The value of hard work and a helping hand

“Hard work pays off” is a philosophy that Rick Hall, the Alice Springs business owner of Alice Motor Sales, off-road motorbike champion and father of five, has always subscribed to.

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“Hard work pays off” is a philosophy that Rick Hall, the Alice Springs business owner of Alice Motor Sales, off-road motorbike champion and father of five, has always subscribed to.

In January last year Hall took over the reins so his stepfather, who had founded the motor vehicle sales and repair business 30 years ago, could step away following the death of his wife (Hall’s mother), in late 2013.

Having worked in the business for about 20 years, Hall and his wife Julie were pleased to take over and lead it into the future.

Just as Hall was settling into his new role he received a letter from solicitors advising him the block the business was built on – that was leased by the family – was up for sale.

“By early January last year I’d started running the business on my own and then in late January I got the letter from our landlords’ solicitors saying they wanted to sell,” says Hall. “The price of the land was $900,000 plus fees and charges, which isn’t cheap by Alice Springs standards. But it’s a high profile block right on the highway here.”

Investing in the business

Having always been pretty cautious with his finances, Hall says it was a “daunting” decision to make, but he saw it as a good investment.

“I’ve owned my own home since I was quite young and believed it’s good to always be working towards something so thought it was a great idea to buy,” he says. “But I’m a man with five children so taking over a business was one thing but buying the block of land at the same time was daunting for me. I’ve always been cautious with my money because I have to think about six other people when I make a decision.”

Hall has nothing but praise for his NAB Business Bankers Emil Mavilio and Leanne Southam and the team at the Alice Springs branch after they assisted him with his finances during that tumultuous time in his personal and business life.

When he took over the business, he approached Leanne Southam, his Business Banker, with his plan to buy the block.

“The business had been with the NAB for years, but my own interaction had been just taking in the company banking every second day, but they were so easy to deal with, and I always got very pleasant service,” says Hall, who up until then had his personal banking, including his home mortgage with another bank.

He’d been thinking of consolidating all of his business with NAB, so when the land came up for sale he approached NAB to guide him through the process.

“The minute I started talking to Leanne and the other people at NAB things just became easier,” he says.

Using equity

The Halls were able to use the equity in their home to make the purchase possible with the bank and their accountant working together to provide an appropriate solution.

“I’d built a few of my own homes and then on sold them and the home I’m now in I didn’t owe a lot on so it was a fairly easy transaction to work out,” says Hall. “So hard work pays off and having a good bank on your side pays off as well.

“I was very busy at that time with the business so it was just a godsend that I could rely so heavily on both my accountant and banker.”

Hall says the team at the bank has continued to be a major support for him, including helping him to restructure the financial processes of the business – and embrace internet banking, something that was foreign to him but is now just par for the course.

“It’s certainly helped me manage my business more efficiently and makes life easier,” he says. “You have greater information about what’s happening within your business on a daily basis. It’s just very good.”

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