Designer Financial Services - Our Journey

December 22, 2020

Designer Financial Services - Our Journey

December 22, 2020

About us

We are a specialist finance broking firm passionate about supporting Small-to Medium-Enterprises (SME) business owners with tailored finance solutions to run and grow successful businesses.

Why are we Passionate about Supporting SME Businesses.

In Australia, SME’s represent approximately 57% of the Country’s GDP and employ circa 7-8 million people in the overall workforce.

Yet, when it comes to arranging finance for an SME or start-up, it has never been more difficult to get finance approved. Even more importantly, SME’s don’t know whom to turn to as a trusted advisor when they need advice about their finance requirements.

The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has made things even more precarious and uncertain for SME’s in Australia.  Now more than ever, they need Industry Specialists to advise and guide them with tailored finance options for their unique business and their current circumstances.

SME’s are the backbone of the Australian economy, and it is for this specific reason, we are passionate about supporting them with their plans to grow and employ people.

From Sole Operator to an Award-Winning Team

Just over two years ago, I joined my friend Harry Scott the founder of Designer Financial Services to rebrand and grow a Specialist SME Finance Broking Firm.

The following quote cemented our thinking about how DFS will build the business:

“Small business owners are now loyal to people, not brands, and businesses owners don’t care what colour their debit & credit cards are”

The quote came from an industry expert and friend David Muir, a business banker with several large Institutions. Like us, he felt that banks had allowed their teams to become generalists rather than specialists and then asked them to sell multiple products and services to a portfolio of clients. The company frequently moved them from portfolio to portfolio, so they did not get close to the clients to create that unique trusting relationship.

How on earth does an SME business owner build a trusted working partnership with a revolving door of bankers, or worse have to call the centralised phone number because they are not big enough to qualify for a dedicated banker anymore.

Harry Scott and I had already agreed that DFS would build a Team of Industry Specialists in Asset Finance, Commercial Lending, Invoice Finance and broader services such as Car Buying and this quote cemented the idea that we were on the right track.

It was essential to build a team, to look after any SME irrespective of their size, and we needed to earn the right to look after their business.

In building a team, we looked for three core attributes in people:

  1. Integrity & Client focus
  2. They had a specific specialisation in a lending product or service category.
  3. They want to be in a Team of like-minded specialists and not on their own!

Our team has now grown to Incorporate, five Asset Finance Brokers, three Commercial Brokers, an Invoice Finance Specialist, Three Vehicle Procurement Specialists, a Vehicle Fit-Out Partnership and Marketing Manager.

We have been given tremendous support from direct clients plus the finance and accounting industry through:

  1. Numerous valued clients and trusted referral partnerships.
  2. Team member recognition at the State & National Level with multiple awards within our first two years.
  3. Most importantly received 116 five-star Google reviews from our valued Clients.

To date, as an SME ourselves, we have relied MAINLY on word-of-mouth referrals to grow our own business.

But we are in a position to grow significantly to support more SME Clients and referral Partners with the finance they need to rebuild and grow their businesses and the Australian economy.

David O’Toole
Managing Director

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