American Express interviewed four of Australia’s brightest and most successful small business entrepreneurs to determine what motivates them, how they got where they are today, and why Charge is intrinsic to their business.
Shivaun Bromley – franchise owner, Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar Mosman and Neutral Bay stores, grew up as part of a small family business, started by her parents, and saw firsthand the flexibility and freedom it could bring. At 23 she had her own independent pizzeria before joining forces with Crust Gourmet Pizza in 2008. She has now opened a second store in Mosman.
Seizing the opportunity
Shivaun knew running her own business was a dream that would materialise, but it helped being in the right place at the right time.
“The Crust Group was going through a period of massive expansion; there was a family association with my business partner already. We fitted their criteria and vice versa, both for expansion of the business and brand fit.”
Owning and running her own business has brought a great deal of personal satisfaction to Shivaun.
“It’s all about the people. We’ve employed over a 100 people at some stage so far, and it’s impressive knowing we’ve had a role in their lives.”
A change of approach
Shivaun has been a personal American Express Platinum Card member for the past 10 years and, after discussing it with her business partner, decided to get the Platinum Business Card (a Charge Card) for her business last year.
It marked a big change in how Shivaun conducted business, especially in how she ran the everyday financial accounts.
“Our primary method of payment before Charge was direct transfers from our account. Everything we do is essentially invoiced so we’d have a certain number of days to pay. I often used cheques. Yes, I carried a chequebook! There can be no more ineffective way of paying.”
It wasn’t just the time and effort that was proving detrimental to efficacy, but also the lack of funds available.
“Obviously we used electronic transfers at times, but the account we were using was a standard everyday transacting account,” say Shivaun. “Essentially we had no credit facility until we got the Charge Card. ”
The new store in Mosman has been up and running for three months and the main focus for Shivaun this year will be making this as much of a success as Neutral Bay. From there, in her words, “it’s onwards and upwards”.
Click here to watch more interviews with other successful business owners.
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