Ladies Running Errands streamlines for expansion with the help of OnDeck
Ladies Running Errands (LRE) is a family-friendly, personal transport and errand company that is embarking on an exciting period of growth with the support of OnDeck.
The Sydney-based franchising business provides individuals and families with the help they need precisely when they need it. From looking after children to daily errands such as picking up medicine from the chemist and 24-hour airport transfers, LRE has become an in-demand service for families since launching in 2011.
One of the very important services LRE provides is picking up parents with newborns from hospitals. LRE provides approved baby and booster seats, which also come in handy for family airport transfers.
Time to restart growth plans
In February this year, Maria Xynias, the CEO and Founder of LRE, decided the time had arrived to return to her pre-COVID plans to expand the business in Queensland. In 2020, the company was supporting ten franchisees in Sydney and Wagga Wagga, and had opened an operation on the Sunshine Coast.
“Before the pandemic, I was starting to expand into Queensland,” Maria said. For LRE, lockdowns and international and state border closures were significant speed bumps, especially as it had been transporting hundreds of families to airports weekly. Income from airport transfers represents about 50% of the firm’s revenues.
Fortunately, the industrious Maria obtained “essential services” status for her business which helped sustain it during the 2021 Sydney lockdowns. Maria continued, “But now I’m going full steam ahead, and we’re pretty much back to normal now.
“All the school runs are back, and we’re getting lots of bookings now for airport transport services for school holidays, so people are getting confident that they want to travel again for school holidays.”
Streamlining finances for growth
With consumer confidence rebooting rapidly and expansion back on the table, Maria recognised the need to streamline her businesses’ finances. At this juncture, a broker introduced the entrepreneurial Maria to OnDeck. To stay afloat during COVID, Maria had obtained a series of small loans from different lenders with different payment terms and rates. However, the string of loans made managing the business’s cash flow challenging.
Maria says, “I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get any help financially, to be quite honest, because of the hit the pandemic caused our income.
“But OnDeck looked at it, and they were great and clearly understood my business. They have made my life so much easier as they also obviously understand small businesses and know what they are doing.”
She continued, “They looked at my stuff, and they said, “Look if we paid this out for you, and then you get one loan, then your payments will be a lot lower. We’re going to help you streamline everything that you’ve got.”
Better still, the whole process took one day to approve. “OnDeck were just lovely, and then the contracts were out quite quickly. They worked through all the loans and found a solution rapidly.”
Maria has no hesitation in recommending OnDeck to other small businesses, as it has helped LRE prepare for its next phase of growth. “As a CEO of a small business, dealing with OnDeck was stress free, they really know what they’re talking about, and they truly have your best interest at heart.”
“The best thing is you want someone such as OnDeck that’s going to listen to what’s going on in your business.”
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