Aussie scale fuel growth

How Aussie enabled one franchisee to scale up and fuel growth

Sarah Stowe

Danny Blair joined Aussie as a store broker 12 years ago, working with the brand’s first franchisee. Today he is CEO of his own four-store business.

Thanks to Aussie’s fully supported set-up, Danny [pictured above right] has built success in partnership with other store brokers. This has enabled him to scale his business, and to deliver business-ownership opportunities for his own staff.

Danny takes up the story.

“I was a store broker for the franchisee at Aussie’s first retail store in Sunnybank. I worked there for about two years before we joined forces and purchased a business together. We spotted the potential in the fast-growing Ipswich area with lots of new builds and purchased an existing store that had become available for sale.

“I still have that business. After five years I bought out my partner, and then three years ago I was ready to scale up.”

Ramping up growth was easy

Danny started up another greenfield site at Mt Ommaney, and within a year had purchased an existing territory in Kenmore. He continued to ramp up his business growth, just three months ago opening another brand-new operation at Forest Lake.

The four businesses all sit within Brisbane’s southwest corridor, just 30 minutes away from each other.

“I am a firm believer in getting out to each store once a week for conversations with staff,” Danny says.

He came into the Aussie business ambitious to open up one store and leverage his previous management experience obtained from his career in hospitality. Once in the supportive franchise environment, he could not only see the potential for growth, but the means to achieve it.

“I could see the opportunity to provide career pathways for brokers, to progress them into management positions. To grow, you need the right people in place, and you need the capabilities.

“I’ve got 20 staff across four stores, and I have partnered with a couple of people with that desire to progress further. I needed to provide them with a career path and keeping them in the fold means I can leverage their significant talents.

Aussie structure enables businesses to scale up

“The key to scaling a business, to open up multi-stores, outside the essential processes and support from the franchisor, is having the people on the ground to manage the stores. 

“Now my time is occupied by hiring and training new staff. I am stepping away from the key duty of writing loans and taking more of a CEO role in my own business.” 

Aussie’s goal is to enable franchisees to do just that: take a more strategic role as CEO of their own business.

Danny’s success is testament to the ease with which franchisees can achieve this and build replicable scale.

As a top loan writer in the business he leveraged the tools and support at his disposal to build and develop a strong team which in turn has helped him scale his business. 

Today Danny’s daily focus is meeting with his business partners, training, overseeing business operations, and working on future directions and strategy.

The scaled-up business has propelled Danny into the prestigious Signature Diamond franchisee level, which represents the top 2.5 per cent of the network. One of the privileges of this status is access to international study tours, and he has just returned from a six-day group visit to the US.

“It was amazing to see how American mortgage companies manage and process data, how they use AI to capture phone conversations and fill out applications. The whole process is awe-inspiring,” he says.

Data is key to future success, he says. And with tech advances powered by Aussie’s parent company, Lendi Group, enhancing the customer experience, and matched to a premium support structure, the future is looking good.

“Thanks to Aussie I’ve had the ability to set up multi-store business, which is a win-win.”

Supported store set-up helps fuel growth

He credits Aussie’s new business model as the trigger for success. It provides a supported store set-up service separate from both admin services and client solutions. 

“Brokers historically were self-employed, and that was a limited pool. I bit the bullet a year ago and employed PAYG brokers, which has fuelled our growth.”

The fully supported model delivers a premium level of support. Associates handle inbound enquiries and customer re-engagement. The associates handle all the leads and pre-vet customers, record data and details, and book appointments with brokers. When it comes to re-engagement, depending on a customer’s journey, they will touch base in six months or a year. 

“That takes the broker away from the admin,” says Danny. “It’s the same with Aussie’s client solutions. The team handles online applications and lodges deals with lenders on behalf of the brokers. This means the broker is focused on working with customers to find the right solution.

“Aussie’s centralised admin support enables me to grow. I don’t have any staff shortfalls. If my brokers want to do 100 to 150 deals, they can, because there is back-end support. If I had to rely on my own admin team I would have been stretched.

Aussie’s supported model enabled me to scale faster than I could have done otherwise. It has allowed me to provide pathways for existing brokers in new stores, giving them an opportunity to become business partners.

“I want to see more of them become CEOs of their own businesses, and I intend to keep growing my own business. There is no limit to what we can achieve.”