The Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative - how Waddle helped them grow
Waddle customer Donny is living the dream, making his passion his job by bringing skateboarding events to communities all over Australia. However, the growth of his business wouldn't have been possible without Waddle.
We headed up to Brisbane and met Donny at his local skatepark to watch him perform a few tricks and to chat to him about his business, it's growth and future plans, as well as the cash flow issues that led him to Waddle.
Waddle: Hi Donny, tell us - what does the Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative do and how did you get into it?
Donny: We help deliver and develop skateboarding through events and coaching programs. We also work with people in local areas wanting to do that and help develop them over time. I’ve been skating for 16 years, it’s always been a strong passion of mine. I used to go to a lot of regional towns when I was younger and do this. It actually just turned into a job over time as the demand built up. The rest is history, I love doing it and we’re seeing a lot of positives with kids and as new people start up their own businesses too.
Our clients are the government and local councils. One example is I was down in Kiama in Southern NSW to set up a tourism event there. Whilst I was down there, I met up with a lot of young local people who want to be involved. Part of our business model is getting them to help us deliver this event and build their own capabilities on the ground. It’s a really united thing for NSW with us being an overarching body to help deliver something great for the state tourism. We operate in every state.
Waddle: How were cash flow problems holding you back and limiting the growth of your small business?
Donny: The business was growing really fast – and we see it with a lot of companies similar to ours. Every business owner gets to this point where – especially if you’re dealing with government as you don’t get to dictate payment terms – you are getting constant cash flow problems and there is a real risk you could run out of cash. You’re always 30 days behind where you need to be. We needed a solution that would help that and allow us to keep growing. Especially in events – an event could cost $30k to run and if you have 4 of them and you have to pay for fencing and staff upfront, then profit margins are slim and you’re not putting yourself in a good situation. Waddle solved all of that.
Waddle: How have you found working with Waddle and our platform?
Donny: Without Waddle, it would have been a nightmare. We would have had to have gone through other options, but there isn’t really a lot out there. We would have had to look at a big business loan, but we hadn’t been operating for that long. And they don’t really have the best terms that are flexible with what you need. There weren’t a lot of options that really suited what we were trying to do. It would have just put extra stress on us and made it a lot harder. Without that line of credit, our growth would have been restricted.
The way it syncs with Xero is perfect. Every day I like to do reconciling. That makes it heaps easier. We can see where things are at and we can see where we are ahead of time. The main thing that has helped is that whilst the platform is very user friendly, the people at Waddle have been even better. They add a second level of accountability to your invoices and your finance and your debt collection. So while the platform has been handy, the people here have really helped us. Rather than just going ‘These things are late, pay them, get them done’, it’s been more like ‘Hey, here’s how other people are doing their debt collection and dealing with slow paying debtors. Here’s what I reckon you should do’. All the people here have been hands on, actually helping us improve how we operate.
Our bookkeeping is 100 times better than it was. The platform is 10% - if you guys had bad staff it wouldn’t work. Whoever does the recruitment is second to none!
Waddle: How has the business grown as a result and what have you got planned next?
Donny: Since using Waddle, we’ve probably had 30-40% increase in annual revenue. We’re able to put more time in sales and growth as opposed to accounts. It’s one of those situations where tomorrow there is $20k coming in, the day before you have to spend all day answering people about their bills. It’s little things like that with cash flow.
A friend of mine who is a lawyer in Brisbane, he has a pretty big practice and he was saying that you’re always only 4 weeks away from a bad cash flow situation – and he’s massive and he’s still aware of that. And that applies to most businesses – and when things get good you don’t take your foot off the pedal. You keep chasing it. You have got have that situation working quite well. I think having Waddle builds a habit of going in every day. We use it daily and get what we need. Because we use it every day we’re seeing our finances constantly. We’re aware of it, we’re in a better financial position because our eyes are open.