Chris Browne is the go to guy in Melbourne as a Wealth Coach, giving Financial Advice to young families and naturally being an all round good bloke. In this interview, Brad Turville uncovers Chris’s journey from ‘working for the man’ to building a successful business, the common problems young families with their finances and some timely Christmas Time Cashflow Tips to get you through the silly season.

In this episode:

  • Standford University
  • Business culture
  • Business coaching
  • Transparency
  • Importance of sales and marketing
  • Why is financial planning important
  • Start with the end in mind

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Brad:                        Chris Browne from Rising Tide, welcome to the Virtual CFO Podcast.

Chris:                       Thanks for having me Brad, great to be along.

Brad:                        Mate, you’re welcome. I’m going to start off, where is your favorite coffee shop in Melbourne?

Chris:                       Is it Kerekere? I think the last time you and I had coffee together down at South Bank it was Kerekere and I reckon they do a mean strong latte.

Brad:                        Well, I’m glad you tried to pronounce it because I’ve got no idea how you actually pronounce the name of that coffee shop. I just know it’s the one that you and I met up at so I’ll leave it at that.

Chris:                       It’s Fijian by the way.

Brad:                        There we go, so mate, I’m looking outside, it’s a beautiful week in Melbourne. It’s the middle of December 2015 and I’ll put up in the show note an image of the seven day forecast for Melbourne. It’s a great time of year leading into Christmas and I thought it would be a good idea to get you on and chat about all things finance and wealth because it’s definitely a space where we’re not educated, it’s not something we learn in school and so we either learn it from family and friends, but we’ll get to that in a little bit. What I’m interested in and I think our listeners will be interested in is more of small business owners.

Melbourne weather 14 Dec 2015

You’ve got a successful firm now, Rising Tide, but before that tell us a little bit about before you started Rising Tide. I believe Stanford and the wealth management game may have been where you were applying.

Chris:                       I was wrapped up in the corporate world where I worked for about five years and my role at MLC which is owned by the NAB was as a business coach. I was coaching financial planners how to run their businesses more efficiently, so talking about things like segmentation, servicing, pricing, marketing. In a nutshell, you had to do a lot wrong at that point in time not to make a buck in financial planning, so there are lot of apathetic clients. We’d have these really robust and strong conversations about how to improve their business but often they did nothing with it, which lead me to the point that I just said, “You know what? I’ll just go and do it myself.”

With a little bit of training in the relevant subjects and then also heading across to Stanford just to do an Executive Leadership course and that was really about learning about teams and culture, I launched a business called Financial Design for Life about 11 or so years ago. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing but I’m certainly glad that I did it.

Brad:                        That little business you started 11 years ago, did that turn into Rising Tide or what happened with that?

Chris:                       Yeah. We sat down with a couple of marketers about five years ago and they loved everything about our business, our service proposition, our target audience and all that sort of stuff. They just thought that our name sucked, so they charged us a lot of money to come up with a different name. It was a name coincidentally that was endorsed by Mark Bouris, so I reckon Mark knew one or two things about marketing. I took his advice and renamed.

Brad:                        Beautiful. Like you said, Mark Bouris has got a few zeros on the end of his bank accounts so I’ll agree with that. If we just come back to Stanford, it’s probably a name now where in the professional services community so financial advisors, accountants, lawyers, that sort of space. It’s now an opportunity where you can get involved with a prestigious American university for executive level training .

I know from myself something came across the table in the last six months which I didn’t jump on but it’s definitely on the back burner and that was more of a innovation, which probably plays a little more to my interest and strengths. I ran sort of that innovation and entrepreneurship. You said yours was more so around teams and culture, is that right?

Chris:                       It was really interesting, I was on the flight over to LA and I was talking to a peer of mine who’s a CEO of a fairly significant organization and we just said, we’ve made this big financial commitment, this big time commitment, what’s going to be the silver bullet? It was high level. It was named Executive Leadership and anyway there were things like innovation. We thought that they might do case studies on innovative small business, medium business or large businesses. We also discussed, will it be technology? Is technology the silver bullet?

We spoke about this over the course of a couple of beers and every case study that we went through at Stanford; it was underpinned by incredible team culture. For seven days we learned about the crème de la crème of business over in the United States and the one thing that each of them did right was culture. I found that really, really intriguing and as a consequence I’ve come back with more learnings and everything that I do, that I learn over there, permeates through the business now but it’s all about valuing staff, motivating staff, retaining good quality staff and getting rid of the plotters.

It was an incredible experience and for your listeners out there who run small businesses, I empathize with you guys. I know that expenses are tight and I know that we have serious time restrictions but if you ever get the opportunity go over to the likes of Stanford or Harvard. I’d strongly recommend you do it because it will take your business to a new level.

Brad:                        It’s so timely that you say that. It’s something I’ve been reading just in the last week. Guys like Tony Hsieh from Zappos which is a big online shoe and clothing retailer in the States which actually got bought out by Amazon. He’s got a book called Delivering Happiness and his number one goal in the business was culture. It was all about the culture and it just attracted so much talent similar to maybe here in Australia like Virgin Airlines where their HR they don’t pay a lot for recruitment because so many people just want to go and work for the brand and the perks and how it makes you feel and all of that.

I guess is that something that you’ve instilled in Rising Tide and it’s helping you grow your team because as you said a team is … Any entrepreneur knows it’s you’re only as good as the people around you and there’s only 24 hours in the day so you need a team pretty quick to start the scale.

Chris:                       Absolutely. The center of our universe is our clients. If we’ve got happy clients, we’ve got a successful business and I quickly cordoned on to the fact that if we’ve got incredible staff, a staff that really thrive under pressure, a staff who always strive to learn more, it means that our clients are going to have an incredible experience, so absolutely. It’s something that we focus on day in, day out and they’re just the little jewels and I know that there’d be a heap of people already doing this, but one thing that we automatically implemented when we got back is just giving our staff an RDO, a paid RDO on their birthday.

A birthday should be something that should be celebrated with your family. The last thing that you want to do on that day is probably come in and work away so we just said, “Look, as a gesture of goodwill, we love you guys. We love having you a part of our team. Our clients love your work so as a pat on the back just go on and have a great day on your birthday.” I know that it sounds really trivial but business like I think it’s Entivo (Envato), this is an IT business that’s one of the top 15 employers in Australia. They’re doing stuff like that.

Get on the web, find out the businesses that have recognized these leaders in this space because often you see some fantastic case studies which literally just give you the cheap notes to what they’re up to and just replicate it. You don’t even need to use your brain.

Brad:                        For sure. Another one that’s been in the media in the last week and actually did a presentation within the last seven to 14 days was a business called Vinomofo. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them. I remember stumbling across them years ago. They were interviewed on a small business speed marketing podcast and they got bought out by Catch of the Day or a group on one of those style …

They’re obviously one of that, which I think is Catch of the Day and they were featured in Smart Company during the week about a culture similar to what you were exactly just saying and about building a team and making work somewhere that you want to go for not just where is my pay packet, 5:00 o’clock I’m out the door, see you, getting them involved.

On that point, do you go to the step of including your team members in the strategy of where the business is going, the vision, even I guess the numbers on, are we going well, are we a bit tight, where do we need to pick up some slack?

Chris:                       Absolutely. I was coached by a block by the name of Terry Bell. Terry Bell founded a business consulting firm called Business Health. Anyway, Terry’s big focus is making sure that you have a plan. It’s just a bit of a no-brainer but he just says, “Browne, make sure you plan for the coming year this year. Don’t get to January when your head’s still down alone on the beach. Do it in November. In November bring your team together and first things first, you need to be completely transparent about where the business is going, so just in terms of pricing, in terms of client servicing, in terms of systems and processes.

Then the final piece and in my view the most important piece is staffing and give them an overview, but then get them to contribute to the vision of the business moving forward.” That’s something that we did I think it was about five or so years ago and every year we have an offside in November, the team comes together and it’s just fantastic because they’ve completely and absolutely bought in to the vision for the business because it’s their vision.

We’ve got some skilled facilitators that have guided that conversation but ultimately our team have made a huge contribution to the process along the lines, so yeah it’s great. There’s no secrets in our business and nor does there need to be.

Brad:                        For sure, I completely agree and I always find it interesting when I come across a business that they’re not open like that. I’m not sure if it’s some sort of old school way of thinking or maybe it’s something that the business owner being scared of I don’t want to let them know too much because something might happen or someone might say something and never have I seen a play out like that in all my years. It’s always the people on the ground will tell you what’s going on. If you want to know why something is wrong up in reception, well ask the receptionist.

They’re there eight hours a day, they’ll tell you exactly what’s working and what’s not working. Don’t try and put some hierarchical structure in place of “This is how it needs to be done.” Obviously for you and me it’s common sense, but again it’s probably an area where a lot of business owners just get busy running the business and you’ve structured yourself so it’s not a 100% creasing. It’s every cold crease as every bit of financial advice.

You’ve structured it so the team can do a lot of the heavy lifting. I think the old way of … Not the old way but let’s call it maybe the default way for a lot of smaller business owners is they have to do everything and that just means certain things need to fall over.

Chris:                       Just before you go on Brad, my view on why some small business owners aren’t transparent is obviously to do with money. I mean people don’t like talking about money and the last thing that most people want is their staff knowing how much money they make. If you think about the Gen Y’s these days, they’re in their 20s and 30s, they’re very, very smart. I mean look they’ve got their flaws but we need to acknowledge that they’re super smart. My view is they know how much you’re earning.

They look at the pricing, they look at the volume of clients coming through the door so they have a rough idea about how much you’re earning so I kind of got my head around that and I just said, “Well, if they already know, why not just put it in black and white and say, this is how the business looks from an economic point of view.” Now the thing that has been really intriguing is that it makes them quite aspirational now because they’re looking at me and they’re just saying, “Well, Chris isn’t the brightest block going around.

He’s doing okay so therefore I’m going to aspire to do a similar sort of thing.” We both know that you can only have financial success if you do the right thing by the client so they subsequently service the pants of the clients and find new clients to help and then everyone wins, so it’s just something that I believe that everyone should be doing.

Brad:                        For sure. I mean just that if listeners could take away just that about how to work in unison with their team in a very egalitarian structure where we’re all here to fight the same course and we’re all here offering a product or service. I’m not the demon on top cracking the whip, so many more fun and productive work places could be made out of that. A question I’ve got for you is businesses turning over less than a million dollars a year inherently have a sales and/or marketing problem, usually both.

They don’t do any marketing and they don’t actually know about sales, so from starting your business to where you are today, that’s also something we don’t learn doing our financial advice, going through university but maybe you picked up on a little bit of that at MLC. Tell us about that. How did you maximize your sales and marketing to get ahead?

Chris:                       There’s two things. The first one everyone knows, you’ve got to spend money to make money and the sooner you reach that million dollar threshold I find with my small business clients, that’s when you actually start making a decent amount of profit, a profit that is proportionate to the amount of effort that you put in so therefor set that as a goal and get there as quickly as possible because I know profit as a percentage of revenue increased demonstrably at that point. The second thing is, my view on spending money on marketing is, I don’t want to burn cash. I’ve done it once.

I’ve invested $10,000 into an e-commerce strategy and I lost $10,000. I had no return on investment and you can hear by the tone of my voice I’m still upset about it. At that point in time we just said that any time that we invest in marketing at a minimum, we want to break even and I think that that has really served us well. We’ll have some really thorough conversations and ask the service provider some really tough questions whether it’d be a radio station, whether it’d be an SEO strategist, whoever it might be.

If he’s underpinned by the fact that we will only invest in something in the marketing sphere that at a minimum we’d break even and then everything else is profit from there afterwards, so yeah they’re my two things.

Brad:                        Okay, so tell me does referrals play a part in the business as well and if so how do you get the team involved and what’s your strategy? Do you have a little secret source around making that work?

Chris:                       Yeah, absolutely. That’s a really interesting one and I think there’s a lot of small business owners out there like you and I who are reluctant to ask existing clients for referrals and we find that this is the cheapest way and the best way to get more clients through the door because the reality is that sort of person hangs out with a similar person and often from a financial planning point of view they’ve got the same sort of issues. They’ve got a young family so they need to put a plan B in place. They’ve got super all over the place which they need to tidy up and they’ve probably got a whoppy mortgage if they invested in a Melbourne property market.

There’s huge opportunity. My view on this is do not script that conversation. When the client comes in, they are immensely satisfied with the service that you’ve delivered. Don’t give them a script to follow, give them a framework and our framework is just simply validating that the client is happy with the service that was provided and then saying something like, “Well, if you’re happy with how we went about it and if you’ve got some friends or family that you believe that I could help, we would absolutely love to help and we’d be grateful if you could provide their details or pass on their details.

Obviously there is no pressure whatsoever if you’re not comfortable doing that.” Just humanizing the process as opposed to turning it into a cold center because everyone knows when someone is talking off script versus being a human being.

Brad:                        I completely agree and like you said, once you’ve got a framework it should flow. It should be very simple and easy and I think where a lot of businesses get hang up, I spoke with a very large accounting firm, a top 20 accounting firm and they didn’t know how to do referrals. You just rolled off the tongue that’s basically exactly the same way that I do it and I advise our clients to do it and I think where a lot of businesses fall down is they do it as a last minute thing. I think it’s a little bit like how they do the social media and blogging as well is, it’s sporadic.

It’s sort of just in blast and the example I give is it’s like going up to someone and the first thing you say is, “Tell me a joke.” It’s sort of, your brain shuts off and you can’t think of anything. It’s like going up to someone and saying, “Can you give me a referral?” Or I don’t know but when they’ve had a good experience and you’ve got that great rapport and they love you, of course what are they going to say? “No, we don’t want to give anyone. You do an amazing job.” It’s simple.

Chris:                       Absolutely. You liken it to when you go to a good restaurant. I mean I’m a massive foodie and I’d tell 10 people and if you’re good at what you do, people are happy to refer to you. If you’re uncertain as to what sort of framework that you need to follow, the only sales catch that I really rate in Australia is a block by the name of David King. I’m sure if you Google David King Sales Catch, something will come up but to David’s credit, David just simply provides the framework and then he encourages the participants to put their own words around it. Just make sure that you humanize the process and it can grow with everyone’s personality type.

Brad:                        For sure. Well, let’s jump in to your skill set, what you actually do and what you intend to do at Rising Tide. We said earlier smaller businesses struggle in terms of marketing and I think that’s a lack of planning but it’s also most people aren’t taught about sales and marketing. As you and I both know, a lot of people are taught about accounting and finance are either in high school or outside and so I guess it’s no wonder that so many families struggle with money or investing or saving because if you’re not trained in it well how are you going to have a skill set there.

Is it fair to say that families that plan their finances and plan where to invest are worse of doing it themselves as opposed to coming and working with your team or similar?

Chris:                       Just look at the stat, traditionally only about one in four, one in five people actually seek out financial planning advice and I’m really pleased to say that it is improving and I understand why a lot of people don’t because all you need to do is read the media or watch your current affair and it’s a bit of a turn off, but the reality is people need to seek advice. They just need to seek advice because at retirement, at the moment and only five percent of Australians retire self-funded. What I mean by self-funded is completely independent of the age pension.

I think that that is a really scary statistic because I can’t tell you precisely what the age pension is. Perhaps you might know Brad, but the age pension effectively puts you on the poverty line in my view. I mean if you want to have an enjoyable retirement you want to be earning more than what the age pension is paid to you. Therefore it’s about starting now. If you’re still on the rise, if you’re just commencing your corporate career or if you’ve got a young family and you’re still in your 30s and 40s, start doing something now and I think the starting point is sitting down with the trusted professional like me or like you or just someone for that matter and just start building a plan.

The one thing that I hate is when people make that first appointment when they’re about two years from retirement. They’ve got a $100,000 sitting in super and they’ve still got a mortgage and I just look at them and I feel completely helpless. I literally don’t have a magic wand to rectify that situation. However if that same person came to see me 30 years earlier or 20 years earlier, we’ve got a chance to make sure that they reach retirement and they flourish.

Brad:                        For sure and so I guess the type of clients that both you and I work with are less generalized than say the 28 to 38 year old bracket. I guess the mindset and you’ll probably relate to this is, well hang on, 65 years of age is so far away. I’m just going to go out and buy this or do this or just not even worry, don’t even think about it or doesn’t even cross their brain.

Chris:                       Yeah, but it’s interesting the really sharp operators I’m finding are actually thinking about this stuff now. That the people who are going to have spectacular retirements are already salary sacrificing. If you want to know what the rest of the world is doing and we’re not talking about the average Australian. We’re talking about the people who are really making inroads in terms of their wealth accumulation; they’re doing a little bit a lot right now. They’re not just investing in property and they’re not just investing in super. They’re doing all types of things, so they’re not putting all of their eggs in one basket.

Brad:                        Right and have you found with small business owners and I find this is as a biggie, it’s having that conversation of anyone that’s read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, will know that the second habit is starting with the end in mind regardless of whether you’re a mom and dad wage earner or you’re a small business owner. I guess more so with small business owners, they don’t have that forced savings of super annulation and maternity leave and all of the above.

A lot of them don’t think of, “What’s my exit plan for the business,” until something happens, which is usually they might get crook, something pops up in life that’s not planned because most things that happen aren’t planned. Well, they just get old and their partner’s tapping on them the shoulder saying, “Hey, I want to go travel Australia or spend time with the grandkids, let’s get rid of this business.” It’s just not structured right or maximized to move on, succeed on for the highest ticket possible. That’s their super annulation, it’s their business and that’s something I see time and time again in the news. I’m just going, “It’s such a biggie.”

Chris:                       I struggle with that one as well Brad and I hear it all the time from small business owners where they just go, “Oh, I’m not going to worry about my super because my super is much more business and in that situation my super is my small business.” I did get that right, but on that note and we see it time and time again, small businesses fail. I reckon these small business owners out there that need to ask themselves that question, “What would happen if my own small business failed and I had no super, I had no plan B?”

It could happen, so therefore keep investing back into your small business, keep growing it but also have your plan B, start salary sacrificing, start contributing to yourself managed super fund and doing things like that because all small business owners, I think they’re the greatest contributors to Australian society. They employ people, they support families and they always put those people ahead of themselves. I think it’s time for small business owners to start thinking about themselves too.

Brad:                        For sure. All right, so if I’m a small business owner out there or I’m a mom or dad or a family, what sort of indicators will I be seeing right now? What sort of measurements will I look at that will say to me, “You know what? I should go and speak to Chris or speak to a financial advisor or a wealth coach?”

Chris:                       Look, I just think if you’re feeling any pain, that’s when you need to sit down with someone because you might actually sit down with a block like me and find that relative to your peers and based upon how you live, whether you’re frugal or whether you’re indulgent, you might actually find that you’re going okay but often unless it’s validated, unless you get it out on the table and talk it through, you actually don’t know and it causes unnecessary stress. As a starting point, if there’s any uncertainty, if there’s any stress in the relationship, if there’s any stress in yourself, just pick up the phone and book an appointment.

Most financial planners these days and even accountants for that matter [00:28:00] will offer an obligation free consultation. I know that we certainly do and it just gives you the opportunity to see whether, one; there’s a need to do something and two; whether or not that person is the right fit for you and for your family. As a starting point I think that you need to start doing that sort of stuff and then just take it from there.

Brad:                        I completely agree. I remember reading a stat a couple of years ago and it was something like I think about 84% of families are under insured and I know a lot of people roll their eyes at insurance and it’s just a case if something happens and you’re the breadwinner, then not only do you have to deal with life and the changes that have happened but you’ve now got to do that at a financial disadvantage, which again it’s almost adding salt to the wound and making it completely unfair.

I remember we had a client years ago and we were setting up this self-managed super fund for and I must have asked about a dozen times about insurance, “Get a review,” and they said, “No, no, no. I won’t roll all my funds over.” Ended up doing it all, just tried to help as much as possible, rolled over all of their super funds which cancels the insurance policy for any listeners that don’t know the process, but basically what that meant was he lost the half million dollar policy because when he went to get a new policy in his SMSF, he’d had cancer before.

I said, “We’re not going to insure you,” and so now he lost half a million dollar fund and he was kicking himself over as you could imagine. I was going, “Mate, I tried. How many times do you have to bring it home?” He said, “Look, I know it was no wrongdoing by you.” Since then [00:30:00] everyone, I’ve just stressed it. A lot of people are saying, “Why are you making such a big deal out of this?”

I tell them that story and at some point you need to … I think now with the media, there are so many wars and bad things happening in the world, you sometimes need to hit … Tell them the truth. Just tell them the truth and sometimes a story like that, it’s almost like hitting them with a sledge hammer to get their attention.

Chris:                       Yeah and Brad, it’s a real risk. I did a presentation on small business owners last week and we were talking about insurance and you could just see on their faces, people just glaze over, but that was … Did a case study and we were talking about a 35 year old male nonsmoker and statistically … This is facts. Statistically if you’re a female there’s a one in four chance of suffering a serious illness before the age of 65, so there’s a 25% chance and if you’re a block, because we’re a little bit simple, the probability goes up.

If you’re a block, there’s a one in three percent chance that you’re going to get diagnosed with cancer or have a heart attack and things like that. You just need to ask yourself, in the event that you’re running a successful small business and you’re cruising and the business is profitable, how would the business go if you’ve just been told that you’ve got cancer and you’ve got six months to live because it’s a real risk and look it’s something that we’re enormously passionate about because we know that people love talking about the sexy stuff.

They love talking about the Melbourne property markets, the Sydney property markets. They love talking about shares, whether they’re growth or value or gap and all that sort of stuff but what they’re reluctant to talk about is the heavy stuff and the heavy stuff is your plan B. What would happen if your income ceased because we both know Brad don’t we, that the bank are still going to be knocking on your door asking for those mortgage repayments and the school that you’re sending your kids too is still going to be knocking on your door to pay the school fees but if your income stopped, how are you going to get by.

Brad:                        Fore sure and definitely listeners out there, that’s something you put on your list is, it might be a bit of drudgery for you if insurance and accounting is not your favorite subject but it just needs to be done and it’s almost a bit selfish if you want to put it that way. A lot of people say, “Well, if I’m not here anymore then I don’t have to worry about it.” I couldn’t think of a worse thing to say so I say to clients every year when you’re pulling your stuff out to do your tax, check your will. Does your will need updating?

Pull out your insurance and the other one is pull out your loan statements or even flick them to your broker and say hey, I had a client email me on the weekend and she was excited because she’s a small business owner. She called up the bank and said, “Hi, can you do anything for me?” Just out of the blue, and they said, “Yeah, well we’ll knock half a percent off your mortgage.”

Chris:                       It’s massive and that’s the thing. That’s why I’m big on partnering mortgage brokers, big on partnering accountants like you and big on partnering financial planners because they actually do the hard yards for you. They’ll make those phone calls on your behalf and if they’re doing the right thing they should be representing you every day of the week.

Therefore they can actually choose the insurance company or the bank that’s the most appropriate for you, that gives you the tightest interest rate or the most affordable insurance premium. Definitely don’t be paying any more than you should be because we all feel the same. No one likes paying for those things.

Brad:                        For sure and especially now that rates are historically low. If you’re not paying peanuts in interest rate, well you’ve either got a terrible credit history or you’re just putting your head in the sand and you must enjoy the pain of paying high interest rates.

Chris:                       Absolutely.

Brad:                        Chris, Christmas time, it’s a little bit crazy where we’re just under about a week and a half out. Everyone will be whipping the credit cards out. There’ll be annual leave. Let’s get your rattle off let’s say three to five I guess tips about … Maybe even go a bit more high level. Where are some of the easy wins when an average client might come in that hasn’t seen their advisor before, that probably might have a home and has never looked at their finances, they’re a creature of circumstance?

Chris:                       Number one, assess what you’ve got, so figure out where are your lines? What interest rates are you paying? How much insurance do you have? How much does it cost you? Just do a bit of a pulse check and make sure that your bank has given you a bit of tightest interest rate and your insurance companies aren’t charging you more than you should be, because I find that if you do that exercise or if you get someone else to do that exercise for you, immediately you’ll actually harness some cash flow that you didn’t previously have, so do that.

In terms of the Christmas period, we all know that we get to the end of January and we find that our credit cards have maxed out or they’ve got more on them than they should be, so I’m a big believer through the course of December, say when you’re buying Christmas presents for everyone, to use a debit card. Forget about your credit card because we’re all prone to generosity and buying more presents than we should, so if we’re going to do that, use your own money as opposed to your bank money. Your own money costs you nothing apart from a little bit of saving, bank money costs you about 20% in interest costs, so passionately hate credits.

If you’re not good at harnessing your spending, perhaps cut them out and start using a debit card instead. Then the final thing is just over the Christmas period and I see it a lot, we’ve got some artistic types in my family which you probably don’t believe Brad but we do because I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but some of these guys through the course of Christmas, they make Christmas presents. They’re high in thought but low in cost so if you’re like a lot of Australians out there at the moment that is doing it really, really tough, think about something like that.

Think about not forking out 50 bucks and buying cards but going down to Lincraft and buying some fabric and putting an artistic piece together or conversely if you’re a bit of a photographer, framing up some photography that you’ve done for 20 bucks. It all adds up and I think you and I would both agree doing a little bit a lot is the way forward.

Brad:                        For sure. I’ll give a little tip out but I had a quick win in the last week. I was organizing some end of year little gifts and presents and cards for our clients and one of my favorite magazines, I hit up the publisher and said, “Hi, I want about a dozen copies of this to send out to some very small business clients. Can I buy them direct off you or do I need to go to the news agent?”

He said to me, “Well mate, we’re just a couple of suburbs away, if you jump in the car and come over, you can just have them and take them.” It was again like we said earlier about your mortgage, about your insurances, just ask and you’ll receive because if you don’t ask you’re never going to receive it so I guess that’s just the lesson in life in general is, of a crack.

Chris:                       I’ll tell you another crack that I get off my cousins every year and now I have a six year old, they give me IOUs. They say, “If you want to have a night on the town or go and sort of sample some new restaurants and wines with Brad, we’ll come and look after the kids for a night.” I can tell you that that would be so much more valuable to me as opposed to a pair of socks from K-Mart.

Brad:                        For sure.

Chris:                       Think outside the square and I think the best people to talk to is just everyone around you because there’ll be some real [inaudible 00:38:11].

Brad:                        Definitely, so how can people find out about you, about Rising Tide? How can they interact to that extent?

Chris:                       If you want to learn more about us, starting point is check out our website which is and then conversely if you just want to touch base, you’re more than welcome. I’m highly accessible. You can reach me on 1300 880 325, just ask to have a chat with Browne and I’ll give you a tingle and we can have a chat and potentially have a chat face-to-face. As I said, just get out there, get advice, start now, do a little bit a lot and I’ll tell you what, you’ll be grateful down the track.

Brad:                        For sure, great advice Chris. Lots of gold to take from this. I’ll put all of Chris’s details in the show and that’s everything you’ve just raddle of, then so head over to to check them out. Browne, thanks for giving us sometime today.

Chris:                       Thanks for having me guys and all the very best to all you small business owners out there and you’re doing a great job and we’re pushing the economy forward, so well done.

Brad:                        Thanks mate.

Chris:     Good on you.

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Brad Turville

Brad Turville

Director @ BJT Financial | Helping private businesses fast track their business growth through big firm expertise and boutique firm service.

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