One of Australia’s top female entrepreneurs has seen her brokerage thrive in the last year – and she says thinking outside the box has been critical to her success.
Black Sheep Finance director Tish Naughton has recently been recognised in Shoestring’s Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs Under 40 list, and says the award gives a real boost to a relatively new brokerage.
“It's not just flattering, it’s highly motivating to keep going and to strive for bigger and better results,” says Naughton.
Black Sheep Finance has seen a 40% growth in settlements over the past year, says Naughton, and is this year looking to joint ventures to fuel the momentum.
“We’ll be meeting with lawyers to help them work out financial restructuring for divorcees,” says Naughton.
“A lot of people tend to just focus on your traditional referral sources like your accountants and financial planners and they just approach them and go ‘Show me a lead’, whereas what I’m trying to do is actually establish more of a joint venture agreement with industries, identifying a specific problem and providing a solution for that.”
The idea to partner with lawyers came through investment property clients requesting advice around divorce, says Naughton. While she admits some brokers may be put off because the partnerships are more long-term investments, the pipeline and the opportunities are there and should be taken advantage of, she says.
Naughton already provides a “holistic approach” for her clients with regards to finances and financial planning opportunities, and says she is taking guidance from lawyers with regard to what advice can be given with regards to the new partnerships.
Further plans for expansion also exist in the online sector for Black Sheep, and Naughton says she’s “in the middle” of developing an online program for her clients to help them determine their goals.
“As a mortgage broker you can only really so as much as clients you can see, so I’ve been wanting to provide a package that’s not so much financial advice but more around goal setting.
“It’s a method by method of working through what your income versus your expenses are to then establish how achievable your goals are and setting you on that path to achieve those goals.”
The Shoestring award is not the first time Ms Naughton’s efforts have been recognised: last year she took out the Top 30under30 Award for young entrepreneurs by Anthill, Australia’s largest online community of entrepreneurs; and, in 2011, she was named Inbusiness Young Business Leader of the Year.