HT Capital is a boutique finance broking and consulting firm located in Norwood, SA. The company was founded in 2018 by Michael Tait and Tim Hudson, who had a goal of replacing the languishing banking relationship model and making sophisticated finance solutions more accessible to trading businesses and clients looking to grow. The company began with four staff, but in just four years, the team has expanded to nine employees while turnover has grown to five times their first year of trading.
Both Michael and Tim came from the corporate world, albeit from very different environments as Tim came from the banking world while Michael was in engineering and mining. Ultimately, the two wanted to bring their skill sets together to build a unique business that would make a difference.
“The banking model is less relationship-focused than it once was,” says Michael. “Many brokers and brokerages tend to be transactional and are focused on commercial property and residential lending. We saw an opportunity to offer a skill set currently lacking in the 3rd party finance space for trading businesses and combine this with our desire to foster long-term client relationships so we could support them throughout their journey.”
Naturally, the company’s rapid growth has led to some challenges along the way. “Like any business that’s been fortunate enough to see significant growth, we’ve had to work on balancing cash flow,” explains Michael. “Attracting, training and retaining talented and motivated staff has also been an ongoing challenge, but we’ve put significant effort and investment into building our team and fortunately, we know a thing or two about accessing appropriate working capital!”
Building a great business
When asked about building a great business, Michael says, “Many of the great businesses that we see are focused on growth – and this drives improvement. They generally have a positive impact in the community or environment in which they operate, and they value good advice. To me, another common thread for great businesses is having a long-term strategy and staying true to their values.”
Michael says that for HT Capital, having clearly defined and different roles for the directors, investing in their business processes and focusing on client outcomes have been key parts of their journey so far.
Accru Harris Orchard Director, Ainsley Coggins adds, “Michael and Tim have great relationships with their clients and provide an encouraging workplace for their staff. They have fantastic internal systems and processes.”
Accru Harris Orchard’s role and involvement
Ainsley and Accru Harris Orchard have worked with HT Capital since the company began. Along the way, Ainsley’s team has provided structure assistance and advice, along with planning for growth.
“Accru Harris Orchard has played a broad role in helping to build our business,” says Michael. “They helped us to get our structure right from the outset, have always been available to discuss the implications of any decisions that we’re considering for the future, and their advice has been tailored to our current needs and future goals. They’ve given us the financial insights to have confidence for each leap of faith that’s been required so far.”
Michael adds they’ve seen the benefit of forming strong, long-term relationships with businesses that have similar values.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to share mutual clients with Accru Harris Orchard,” he explains. “We’ve seen the consistency of their approach across many of these clients, and this is something that we’ve tried to emulate in our company.”
Future of the business
Michael says that their future plans include continuing to seek out “win-win” relationships with both business partners and clients, explore additional sources of funding to support trading businesses where needed, and continue to invest in their own team.
“While we’ve delivered on our business plan to date, we’re hungry to continue growing and get better,” Michael says. “We’ve never been good at maintaining the status quo. It’s clear that banks aren’t investing in their front line, and many SME’s are seeing the support they receive from their lender deteriorate. We plan to continue to build on our current team and service offering so that we remain positioned to fill the gap as it widens.”
To learn more about HT Capital, visit their website.
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