Like many SMEs, 2020 has been an action-packed year for Marie Taylor, Executive Director of business consulting firm Netfusion.
Apart from navigating the choppy commercial waters shaped by COVID-19, Marie and husband Chris also launched a successful yacht relocation business, sailor.com.au in January 2020.
Moreover, Marie is pleased to report that with the help of OnDeck, it’s been mostly smooth sailing for her Melbourne-based advice firm.
Impact of COVID
With a client base in Australia and overseas covering professional sport, government, manufacturing, technology, services and startups, Marie who usually operates on a retainer basis, was forced to renegotiate fee terms as COVID lockdowns struck. “I was fortunate my clients wanted to keep me engaged, although on reduced terms.
“As I’m a qualified Chief Financial Officer by trade, Netfusion might also work with businesses who are in distress, are reengineering their business model to make more money or need an interim CFO to fill a staffing gap.”
However, finance and accounting expertise are only a segment of the services Netfusion offers to its client base. “If a business also needs sales and marketing advice or technology support, we have the right experts in these fields for our clients to tap into.”
Funding a cash flow gap
Apart from charting a course through COVID, Marie had the launch of sailor.com.au to mastermind. The brainchild of yachting enthusiast Chris, a Sydney/Hobart veteran, the relocation business unexpectedly took off as the pandemic created waves globally.
Simply put, wealthy owners with yachts moored overseas decided to bring the vessels back to Australia. “And they needed sailor.com.au to assist with the journey,” explains Marie.
While the demand for sailor.com.au was fantastic, the startup’s success took Marie’s focus away from the consulting business for a period. “This meant we had a gap in our cash flow,” she said. “We are, therefore using OnDeck funding for working capital to meet this gap.”
Marie elaborated, “Working capital loans are the most important type of loans small businesses need.
“Working capital finance is usually used to fill a time gap in cash flow. This funding should be used to get your business over a hurdle without the need to carry any long-term debt. Long-term debt for small business is disastrous.
“But the larger institutions won’t entertain the idea unless you put up your house and all that sort of nonsense.”
Refreshing to work with OnDeck
“Fast, friendly, efficient and professional” sums up OnDeck, according to Marie, who received an introduction to the leading SME lender from MYOB. “It’s refreshing to work with a customer-focused organisation.
“The two times I have dealt with OnDeck, I have never experienced such an effortless process. What impressed me the most was that after the initial conversation and application, OnDeck rang me later that day to follow me up with some questions about my business.
“They were interested in movements in my cash flow and balance sheet. I found this refreshing, and when I gave them the answers to the questions, they got it immediately. They understood what I was talking about, and they recognised that as a consultancy business, my cash flow comes in lumps and bumps. I found this such a positive experience.”
Marie summed up, ‘’I’d recommend OnDeck to anyone. They have been great both times I applied for a loan this year, and the experience was so refreshing.”
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