Recently I was a guest on the Commercial Broker Best Practice Series, run by Yasmine Shah. Yasmine is a BDM at Tradeplus24, a company that offers a unique automated credit line that uses outstanding invoices as security. She has a deep-rooted passion for the finance industry and in particular, the finance broker community. As a result, she’s deployed many initiatives to help brokers across Australia, including the Women’s Commercial Finance Forum as well as the Commercial Broker Best Practice Series. It was great to feature on this series and share my experiences, learnings and some tips I’ve picked up over my career. Here are some more valuable insights we discussed.
My advice for budding business finance brokers
I often get asked for advice about how to break into the asset finance space. There are many talented brokers out there, but without the right support, mindset and understanding of the industry, it can be challenging to get a break.
The advice I would give you is to stick to your knitting.
What does this mean?
If you want to push into debtor finance, while also looking after your asset finance customers alongside plans to open a cafe – that’s not sticking to your knitting. Focus on what you are good at and don’t spread yourself too thin. Broking is the business of getting along with people, whether that’s business development, sales or ongoing support. We make a lot of calls and see how we can assist people to grow their business. By spreading yourself across too many verticals, it’s unlikely you’ll develop deep expertise to excel in any one of them.
Since the start of COVID-19, I’ve only focussed on controlling what’s in my circle of influence. It is tough for any business to make any long term plans at the moment. We ramped up calls and marketing and stuck to what we do best – asset finance. This has been my approach since day one of this startup business two years ago. I put on my sales and marketing hat and made a lot of calls, talking to a lot of people and getting deals done, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem at the time. Build meaningful relationships, genuinely have a passion to help people and they may evolve into more significant dealings in the future.
Be consistent. A typical day at Capital Plus Finance
No two days are the same. I measure my sales calls using some of the latest technology – paper clips and shot glasses! The goal for every nine to five is to move fifty paper clips from one glass to the other by completing a call. There’s also been a lot of Zoom meetings recently. Outside of business hours, it’s marketing, content creation and networking. Occasionally I do some client work, such as reviewing P&L’s, balance sheets and doing some credit analysis.
Fortunately, we have a fantastic support team to delegate those tasks, allowing me the space to drive business development, prospecting and marketing. We’ve always got something on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The next email campaign is being worked on, ready to go. It can be tough with just three people in the business, but we get it done!
How I keep healthy: mind, body & spirit
As a finance broker, you have a lot of people relying on you to deliver. One of my favourite Jim Rohn quotes is:
“Be kind to your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”
It’s so important to keep yourself healthy, physically and mentally. The last few months have been particularly challenging for many of us, but it’s how you handle adversity that determines your success. My ‘secret’ is persistence, consistency and balance. It doesn’t matter how slow you’re going, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!
While I’m not winning any gold medals, I get a lot out of regular cycling. It’s an outlet to challenge myself physically and keep a clear mind. I also switch my phone off as much as possible and enjoy taking the company mascot, Chloe the Toy Cavoodle for her daily walk. Reading and meditation also go a long way to achieving mental clarity and direction, a bit of a cliché, but it works. Most of my learning in business has come from experiences, great books and inspiring mentors.
Need further assistance or advice? Get in touch
Whether you’re looking to refinance, take your business to the next level or just seeing what’s out there, an experienced finance broker is your best point of call to discuss your specific situation and the financing options available. The team at Capital Plus Finance will do everything we can to help you secure a suitable finance solution for your small to medium business. Please give us a call anytime to find out more or to have an obligation-free chat about your business’s funding situation.