Frequently asked Questions
1. What traits do I need to be successful in the business?
a. This is a people business, so it is crucial that you be comfortable to communicate with people at all levels.
b. Secondly this is financial business, so business knowledge is required. Having owned a small business is a certain benefit. Being a corporate executive with small business interaction is also beneficial. People with experience in banking, lending, accounting, business consultants and financial advisors do well in this business.
2. What are the risks in this business?
There is always a degree risk when there is reward. The success lies in how the risk is managed. The risk management process we use at SGF has been trialed and tested and has been refined over years of doing business. The SGF system relies on detailed due diligence before we enter into any transaction. This process enables us to work in a controlled environment when managing the risk.
3. What happens if a customer doesn’t pay?
Although this is the exception rather than the rule, it does happen from time to time. Before we undertake any transaction we always complete the appropriate due diligence. We operate on a recourse basis with our clients and it always stays the responsibility of the client to take care of the payment. This will happen either by re-purchase of the unpaid invoice or through an exchange mechanism that we have developed. Either way licensees will always earn their discount.
4. Where do I get my clients?
Most of our clients come from referrals. We establish lead sources and these would typically be accounts, business bankers, business brokers and happy clients. This is covered during the training and we also work with you in the area of your business to establish these lead sources.
5. How about repeat business?
Our clients stay anything from 6 months to 2 years.
6. How much money do I need to get started in this business, and what will it be used for??
We encourage all licensees to start in a ‘modest’ way as this is a business where you benefit from learning as you go. We recommend around R1-2 million initial working capital over and above the license fee. You will then add to this as your comfort, experience, and client levels grow. You will need a telephone and a computer to get started. You will need to put petrol in your car to visit clients as they DO NOT come to you – this facilitates a home-based business environment. Your other cash flow requirements will be a limited amount that you choose to invest in marketing – probably a maximum of R2 000 -R10 000 to get started.
7. How quickly can I get started?
Once you make the decision to go forward, you will sign the license agreement and pay your license fee. Approximately one week later you will receive your Operations Manual. This is a very comprehensive set of manuals covering the A to Z of SGF and our operations. As part of your self-directed training we require that you study, review and absorb some of this material. Formal Training at our Training Center is scheduled on a monthly basis, and then following that a senior SGF executive comes to your location for Field Training to visit possible referral sources. At the end of that training period, you are ‘open for business’.
Total time from signing the agreement to being ‘open’ is in the range of 4-8 weeks.”
From a ‘getting started’ point of view, there is the training and marketing assistance that we have already discussed. However, it is important to remember that training never ends. We provide a personalized coaching program, transaction guidance and review, to name just a few areas. We strive to provide whatever assistance you need to make your license successful.
We do not award licenses in territories since for every R3 mil you have available to purchase invoices, you are looking at 2-3 clients. It also means that you can do business anywhere and the country and thus move anywhere and take your business along.
10. Are there regular meetings or other forms of interaction for licensees?
We maintain contact via corporate telephone, emails, and newsletters. Our Licensee Conference is designed to broaden industry and company knowledge and give licensees the opportunity to meet and network with other SGF licensees, as well as the SGF management team.
11. What do you mean by sense of community?
This is a license that thrives on interaction between licensees and the licensor. Just because you happen to be a lone licensee in a particular area, you should not think of yourself as operating in a vacuum. You, in fact, are part of a team that is interested in you, your ideas, your suggestions, and your needs.
12. OK, what do I do next?
We invite you to complete our Personal Data Questionnaire form as that would help us to evaluate a potential fit. Should you have any questions or concerns about the Personal Data Questionnaire form or its contents, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. After receipt, review, and acceptance of your information, we will provide you with our Disclosure Document.