If you’re like most business owners, you probably rely on cheques to pay for goods and services far more often than you use business credit or debit cards.
As its latest marketing initiative, VISA business cards has produced a series of webumentaries, featuring inspiring Australian entrepreneurs, to explain how a card can provide better cash flow management and more transparent ways to track spending.
It makes sense. Why become just another financial service provider touting benefits when you can share inspiring and educational case-studies?
But don’t just take our word for it. In its first clip, VISA puts braaap founder Brad Smith under the spotlight. You may have heard the name before. Smith was one of Anthill’s 30under30 winners in 2010.
So, what do motorcross and VISA business cards have in common? Watch to find out.
It’s a crazy ride, but Visa Business helps Brad Smith keep up.
How can Visa Business help your business go forward? Manage cash-flow, control and track spending with VISA Business credit and debit cards. Visit visa.com.au/gobiz.
braaap. A business operating at full throttle.
Brad Smith’s story is a classic example of a passionate hobby unfolding into small business success.
From quiet beginnings in the backyard shed with his Dad, his passion, drive and energy have helped him build a retail chain of braaap stores. And the lad is only 27!
Smith’s original motocross store was launched in his native city of Launceston, now the foundation of four stores selling everything to do with the motocross lifestyle — from parts and accessories, to riding gear and street clothes.
Growing up, Smith’s passion was motocross. He particularly loved the Superlight category, however it was quite inaccessible due to the prohibitive price of the bikes. Each were custom-built and cost in excess of $12,000.
Smith was determined to develop and build a cheaper version.
“If we were going to get the sport pumping in Australia, like it was in the States, we needed a superlight bike that was more affordable,” he said.
After three years of development in the garage, Smith designed a bike he thought was competitive. He then travelled to China to find a factory that would make it to his exact specs and avoid the quality issues he’d found with other imports. After much searching, and with very little money or backing, he was lucky enough to find a French-owned company that shared his vision.
And what about the name braaap? Well, it was Brad’s nickname for years.
“It’s the sound a motocross bike makes when it’s accelerating”, says Smith.
A family business
Smith’s entire family is now involved in the business. His father is head mechanic, his mother is operations director and his sister runs the office. This family involvement has helped drive remarkable growth in just four years.
Team braaap is looking to build a franchise network and work its way towards 50 stores in Australia. Plus, the company’s next ambition is to expand to the United States. In fact, the business is almost growing too fast.
His Visa Business cards help him keep up.
Smith uses his Visa Business credit card for expenses when he’s on the go and to manage their cash flow at busy times like Christmas, when they need to stock up for the rush. He uses his Visa Business debit card for smaller office expenses. Both cards help him split his business and personal expenses when he’s on the go, which makes it easier for sister Sheridan to track and reconcile expenses.
But the business isn’t the only thing that drives Smith.
His energy also fuels a more personal mission — to help young kids find their passion in life and thus get their adrenalin rush from outlets other than drugs or alcohol.
His public speaking and exhibition tours around Tasmania — along with portable ramp — attract thousands of teenagers. He’s even been granted a parcel of land to build a track and give young kids somewhere to ride.
Among the many small business and entrepreneur awards Brad has won, he’s probably proudest of the Sensis Social Responsibility Award he won last year in recognition of his efforts to encourage young people.
Because Brad’s aware he’s building more than a retail store, he’s building a culture.
To see how Visa Business helps Brad run braaap smoothly and catch some exciting motocross action visit visa.com.au/gobiz.