Taking a lifetime view of business for client retention

Promoted by Shift4 minute read

While the economy twists and turns, there are opportunities for commercial brokers to deepen client relationships and grow their businesses, according to Shift.

As we near the halfway mark of 2024, businesses are balancing costs and economic pressure.

84% of SMEs are looking to either maintain or increase capital investment (source: Fifth Quadrant Small & Medium Enterprise Sentiment Tracker, April 2024), showing that Australian businesses are not sitting still.

The same research showed that assets and equipment are high on the purchasing agenda, ranging from IT and office equipment to vehicles and other machinery.

This aligns with recent findings from Shift that uncover the opportunities this presents for brokers, according to Kristian McCausland, the company’s Sales Director.

“Our network has told us loud and clear that asset and equipment finance are on their customers’ radar heading into the back half of the year, even in an uncertain economic climate,” said Kristian.

“Rather than focus on the immediate asset need, if businesses work with their brokers on the long game, it can make a huge difference to their clients' future financial management.”

Over the horizon

Taking a lifetime view of a business, rather than focusing solely on the asset purchase, can be invaluable when future finance needs arise.

“For instance, when we review a customer, we focus on the overall strength of the business to see how we can support them when the next purchasing need arises and not just with the immediate request,” said Kristian.

Providing a limit for the business, not a loan for a particular asset, also gives businesses more flexibility when it comes to the type of assets they can purchase.

Ryan Young, Chief Executive Officer of COG Broking and Aggregation, said this approach is music to his ears.

“Most of us at COG came from a world where the primary focus was on the quality of the borrower rather than the asset,” said Ryan.

“This approach has been lost a little in the last few years, so we’re agitating for solutions that suit good businesses buying ordinary assets.

“The unique way Shift assesses, provides our members with a great option. Limits are a game changer.”

Ryan also offered the view that brokers shouldn’t pigeon-hole themselves in the current climate.

“Right now, it helps to serve a diverse range of sectors and needs,” said Ryan.

“While it’s not easy to stay on top of all the products out there, being able to match the right products to the right business is essential.”

Digital value chain

The business first way that Shift approaches its Asset Finance and Equipment Line products are examples of solutions that can meet immediate finance needs while taking a long-term view of their customers.

Both are underpinned by streaming bank transaction data which gives Shift and brokers a clear view of the business’ health.

Brokers use Shift Connect – Shift’s broker platform – to understand their customer’s financial situation and apply in minutes.

Recent developments to the Asset Finance product in Shift Connect mean brokers can view contracts and initiate settlements when it suits them, giving brokers control of the process from start to finish.

“Enabling self-service across the whole product suite is core to how we do things at Shift,” said Kristian.

"This is to help brokers retain clients through value-added services, which is something they’ve told us is a huge opportunity this year.”

Asset Finance and Equipment Line – choosing the right product for your customers

Asset Finance

Equipment Line

Business need

  • Larger, less frequent asset purchases
  • Ongoing equipment purchases

Product features

  • Clear repayment structure
  • Limit available for future purchases
  • Revolving
  • No restriction on age, no caps on soft costs

Asset type

  • Primary and secondary
  • Suitable for concrete pump trucks, directional drilling equipment, crane trucks and more
  • Primary, secondary and tertiary
  • Any business equipment, except stock. Suitable for frequent transacting across a range of equipment regardless of size, including fitouts, IT, on-the-road vehicles and more
Shift’s range of credit and payment products enable businesses to take control of their cashflow, purchase assets,...

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