My daily life is pretty much outsourced – housekeeper takes care of the house, cooks, cleans, pays the bills, etc. My PA manages the housekeeper. The driving service drives me where I need to go, so I don’t have to worry about maintaining a car. All co-ordinated by the PA.
So, in terms of ‘daily-life’ I just really have to show up for each day.
And yet still no time. With time split between work, Alex and Jenny – little is left just for me.
On work front – things have been rather busy last two weeks. Heavily moving on the accounting system and that is creating a flurry of work, discussion, meetings and post-work research.
The picture on the right shows the ‘structure’ of the accounting system. Actually, quite cool – culmination of close to years worth of work. The board on the right is basically our SOP for EVERYTHING financial. It touches on corporate structure, inter-company transactions, cost of goods, Cash Basis and Accrual Basis accounting (China and rest of the world), import/export fun things, like outbound VATs, inbound VATs, currency exchange limitations of working in China, forecasting out for next 4 years, etc., inventory management system, LIFO/FIFO, AVG, etc. The list goes on.
So, I guess quite an intense time, although I’m not doing the heavy lifting – Dimitri and Duncan and Jimmy are getting things all integrated – all this does push some ‘hidden’ issues to the surface and brings forward many previous years of, hmm, lets say, non-optimal setup.
So, just few days ago, we identified a significant issue that would have caused us some serious issues had we not caught this at this time. As is, I have two months to fix things – and that is plenty of time to address it. So, in this way, the financial system is already paying back, as its saving issues in the future – as it should.
So, I guess, this week, I had to stare into the face of brutal reality, accept the errors of the past and embrace in the fact that moving forward things will be much smoother.
Overall, the moves I have made over last year where correct, and good. Some of the things, like company formations, ownership changes, holding company setups are JUST now finishing up (after some 10 months). So, I’m glad I started them way back when, even though I didn’t have all the details figured out to the level that we do now. The moves where right – so that is great.
Beyond that, been using some metal cycles to digest the various new sites we are launching. In this process we have gone through a whole new company structure in order to manage the new sites. As it turned out, this has proved to be a rather complex exercise. I tried to bring on people to help move things along faster, but no matter how we push, given the resources we have, we can only get so much speed. And to some extent we are also limited by the level of people that we can bring on board. Some skill sets in China are quite hard to find.
So, facing the brutal truth, it becomes quite apparent that we are fighting a battle that perhaps we should not be fighting. What this means, is that given the execution capacities in-house, and labor availability and profile in China, I need to alter the go-forward strategy to fit the reality of the situation.
So, not to be mysterious, but actually, what this means is that over last few days, I have crystalized a number of ideas – and re-imagined the go-forward strategy. This was a culmination of interviews with potential candidates, watching the companies execution capabilities, watching flexibility and agility of the existing team, watching the performance of new sites at given effort level, it was talking with other CEO’s. (actually very little reading at this point).
So, RedStores concept is solid, moving forward, but it will move forward slightly differently that I initially imagined. More details to come shortly, but before I hit the blog with it, I will develop the concept into much more detail and schedule, run it by our team and then go public.
And here is a photo of me, burning the early evening oil in my home office working on something fun like Transfer Pricing Tax Law. And below is of Sparky, the latest cute addition to the family.