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.
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