PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE NATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS
I work with Crediflex, which is 100% New Zealand owned and operated and has grown to become one of the country’s largest asset and commercial finance providers. We offer clients a choice of lending solutions, without the constraints of a single provider.
I’m a commercial finance broker and provide lending opportunities for businesses in the form of plant equipment, vehicles, working capital and debtor finance across the Bay of Plenty region.
I have a background in insolvency and was previously an accredited insolvency practitioner. This gives me a unique position of being able to spot the red flags for a business in distress. Early intervention is crucial and I’m able to advise on how to avoid going further down that road and finding the happy balance of cash and debt.
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE CURRENT LENDING LANDSCAPE?
It’s pretty good – interest rates are low, lenders are generally hungry for business and wanting to make things work. On some occasions, options can be limited if the guarantor isn’t property backed, which reduces the number of lenders we can go to, so their options shrink. However often we can negate this with a deposit.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES YOUR CLIENTS ARE FACING IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE?
Challenges include working capital for the clients that are growing well, in terms of speed to market and getting access to it. Banks with overdrafts can be cumbersome in what they require to get things across the line, so we’re always looking for other opportunities for working capital and generally my clients are growing fast and need it now, they’re not in a position to wait.
The economy, particularly in the Bay of Plenty where I’m based is buoyant so what I’m seeing with a lot of my clients is good growth.
HAVE YOU SEEN GROWTH IN DEMAND FOR FINANCE, FOR ANY INDUSTRIES?
Construction, transport and horticulture. These industries have heated up more since the original impact of COVID. I’ve got a manufacturing client that said to me it’s been like the Christmas rush however it just hasn’t stopped which is a fantastic problem to have, they’re lucky to be in a position like that.
I’ve got transport clients that are looking at expanding, my earth-moving clients are doing well and again looking at expanding by taking on more employees and more gear. It’s been really good since COVID, which isn’t what was widely predicted.
WHAT VALUABLE LESSONS HAVE YOU OR YOUR CLIENTS LEARNED, AS A RESULT OF COVID-19?
Cash is king! The clients that didn’t panic were the ones that had plenty of money in the bank, so they had good reserves. And the clients that did panic were the opposite and very grateful to see the subsidies coming from the government. The lesson out of COVID was putting something away for a rainy day.
From a personal point of view, having cash reserves to help me through any challenging period and likewise for my clients – we can’t control what the government does in the form of potential lockdowns and everything stopping. All we can do is keep talking to our clients about the potential prospect of another lockdown and making sure they’re ready for it with systems plus processes to continue trading, if they are allowed to.
Some of my clients are using the opportunity now to pay off a lot of debt – making the most of good times by getting stuck into paying off debt, just in case another lockdown comes.
WHAT WOULD A TRANS-TASMAN BUBBLE DO FOR BUSINESS?
Tourism would certainty open up if we were able to get Australians back in the country with certain sectors benefiting – retail, tourism, hospitality. There wouldn’t be a huge impact construction wise however with transport, it would probably mean an increase in demand for products to be moved around the country to cater for tourists, etc.
WHAT PROBLEMS HAS APRICITY FINANCE SOLVED FOR YOUR CLIENTS?
A client in the construction industry had a very large project coming up, which they had been waiting on for some time, where they needed to gear up (purchase materials, add employees) and cover the costs. They needed cash for growth urgently and Apricity Finance was able to provide it quickly.
Access to working capital quickly. Clients particularly like the way its flexible and how you’re not tied into any ongoing fees or termination clauses – it’s quite user friendly.