For Helen Schafer and Gerard Pendergast, being part of Fifo Capital is all about relationships. Having moved just over a year ago to Tauranga and at the same time set up their Fifo Capital franchise, they understand the value of being part of a community, being local and being trusted. And their business is growing because of it.

We asked Helen to tell us about their business.

“For us it’s all about building credibility at this stage. Tauranga is a great town. We’ve invested time in meeting with lots of people and you can tell people are starting to hear about us through their networks. You can’t just walk in a suit and expect people to do business with you here. It’s all about being local.”

“We’re dealing with a mix of different segments and we’ve got a number of active clients now. Most of our clients are short term loans and a couple are using Invoice Factoring. Our clients benefit from the fact that we can be flexible with the solutions we offer so that we can fit them to each company and their needs. We’ll think out of the box – if we can’t do it this way then maybe we can do it another way.”

Helen and Gerard understand the importance of building a strong network locally and enjoy being part of various networking and business groups. The importance they place in their network also translates into the way they do business. Gerard tells us how they look after their referral partners to make sure that they benefit from their personal service.

“We always take the opportunity to keep the accountant in the loop about the situation so everyone is on the same wave length. And I think they appreciate that, because it means they aren’t just referring their clients to us and then never hearing from us again. What they value is that they are consulted and they are part of that working relationship. And we always take the time to thank people for the referral and to stay in contact.”

Starting a new franchise in a new location requires a lot of work. But Helen and Gerard are very happy with the decision they made and the lifestyle that the move has given them. We asked Helen what they will focus on next.

“It’s about getting the message out that if a business has got an opportunity and they know they can make money but they just can’t get their hands on the cash flow: we want to hear about it. We’re in the business of making that opportunity happen.”