Terence is an opportunistic and motivated individual.
During the last 3 years, he dabbled into multiple businesses and managed to profit from every single one of them.
Terence is a avid reader and learner. He believes everyone should push themselves for self-improvement.
Terence also has his fair share working with big corporation.
Which is also the reason why he started his own company.
Believing that SMEs are the cornerstones of the current economic of Singapore and Start-ups are the the future, he co-founded Payboy, a tool to help SMEs stay lean and start-ups to establish a proper structure.
Leading the business development and focusing of good customer relation, Terence helped Payboy to gain foothold in this competitive market space.
1. Please share a bit about what you do.
I co-founded Payboy with three other friends, Nigel, Ivan and Henry. Payboy is a Human Resource SaaS platform and it assists SMEs and Startups in Singapore to remain lean and compliant.
Our objective is to be an eco-system for all HR-related matters from administrative duties all the way up to policy making.
We aim to disrupt traditional HR processes by making it efficient, user-friendly and affordable for businesses.
2. What’s your first pay check?
My first pay check came when I was a waiter at a catering firm and I was paid hourly.
I still remembered vividly how I accidentally spilled drinks on someone at the VIP table and the look on the bride’s face. At the end of the day, I was only paid $100 for the long hours of work.
That was when I started to understand the true value of money.
3. What were you doing before starting this business?
When I started this business, I was still studying for my degree in Economics and Finance and dabbling into many businesses.
I was selling bouquet of roses with a group of friends, setting up a store to sell dumplings and taking up contract jobs in MNCs. I focused solely on Payboy after I had completed my finals.
4. How did the idea for your business come about?
Nigel and I both worked in MNCs for a brief period.
During that period, we realized that the HR systems implemented were insanely difficult to navigate and use without any prior training.
These HR management systems were not designed for employees.
Ease of use was definitely not one of the key features they thought of when they were designing the software.
Using the same analogy that no one reads a user manual before using their newly procured iPhone or Samsung, my team and I aimed to design the most intuitive and simple payroll software out there.
Thus, emphasizing on discoverability learning.
5. What sacrifices have you had to make to be an entrepreneur?
I started working on Payboy when I was prepping for my finals.
After classes, I would have to balance my time with work and revision.
When my peers are out there enjoying life and being so carefree, I was either running around Singapore or planning the future of Payboy.
This phrase actually says it all, “Entrepreneurs, the only people who work 80 hours week to avoid working 40 hour week.”.
However, with that being said, I would not trade whatever I’ve been through for anything. The experience of meeting numerous interesting personalities and working with this amazing team – I have no regrets.
6. How did you get funded?
At the start, we did not raise money at all. We started our business with 0 start-up capital.
Yes, it’s possible. My team and I are profit-driven and our main goal is sustainability.
Many start-ups now want to seek immediate funding and 1 month down the road; probably already have an exit plan.
This is not the way to start a business, in my opinion.
6 months into the business, we pitched for a $10,000 grant from Sandbox by Ngee Ann Polytechnic and we got it.
Basically, that’s all the funding we had so far.
An advice for all those budding entrepreneurs out there: erase those self-limiting beliefs.
You don’t need to have funding to start something, you don’t need to be extremely talented to come up with something, you don’t need wait for the right time to start something.
Sometimes, all you need to do is the next right step.
7. How do you go about marketing your business?
Like most start-ups, we started by going to industrial parks and knocking on doors, calling business numbers we can find through the local directory.
We managed to get some resellers for our products which was nice. Many of our sales were from existing clients that referred more clients to us.
A few months down the road, we established strategic partnerships with firms that helped us exponentially increase our sales.
In essence, traditional outbound marketing and word of mouth.
8. Could you describe your first sale and how it came about?
My first sale came from a tech firm, but this was after tons of rejections. My referral advised me that my pitch will be thoroughly scrutinized so I better be prepared.
However, I went in, did a product demo and it was very well received. After the pitch, the CEO asked to use it right away.
9. Describe/outline your typical work day?
I would typically start my day with a good breakfast.
A wise woman once told me, breakfast is the most important as it gets your body going. Without food, your body engine won’t start.
I would then look through my to-do-list to see what I needed to do.
On quiet days, I would be at the office doing back-end office work.
But usually, I will be out of the office running around to meet clients or have discussions on strategic collaboration with other firms.
When I have the free time either in-between traveling or waiting for a client, I would always use it on support. I believe customer service is key in this line of business.
10 .What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?
The proudest moment would be that when Payboy finally came out with a MVP.
My team and I had put in so much time and effort to make it happen. Ivan and Henry spent countless numbers of nights to code.
Nigel and I spent so much time to get beta users to willingly help us test and report bugs to us. We could finally provide a viable HR solution to businesses.
11. What was the lowest point for you in this business?
In my opinion the journey with Payboy has been a rollercoaster ride, but I don’t think I have reached a lowest point yet, hopefully never.
It’s also hard to think negatively when Nigel is like a power plant of positive energy.
12. What’s your revenue numbers over the past year?
We started selling our product from April 2016. In 2016, we managed to hit the 6-figure mark.
13. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
My loved ones such as my family and my girlfriend have influenced me the most.
My Dad is an opportunist and it somehow rubbed off on me. My team has also become my pillar of support.
14. If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him?
I would tell him to maintain that six-pack of his and not eat too much junk food. HAHA!
But on a serious note, I will tell him not to be so close minded.
Explore the unknown and not stay in his bubble of comfort.
Travel, take risk, go sky diving, write a book, do anything that comes to your mind.
Don’t be silly and think that whatever you have now will be there 20-30 years down the road.
Understand what’s truly important and don’t be afraid to let go of that grip to possibly attain something even better.
15. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
If you are already late, take your time, you can’t be later than late.
16. What’s your business focus for this year?
We are focusing on enhancing our feature set, building an ecosystem and possible world domination.
17. What’s a productivity tip you swear by?
Never procrastinate. Procrastination is poison.
18. Is there an app or tool you can’t live without?
I use Whatsapp a lot. I use it to text, forward pictures, call, almost anything. It has become my daily necessity in communication.