When hearing from business owners about their stories, we find most have incredibly interesting backgrounds — and Jerome Tam is no exception: he studied aviation in the University of Leeds, almost made the cut as a pilot for Cathay Pacific airlines before cutting his teeth in sales roles for insurance companies. He created his first website at the age of 12 for his childhood passion, Gundam – a science fiction franchise about giant robots, not knowing he would one day run his own creative web and branding agency.
Creating a business that fills a market gap
But how did the idea for Rush Hour Media start? When a friend was looking to move from the UK to Hong Kong, Jerome helped him search for local web development roles – which inadvertently turned into market research. He shares: “I found that there was a lack of good web agencies in Hong Kong that delivered responsive websites at a reasonable price point.”
Based on this insight, Rush Hour Media was born: a branding and web agency that appreciates the importance of branding, approaching a brand’s website or web app from a sales and marketing perspective. Jerome explains, “What sets Rush Hour Media apart from other agencies is the time we invest in understanding our clients, their unique selling proposition, audience and identity. We then communicate this, in a clear and effective manner, through a digital channel (such as web and app).”
The challenges of running a business
In the early days of the business – when the team was lean and overhead costs were low – cash flow wasn’t yet a major concern. A few years on, with a team of 12, servers to maintain and software that support the running of the business, cash flow became a pressing concern. Life before Xero was chaotic: “We ran on different spreadsheets – some up-to-date, others very outdated. All our invoices were manually created from templates. Mistakes on invoices were common, and it was difficult to fully track how business was doing overall.”
Xero and HSBC: Technology tools that make life easier
Now, using Xero has increased transparency for Jerome into how business is doing financially, and the team has not missed an invoice, or delayed issuing invoices to clients since. He even shares that the time spent on administrative tasks has been cut by at least 70%, now that financial reports and statements can be created with a click of a button.
With his HSBC business bank account connected in Xero, Jerome has a more up-to-date view on when money comes in and out of his business. And this visibility benefits his business partners too: “They can see when money has or hasn’t come in, without the need of giving them access to the bank account directly. So that is really useful.”
Eyes on the horizon
Jerome and his team are gearing up for even more exciting projects in Hong Kong, and are starting to plan for expansion into other countries in Asia. Xero and HSBC will continue to be an integral part of his business operations, and he foresees including more add-on apps that connect with Xero as his business grows.
Parting advice for new business owners
For Jerome, being a business owner not only means passion and dedication, but also a responsibility to his team. But his main piece of advice to new business owners? “Cash flow is king,” Jerome says. “That’s one tip I wish I got before starting my own business.”
Xero’s online accounting platform links directly with HSBC business bank accounts so that Hong Kong small businesses can get their bank account transactions sent automatically to Xero every day. This helps business owners reconcile their bank transactions in Xero easily, providing an up-to-date view of money going in and out of their business each day. Find out more at xero.com/hk/hsbc.
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