Customer success story: Animal Natural Health Centre

Sourcing funding can cause worry lines for small business owners, as Sarndra (Sandy) Urwin discovered when she wanted to expand the retail offering within her small business. That’s why she partnered with Prospa, which she now calls the best anti-wrinkle cream around.

Hear more about Sandy’s small business story:

All her life, Sandy has had a firm belief that “nature knows best”, and this became a foundational value for her business Animal Natural Health Centre, based in Orewa, New Zealand.

“I’ve always felt that prevention is better than cure,” she says.

Sandy left her work as a nurse to pursue her passions for natural healthcare and working with animals, while also filling what she saw as a gap in the market.

“There was nobody offering choices in healthcare for animals, so I thought, ‘Why aren’t we doing this?’,” she says.

She opened Animal Natural Health Centre in 2008, offering both consultation services and natural products for animals, many of which are handmade in house under her White Tui label.

“My purpose and vision for the business was to offer people a choice in animal healthcare. I really wanted to take a holistic approach,” she says.

Offering more to customers

As her customer base grew, Sandy felt it was time to expand the retail side of the business to meet the growing demand for her natural animal healthcare products, including sunburn creams, pain relief, allergy treatments and sprays to ease anxiety or stress caused by noise.

“We had a very limited range of stock because we didn’t have the capital to invest in the new products that our customers were looking for,” she says.

At one point, Sandy considered selling part of the business to an investor in order to gain more capital. But in her view, that would mean abandoning some of the reasons why she began Animal Natural Health Centre in the first place.

“It would have been quite heartbreaking, actually,” she says.

As many small business owners know, you can’t buy trust. Sandy was concerned that the reputation she had spent years building within the community and with her customers “wouldn’t have gone along with the sale”.

“We didn’t want to compromise,” Sandy says.

A win-win situation

Instead, Sandy turned to Prospa for a small business loan, which she felt would enable her to achieve her business goals without having to make trade-offs.

From the very start, Sandy felt Prospa was the right partner for her small business.

“When I first contacted Prospa, I was impressed by their enthusiasm and interest. They really wanted to listen to my story, and they were just as enthusiastic as I am about my business,” she says.

“Working with banks can be like pushing water uphill with a straw, whereas Prospa was quick in their actions. You know exactly where you stand with them at any moment of the day, and I like that.”

She says Prospa’s attention to detail, prompt customer service and general willingness to find a win-win situation gave her a lot of confidence.

“With a small business loan, we’ve been able to expand our range of products and give our customers better service, and equally important, I no longer have the thought that I need to sell,” she says.

A focus on the customer

Now that Sandy isn’t worried about cash flow, she’s looking forward to her future plans for the business, especially expanding her education and outreach programs. She is currently looking to develop course material and protocols for natural animal healthcare.

She also wants to share her passion for holistic animal health with the wider community, and in doing so, empower people to make more informed choices about what’s right for their pet.

“The customers are what drives you and your business – they are my favourite part of being a small business owner,” she says – and that includes the animals and their humans.

“Small businesses do have the opportunity to make huge changes in our communities, and thanks to Prospa, we can keep doing that.”

A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped Sandy and Animal Natural Health Centre to:

  • Increase the variety and volume of stock available for customers.
  • See an increase in monthly turnover.
  • Not compromise on quality or her vision for the business by selling a stake to an investor.

Whether it’s growing your business, funding an opportunity or just covering cash flow, find out how Prospa can help keep your small business moving. Talk to one of our small business finance 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: 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: 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.