Smartline’s focus on teamwork and relationships a winner

Gary Pretty

With more than 30 years’ banking and finance experience, including four years at the executive level, it was the desire to achieve work-life balance that drove Gary Pretty to investigate the possibilities of running his own business.

Gary recognised that establishing a business would enable him to reap the fruits of his hard work, and share the operation and success with his family, which includes four children aged between seven and 21.

“I was initially attracted to Smartline because I’d previously worked with a number of the existing franchisees, who I admired,” Gary says.

“Also, the high level of individual support and information provided while I conducted my own due diligence strongly confirmed that this was a business I really wanted to be part of.

“The systems, processes, internal support mechanisms, and the ability to phone anyone at any time to ask for help is just outstanding – and very important for a new entrant to the business.

“It is very much like a throw back to the old days of banking when relationships and teamwork were central to everything.”

Gary commenced with Smartline in September 2013 and since that time he has written a number of loans averaging $700,000, of which two have been commercial deals.

“I had no illusions about the challenges of running my own business, particularly the discipline of ensuring that you keep in touch with various contacts – which is very important early on when there are no deals to write,” Gary says.

“Sometimes it can be too easy to say ‘I will do it tomorrow’, but the key is to maintain a disciplined approach.”

Gary’s tips for getting started in your business:

It’s not going to be easy, but you will have support.

Know that it you will have to be disciplined to get through the tough times when there are no deals to write and no income coming in. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your Smartline colleagues are only too willing to assist you.

Be prepared to change your thinking.

I thought the majority of my business would be generated through past contacts. Instead, the opportunities are being generated via word of mouth.