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Self-funding your business will only get you so far

Posted 2 years ago in Xero news by Andrea Silvers
Posted by Andrea Silvers

For some of us an ideal world would be one with no debt. We’d all own our own homes and finance our businesses ourselves. But being ‘anti debt’ can be bad for business.

I started Motorbike Movers four years ago totally off my own back. I’ve always ridden bikes myself and I identified an opportunity for a transportation business geared toward the needs of people like me, really — people who want their motorbike transported by someone who gets bikes.

We specialise in the safe and secure transportation of motorbikes Australia wide. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shipping a chopper from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast or a dirt bike from Hobart to Perth — we’ve got you covered.

We’ve got a pretty compelling offer, but I think what really sets us apart is the care we take, and our attention to detail. Motorcyclists can get pretty attached to their bikes, so instilling confidence is key.

From humble beginnings

Like many small business owners, I relied entirely on self-funding when I set up. Being a service business, and one that operates predominately online, the set up costs weren’t too steep.

But after about a year of steady growth it was time to change a few things. First, I incorporated the business into a company structure. It had gotten to the point where being a sole trader wasn’t appropriate any more.

Then I started looking at the business and whether I could bring some of our services in house. The obvious place to start was my own backyard. With more and more leads coming from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the surrounding areas, it made sense to look at my options.

One look at the numbers confirmed what I’d been thinking. By bringing local pick-ups and deliveries in house, I could reduce contractor costs and increase profitability. The only question was how to finance the expansion in our service offer.

Finance is your friend

It’s easy to be down on debt. Many of us would love to live debt free. It’s probably safe to say it’s one of the motivations some of us got into business in the first place — to set ourselves up for a financially independent future.

But debt isn’t a bad thing. In my case, taking out a QuickBiz Loan through NAB allowed me grow my offer and, in turn, my business. And applying for it couldn’t have been easier.

As a Xero user, I was able to give NAB secure access to my financials. This meant I didn’t have to hassle the accountant for paperwork, fill in lots of forms, or spend hours on the phone. I could spend my time running my business while the bank had a look through the books.

The approval came almost immediately—it was great. And I had the funds within 72 hours. Then it was a case of purchasing a vehicle and trailer that would allow me to handle local pick-ups and deliveries myself.

Assets and advertising

Since taking on a QuickBiz Loan I haven’t looked back. In fact, I’m benefiting in ways I hadn’t anticipated. For a start, the business now has two new assets that will be wholly owned in under two years. Secondly, by decking out our new van in Motorbike Movers livery I’m advertising the business in a way I couldn’t if I was still relying on local contractors.

Keeping ahead of the Joneses

In business, we don’t operate in a vacuum. All of us have competitors who are working hard to do a better job or offer a better service, so it’s important to continually evaluate your business and look for opportunities that can help you grow. Being with Xero made taking my business to the next level easier than I ever thought it would be.

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