. I'm happy to see it grow steadily, like a plant.