Your Money: Kane Lui Ka-yan
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.