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The benefits of having a mentor

When we started our business we were not sure what the future would hold. Our business started with 4 partners, all friends, but having never had to make decisions together it took us a while to learn how to do it. Right from the start we decided to have monthly meetings for operational discussions and quarterly meetings for strategic ones. I believe this constant discussion around the different elements of our business has been the cornerstone to it’s success to date, however, it was also responsible for slowing our growth in the first 3 years. When we started we hadn’t worked out what our respective strengths and weaknesses were as business owners. We would discuss points and go around and around in circles when trying to make decisions or do anything. Management by committee on all decisions is very hard and we recognized that this was hampering our business, so we decided to get help. Help came in the form of an experienced, considered and successful business person who had no experience in equipment finance or broking generally. The lack of industry experience was what we sought as we wanted a fresh set of eyes to help us create our own identity. We recognized we needed someone to help structure our business, teach us to make decisions, and most important of all to believe in ourselves and the direction we wanted to take. That is not to say we don’t continue to make mistakes, we do. The difference is we don’t get caught up in the fear of making a decision and getting it wrong. Having an experienced mentor...

Six Forces Changing the Global Economy

We all know the global economy is changing at a rapid rate, and as business owners we need not only stay abreast of changes, but be open to them.  At a recent event I attended, Westpac Commercial Bank Head David Lindberg spoke of these changes and their implications. Afterward I felt so compelled I went on to do some more research and discovered some interesting stats I share in this article.   SERVICES AND AGRICULTURE The industries driving the Australian economy over the coming 10-20 years will be Services and Agriculture. Services Services contribute about 75% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP*), employing about 85% of the Australian workforce. Services include such things as education and tourism, financial services, energy and mining-related services, environmental services and financial technology (Fintech). The services sector contributes more to total productivity growth in the economy than does the goods sector. How? While productivity grows more slowly in the services sector, as the services sector is so much larger than the goods sector, the services sector contributes more. An efficient services sector is critical to trade and economic growth. *(GDP– the total amount of goods and services we produce as a nation) Agriculture Australian farmers produce food for more than 80 million people per annum and with the emerging Middle Class in Asia, agriculture stands as one of Australia’s major exports. The value of Australia’s agricultural sector is tipped to peak at $63.8 billion this financial year. The total value of Australia’s farm exports is expected to reach a new record of $48.7 billion, $1 billion higher than in 2016. This growth was driven...

Question “Will Fintech’s replace Brokers?”

As brokers we know that we play an important role in the finance market by helping people in business to access funding solutions that help their businesses grow.  We work hard in building relationships and unlike some others we are with our clients for the long term. However we do have a competitor that has been entering the SME Market.  It is “technology” that first appeared in our space around 2011 when the first players ushered in alternative financial services giving rise to the FinTech Industry. In Australia the rise of FinTech’s in a short time has been staggering. This has been driven mainly by technology and changing consumer needs. Being alternatives to traditional methods they are generally disrupters who offer consumers a different way to access products and/or services. What Uber has done to taxis is what Fintechs want to do with Financial Services. I was surprised to learn that the Australian Fintech’s Industry Association has a current membership base that now comprises well over 100 start-ups, venture capital funds, hubs and accelerators.   By sheer coincidence whilst writing this blog our company received an email from yet another new entrant! FinTech’s targeting our core client base typically provide unsecured business finance using web based applications, combined with credit scoring and behavioural history. They are seen by some as being a lot easier to use than traditional financiers. Approval of finance can be in as little as ten minutes! So in answering the question “Will Finance Brokers be replaced by Fintech’s?”  They will in my opinion remain complimentary to our services.  Whilst we have competition, as long as we...

The importance of ‘Perfecting’ PPSR Registration

The attached article is yet another example of how a simple error in lodging a PPSR Registration can lead to substantial losses, in this case for the Lender. In this example the Lender used the clients ‘Australian Business Number’ (ABN) instead of an ‘Australian Company Number’ (ACN) when lodging its interest against the client (Grantor). This was deemed as a defective registration with the court ruling (among other things) – ∙ in respect of a Corporate Grantor, a PPSR registration must include the ACN (not ABN) of the Corporate Grantor; ∙ the defect in Alleasing’s original PPSR registration made the registration ineffective because it did not enable a person searching the PPSR by ACN to find Alleasing’s registration; As a Broker we are in the position of ‘Trusted Professional’ to our clients and ‘Partner’ to our Lender panel and as such have a responsibility to make sure we understand the correct procedures when it comes to lodging registrations with the PPSR in order to protect all parties.   Andrew Crain has been a CAFBA board member for over 2 years, he is a Director of QPF Finance Group in QLD and Allied Finance WA and when not at work can be found at Suncorp Stadium supporting the QLD Reds rugby team however painful that has been of...

The Board Blogs: Women’s Scholarship Program (Part 2)

So we are now well underway, over half way actually, into the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program conducted by the Australian School of Applied Management through Women & Leadership Australia. Over a nine week period at this stage I have participated in two webinars and two face-to-face workshops. This has included varied reading requirements, pre-work tasks and post module evaluations as well as being graded on submissions and discussions with other members of this program. This well facilitated program has encouraged an excellent peer-to-peer group networking opportunity from the outset. Not only have we explored our own workplaces and processes, but how we as individuals delve into our own developmental strengths and weaknesses, leadership qualities and emotional awareness. I can honestly say that this program has already changed my way of thinking and the approach to my work and the workplace, but on a day-to-day personal level as well. The opportunity this has given me to be able to draw on contributions and insights from a fantastic and varied group of women, who with the same values and determinations, is pivotal to the overall learning experience to improve our leadership skills and more importantly, the drive to do so. I have come away from each encounter with a list of actions to put in place, ways to improve the business and face the challenges of today and tomorrow. As my leadership capabilities grow and opportunities to demonstrate them expand, taking on challenging tasks and allowing, if not pushing me, to step outside of my comfort zone and experiment with unfamiliar behaviours and new ways of exercising leadership is an exciting prospect indeed....

Kathryn Bordonaro Asks: Is It Time to End the Point of Sale Exemption?

Blog: Is It Time to End the Point of Sale Exemption? Question:  Where does 12 months last six years? Answer:  In Canberra The recent announcements about an inquiry into Lending to Small Business has had me feeling like it is back to the future, and I don’t want to be alarmist but I think we might have a problem with the time space continuum in Canberra. In 2009 NCCP (National Consumer Credit Protection) legislation was agreed upon for all participants in the credit supply chain.  Suppliers of credit to consumers needed to obtain an Australian Credit License (ACL) from ASIC and comply with a large set of regulations and prescriptive rules about debt servicing and disclosure.  Credit intermediaries were also captured by this legislation - and so mortgage and finance brokers assisting their clients with consumer credit all joined the line at ASIC and got familiar with ACL obligations and regulations. It is important to focus in on the term “intermediary”.   In a go back in time moment, I reach for my trusty dust coated dictionary and it tells me that an intermediary is a “go between”, “someone who acts between persons”. Hmmm – let me just ponder for a moment-   a finance manager in a motor vehicle dealership is surely a “go between”?  They represent a finance brand on offer - and they assist a consumer in applying for finance.   At risk of labouring the point, they go between the lender and the potential borrower - they act as a credit intermediary!  And yet this credit intermediary is exempt from holding an ACL, and exempt from the compliance...