Customer success story: DNA 1st Solution

DNA 1st Solution owner Anita Vaafusuaga didn’t want cash flow issues to cause her to miss a fantastic opportunity to grow. So, she used a Prospa Small Business Loan to overcome the problems caused by late-paying customers and buy space to nurture a program that helps South Auckland youth.

Hear more about DNA 1st Solution’s story:

Anita and DNA 1st Solution’s second calling

After spending 25 years of her life working for a manufacturing company – 13 on the factory floor and 12 as a warehouse supervisor – Anita leapt on an opportunity that presented itself.

In February 2012, by chance, she overheard her bosses saying they needed a product packing contractor. The idea sparked Anita into action, and she soon launched DNA 1st Solution, a packing and labelling business that prepares cosmetics and other products for shipping and sale.

Shipping and staffing

While packing is Anita’s main business, she uses her company to benefit the local community too. As part of their Kingfisher Program community outreach initiative, Anita employs young New Zealanders with little-to-no experience.

It’s a program that’s designed to give young people a start in life, and was something Anita launched in memory of her late husband, who loved to help his close friends and family. Twelve days after his death, a kingfisher bird came to her home, which is where the program’s name comes from.

“The most rewarding thing is the stories of the young people I hire, whether they’ve moved on to other things or they’re still with me,” says Niue-born Anita.

“We train them in the warehouse. From there, we see if they go into the packing part of the business. If not, we send them out skilled to work for other companies.”

Stop-and-go cash flow

Of course, for the Kingfisher Program to be successful, the business must be too.

Anita’s biggest hurdle is one familiar to many other small business owners: cash flow.

In 2016, Anita missed out on an opportunity to grow the business because she couldn’t access the necessary funds in time.

And like many other small business owners, Anita didn’t have a great deal of luck with traditional lenders.

“I tried a few times,” she says. “It takes too long. It’s too stressful. The questions they ask, the forms they want me to fill in.”

Then when an opportunity to grow the business by moving into a new warehousing facility presented itself in May 2019, Anita knew she couldn’t miss out.

She had a window of a week to complete the deal, so she called Prospa to take out a small business loan – and within seven days the company was in new premises.

“When the opportunity came about, we had to decide quickly, what do we do from here,” she says.

Fortunately, she had learned about Prospa’s 24-hour approval on Facebook.

“What I liked about Prospa when I applied for the loan was the speed,” Anita says. “Questions, done. On the spot decision. Finished.”

She also appreciates Prospa’s convenient small business loan repayment plan.

“My repayments are weekly and it’s for a year. I love that. I’m not going to be bound by that for 10 years or something.”

Cash flow is still an issue, but now it’s one that doesn’t impact the business.

“Right now, I’m waiting on $60,000 to be paid,” Anita says. “But because I’ve got the loan from Prospa as a buffer, I’m not worried.”

What’s next for DNA 1st Solution?

With the Prospa Small Business Loan, Anita has tripled DNA 1st Solution’s warehouse space, setting themselves up to expand their packing capability and the Kingfisher Program.

Anita plans to expand the Kingfisher Program to provide avenues for young Aucklanders to learn more about themselves and their interests.

She also has big plans for the business, including bringing the company’s services to Pacific Islands.

“I can’t wait to do what we have planned. I can’t wait to put it into action,” she says.

A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped DNA 1st Solution:

  • Triple available warehouse space.
  • Grow the Kingfisher Program and help more inexperienced Auckland youth.
  • Smooth out cash flow issues.

If you’re like Anita and want to seize an opportunity but don’t have the cash flow to do so, talk to Prospa about how a small business loan could help on 0800 005 797 or apply online.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Customer success story: Gorgeous You

Gorgeous You skin wound and scar management clinic owner and operator Francis Swart had been running her small business out of her home since 2013. But she was starting to experience growing pains. Thanks to a Prospa Small Business Loan, Francis was able to realise her dream of owning her own salon.

Francis’s Gorgeous You salon in Burswood, Auckland, offers a wide range of skin and beauty treatments, including facials and massages. But much of her passion lies in wound and scar management, and helping people of all ages feel comfortable in their own skin.

“You might not be able to ever get rid of a scar or wound completely, but we can manage it in such a way that, when you apply make-up over it, you won’t even see it,” she says. “Or if it’s a body scar, we can manage it to a point where you can look at it and not feel like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to look at that part of my body.'”

Experiencing growing pains

For a few years, Francis operated Gorgeous You out of her own home. That worked for a while, but it soon became time to expand.

“I used to work from home, and we got to a stage where my family really needed their home back,” she says.

“The only way to do that was to move the business out of the house and into premises where I can actually grow my business.”

Having her own premises was also a long-held dream for Francis.

“I’ve always had a home-based salon – while raising children it was just easier. And I would say to my husband, ‘When I’m big, I’m going to own my own salon.'”

The scars of bank rejection

But finding funding from traditional lenders to realise that dream was tough, partly because Francis and her husband didn’t own property.

“They would ask, ‘Are you a property owner?’ When we said, ‘No,’ they would say, ‘Sorry, we can’t help you.'”

One day, Francis and her husband stumbled across Prospa on social media. After enquiring about a Prospa Small Business Loan, the couple heard back within 24 hours.

Francis appreciated that Prospa was easy to deal with, quick, and willing to work with her on a suitable repayment plan.

“Prospa gave us the option to make a weekly repayment,” Francis says. “As a small business owner, I can manage a smaller weekly repayment much better than a huge monthly repayment.”

Dreams do come true

Thanks to a small business loan, Francis has been able to achieve her dream of opening her own salon in Auckland, and fitting out the space.

“The premises were quite old and dilapidated,” she says. “I needed to freshen them up and make it a beautiful space where people wanted to come, where it’s nice, cosy and inviting. That’s what Prospa helped me do.”

Hear more about Gorgeous You’s story:

What’s next for Gorgeous You?

Now that she’s in her own space, Francis is determined to keep her small business moving forward.

“I’ve met with a business coach, and we are busy sorting out goals and how I’m going to grow my business in the next 12 months,” she says.

While Francis hopes to handle the marketing for Gorgeous You, she would like to employ another therapist to help with treatments.

“I just feel so blessed,” she says. “I said to my husband, ‘After all these years, I got to where I’m supposed to be.'”

It seems that with a bit of backing and hard work, dreams can come true.

A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped Gorgeous You:

  • Purchase a new salon.
  • Renovate her new premises.
  • Hire a business coach.

If you have a small business dream that you’d like to turn into reality, talk to Prospa about how a small business loan could help on 0800 005 797 or apply online.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Customer success story: Baker & Son Catering

Alex Grant and his mother Iris Posa, co-owners of Baker & Son Catering – and the power behind motorbike cafe Grind On – developed a devoted following that presented an exciting opportunity for growth. But with that opportunity comes additional cost, and the team needed extra capital to keep up with the rapid pace of success.

After navigating tangled red tape from traditional lenders, Alex and Iris found a Prospa Small Business Loan to deliver what they needed to keep them firing on all cylinders.

Revved up for success

Alex is a coffee maestro and a veteran of the Auckland cafe scene. His mum, Iris, is a kitchen wizard, whipping up dishes that have become local favourites around Takapuna, a coastal suburb on Auckland’s North Shore.

“My mum is known on the street for her cooking, and I’m known for my coffee,” Alex says. “It’s old-school cooking done well.”

Alex already owned the Grind On café, and in 2016, the pair decided to combine their powers and start their own catering company, too. Baker & Son was born.

The company supplies Alex’s Grind On cafe with amazing food, but they also serve up treats for government groups, schools and other organisations. The cafe is run out of The Garage, a motorbike shop that attracts riders and fans from around the area.

A rapid rise

With Grind On as a sturdy foundation, it didn’t take Alex and Iris long to get up to speed running their catering business. The two are well-known within the community.

So it might come as little surprise that, within its first three years, Baker & Son Catering experienced substantial growth.

But with growth and opportunity come costs that can sneak up on a small business owner. To keep up with demand, Alex and Iris needed to make key upgrades to their infrastructure that would allow them to keep doing what they do best.

“My mother wanted to invest in more equipment for the commercial kitchen,” Alex says.

They looked for crucial funding in the form of a small business loan that could help them improve the business. But finding help proved more difficult than expected.

Shifting into gear

Baker & Son had succeeded in building a loyal base of customers. But finding a small business loan that would help them grow was not. At least not at first.

“We were having a few issues finding a bank that would look after us,” Alex says. “When we were initially looking at finance we approached a number of personal banks. We just found the red tape was incredibly difficult, and we were unable to get the finance that we required.”

Alex and Iris were forced to carve out valuable time to deal with the monotonous, frustrating task of securing financial assistance.

One day, Iris heard an ad on the radio for Prospa. It sounded exactly like what they needed.

Filling up the tank with a small business loan

After hearing the ad, Iris was able to get in touch with a member of the Prospa team the same day.

“She sent an email through and literally within three hours somebody from Prospa had phoned back,” Alex says.

Things only took off from there, as the team at Prospa helped Alex and Iris determine which funding options suited Baker & Son. They settled on a small business loan that would help nurture the catering company as it continued to progress.

“We found the whole process was very straightforward and the staff were amazing to deal with,” Alex says.

Hear more about Baker & Son’s story:

What’s next for Baker & Son?

A Prospa Small Business Loan has turned out to be a vital cog in the Baker & Son catering machine, allowing Alex and Iris to supercharge their business quickly and efficiently.

“We found dealing with Prospa, the whole process was incredibly easy,” Alex says. “I have recommended Prospa to other colleagues of mine that have small businesses to let them know there is someone that makes things easy.”

Whether it’s growing your business, funding an opportunity or just covering cash flow, find out how Prospa can help with your next step. Talk to one of our business lending specialists on 0800 005 797 to discuss your options, or find out more.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Customer success story: Bodyworkz

When a sudden increase in enquiries led to rapid growth, Susy Egneus of Bodyworkz sought out a Prospa Small Business Loan to hire more staff and service the growing needs of customers across New Zealand.

Helping create stress-free workplaces

Wellness in the workplace has become a key focus of businesses across the world. For most, the focus has been on increasing the wellness of their employees in order to keep them physically and mentally fit and healthy – and therefore more productive.

Bodyworkz, however, was formed in 2010 to offer workplaces a simple and easy way of improving their employees’ wellbeing – through on-site chair massage.

Initially offering the service to corporates in Auckland, Susy Egneus’s two-person business soon took off. Word of mouth referrals kept coming in, and the business grew into a network of fully trained massage therapists all over New Zealand.

Managing unexpected growth

In 2018, Bodyworkz saw interest in its services spike like never before, and the business needed to grow.

“Last year, we had a growth spurt in the business, and we had to change a lot of the things that we did, and we needed some help with cash flow,” Susy says. “We went to a lot of traditional lenders, but no one was particularly interested in giving us finance.”

Despite a solid business history and a long-term growth strategy backed up by the large number of enquiries, Susy wasn’t sure who to turn to in order to get the financial backing she needed. That was until she was referred to Prospa.

“One lender actually suggested that we contact Prospa.”

The application process: Quick and easy

After back and forth with traditional lenders who weren’t able to help, Susy was amazed at how simple and rewarding it was to deal with an alternative lender like Prospa.

“I was surprised how easy it was; how quick it was,” she says. “I didn’t have to wait. They were able to check me out and my funding was approved within hours.”

Because of the speed with which Susy received her small business loan, Bodyworkz was able to get started on hiring more massage therapists and reach out into the wider community.

“The finance that Prospa provided helped us take on more staff so we could manage the growth, take on more therapists and spread our brand a bit wider around New Zealand.”

Today, Bodyworkz has onsite massage teams in Auckland, Hamilton, Taurange, Wellington and Christchurch, while they have also done work in Dunedin, Timaru and Palmerston North.

Hear more about the Bodyworkz story:

Bodyworkz’s advice for other small business owners

When asked whether she would recommend other business owners turn to Prospa when they need quick funding to take advantage of unexpected growth, Susy answered with a resounding yes.

“They adapted to my business and listened to my business – what our needs were. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Prospa to any business owner out there that needs help with business growth.”

A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped Bodyworkz:

  • Grow its large roster of experienced massage therapists.
  • Manage cash flow during a period of rapid growth.
  • Spread its brand across the wider corporate network in New Zealand.

Whether it’s growing your business, funding an opportunity or covering cash flow, find out how a Prospa Small Business Loan can help with your next move.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisers. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Customer success story: The Rib House

The Rib House owner Kurt Jacks quickly learned that operating a family-run restaurant costs more money and time than he expected. After having trouble securing assistance through traditional lenders, Kurt found a Prospa Small Business Loan to dish up the vital support he and his family needed to grow the business.

Southern style ribs in Auckland

Kurt Jacks wanted to bring authentic Southern style ribs to the people of New Zealand. So, he and his family opened The Rib House, a family-friendly eatery in the southeast Auckland suburb of Pakuranga.

And while Kurt might be the owner of The Rib House, he says his wife Althea is the boss. They work alongside their two sons and daughter to cook up barbecue food for customers six days a week.

The challenges of running a restaurant

No matter how carefully crafted the budget, finding the resources to fund the equipment, ingredients, and other overheads and improvements associated with opening a new restaurant can be tough.

“We found that when you start a small business, it sucks a lot of money, more than we anticipated,” he says. “So, we needed a bit of help.”

In addition to a lack of capital, another thing the Jacks family didn’t have was time to waste. Restauranteurs put in plenty of hard yards outside of opening hours, cleaning and prepping for the next day’s rush. That leaves precious few hours for administration.

“Time is the most challenging thing,” he says about running a new restaurant. “We seem to run out of time.”

Kurt needed a small business loan, but the challenges involved with applying for a loan with traditional lenders meant his menu of options was dwindling.

But that all changed when Kurt saw an online ad for Prospa.

Easing the stress with a small business loan

Kurt decided to give Prospa a try. He quickly found it was the missing ingredient in his recipe for success.

“We went online and put our application through, and we got a call the same day,” Kurt says. “Tristan was his name, and he was awesome.”

Tristan, a Prospa Senior Loan Consultant, explained the options available to Kurt and his family. The Rib House owner realised a Prospa Small Business Loan was precisely what he needed to take his restaurant to the next level, with a simplified and streamlined application process.

“The feature I like the most was the ease with which the whole transaction went through. It was just smooth; it was just easy.”

What’s next for The Rib House?

The funds from Prospa were immediately put to good use, doing necessary upgrades and renovations in the kitchen.

“I would definitely recommend Prospa to my friends and family, and I already have.”

Whether it’s growing your business, funding an opportunity or just covering cash flow, find out how Prospa can help. Talk to one of our business lending specialists on 0800 005 797 to discuss your options, or find out more.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Get the scoop on how one small business managed trading disruptions

Megan Stenning is the owner and operator of New Zealand Naturals in Airlie Beach. Here she shares the highlights and challenges of her small business journey, and how she learnt that ultimately – it was all worth it.

Megan and her partner Mark, originally from New Zealand, fell in love with Airlie Beach after spending a week there on holiday. Returning to New Zealand, they decided to dream big,  and with no previous experience as business owners contacted New Zealand Naturals about the possibility of establishing a shop in the small beach side town.

Growing a team

In 2011, New Zealand Naturals Airlie Beach opened its doors for the first time. Seven years on you can still find Megan, Mark and the team – one senior, five school students, and ‘Richie (the) Macaw’ –  serving up ice-cream, fresh juice and desserts any day of the week to locals and tourists alike.

A key driver of Megan and Mark’s business is passion for growth and sharing their product. Megan explains how they have always had pride in the brand, saying “I love watching peoples’ faces when they taste it [New Zealand Naturals ice cream] for the first time. OMG is generally the reaction.”

But Megan and Mark provide more than simply ice-cream to the Airlie Beach community. Megan says, “We love meeting all walks of life… and tell our customers where the best places are to eat and go for coffee, activities to try, that sort of thing. The next day they’ll always tell us “That was fantastic”.

With great power comes great responsibility

Megan believes that the best part about being a business owner is not having a boss, but cheekily admits that she tells Mark what to do from time to time.  However, like all business owners, there’s sacrifice. Megan admits, “Mark and I haven’t had a holiday together in years, as someone always has to stay and mind the shop.

Their list of responsibilities is endless, and if one of them is at the shop, the other will be doing paperwork. They also need to be prepared to cover a shift at short notice.

When Cyclone Debbie hit in 2017, it had a serious impact on the business and its locals surrounds, with trade impacted hugely in the months following. Megan explains, “Things were hard up here. Where we are [the shop] was all boarded up to redo the roof, and trade remained down 85% for eight weeks. We were under insured for such an event.”

Megan’s Prospa experience

After seeing an ad for Prospa on TV Megan called the customer service team. The application process was simple, and provided her with a link for submitting bank statements, which she did that same day. The money was in her bank account less than 24 hours later. Megan admits, “I wasn’t expecting it to be so easy.”

Megan goes on to explain how cash-flow friendly her daily repayment plan is, and says she would definitely recommend a Prospa small business loan: “It’s paid [direct debit] first thing every morning… It doesn’t hurt my business because it’s small daily amounts.”  

Prospa was there, at the right place and in a moment of need.

What’s next for Megan, Mark and the business?

Megan and Mark continue to rebuild the business after the cyclone. They’ve acquired an ice-cream cart as a strategy to bring in new sales, and plan to take ice cream to local markets and sports matches.

After the business, Megan and Mark would like to travel around Australia for a year to see the places they’ve heard so much about from their customers.

If you find yourself in Airlie Beach, pop into New Zealand Naturals to visit Megan, Mark, ‘Richie (the) Macaw’ and the rest of the team to pick up a scoop of the irresistible ice-cream.

Address: New Zealand Naturals Airlie Beach –  13/370 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

When opportunity knocks for small businesses, there’s a range of new choices for raising funds. Prospa can help you access the funds to manage cash flow or take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Talk to our team on 0800 005 797.