In today’s business world, SMEs need flexible financial solutions more than ever. We sat down with Sam Clarkson, an experienced finance specialist who transitioned from asset finance to focus on working capital. Let’s find out why Sam chose this path and why he loves helping SMEs thrive.
First things first. What excites you about joining the Fifo team?
“I am excited to work with my current network as well as expand my commercial broker partnerships within the working capital space. Fifo offers the solutions combined with the platform and technology to provide a real difference in this market for businesses.”
Can you share your journey from asset finance to working capital finance and what motivated this transition?
“I have been involved in the asset finance and equipment space for over 6 years. In that time I worked closely with the trade/debtor teams to provide combined solutions to fit clients’ needs.
The transition to working capital finance offers an exciting opportunity to provide solutions where we are able to get an in-depth understanding of a company’s long-term needs based on their business cycle and relationship with debtors and suppliers.”
Agility is crucial in today’s business environment. How do you ensure your working capital solutions are adaptable to meet clients’ changing needs?
“It’s important to understand a client’s short-term as well as long-term business goals. In-depth analysis of a business structure, cash flow cycle, and specific industry conditions allow for planning and implementation of facilities which assist with maintaining or creating a successful company.”
How does your economics degree influence your approach to providing financial solutions for businesses?
“Every business has unique challenges and requirements when it comes to their daily operations and cash flow needs. However, each entity is part of a wider economic environment and context. My economics degree has allowed me to have insight into how these conditions may impact businesses and help provide bespoke solutions for clients.”
How do you gauge the success of your SME working capital solutions? Are there particular indicators of success?
“The specific metrics used can vary based on factors like business size, trading duration, and industry. However, in a broader sense, the success of an SME’s working capital solution can be assessed by their capacity to enhance cash flow management for increased profitability and to establish improved relationships with suppliers and debtors.
What message would you convey to Australian SMEs to encourage adoption of working capital finance?
“SMEs can fall into the trap of looking at short-term solutions to help run their business and manage their cash flow. While there is a place in the market for short-term business loans for SMEs, without the right guidance these solutions can merely act as a ‘band-aid’ and actually put more pressure on profitability and cash flow further down the track. The advantage of working capital solutions such as a trade or debtor facility is that it gives clients more autonomy over how they use finance and provides a more viable solution long term.”
What insights would you offer to brokers, accountants, and introducers to present a compelling case for incorporating working capital finance?
“The benefit of knowing your client and their business intimately should not be underestimated. Understanding why there is a cash flow gap and what the key drivers for the business are means that a relevant working capital solution can be applied.”
Working capital finance helps businesses overcome challenges and seize opportunities. It’s a powerful tool for SMEs in today’s dynamic business world. To explore solutions with Sam, reach out — he’s here to help.
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