A success story: 15 years in the making – BOQ Castletown
Celebrating 15 years as the franchisees of BOQ Castletown this year, and living up to the company’s tagline, David and Lisa know that ‘It is possible to love a bank’. They have excelled at building a strong and resilient branch that delights in putting their customers first, and supporting the Townsville community.
David and Lisa both started their banking careers in Townsville, before taking the leap to move to Brisbane to further their ambitions. After the birth of their first child, they decided to move back home to be closer to friends and family, and David took on the role of Area Manager for Bank of Queensland (BOQ). It wasn’t long before David and Lisa decided that investing into the franchise network of BOQ was a unique opportunity they couldn’t pass up – and BOQ Castletown was opened.
The opening of the Castletown franchise of BOQ marked a special point in history as the first ever BOQ franchise in North Queensland. While every business has its challenges, David and Lisa have embraced the franchise/business owner model, and the unique opportunities this style of banking offers them in providing a truly personalised service to their customers.
“Over the past 15 years our business has provided us with financial stability and allowed us to remain in Townsville with our family. We’ve also been able to provide our children with the opportunity to work in the business while they study at University – our branch is very family orientated,” Lisa explains.
“Finance is very personal and it’s often a life journey of setting and reaching goals. From your first home, weddings, kids, cars and holidays, I feel like we’ve been in a very privileged position to help people through the most exciting and sometimes daunting times in their lives. It is our ongoing passion for helping our community which has resulted in serving multiple generations of Townsville local families, now looking after the grandkids of couples we first met 15 years ago. We have been providing our business mobile numbers to customers for 15 years – having that immediate access to your bank manager is a rare thing these days.”
For Lisa, one of the biggest parts of gaining and retaining loyal customers is supporting and embracing the local community.
“Finance is very personal and it’s often a life journey of setting and reaching goals.”
“Providing support and sponsorship to the local community is something we strongly believe in – we have received a huge amount of support from the Townsville community, and so we try to give back by supporting local sporting associations, schools, business networks and community events. We love the work being done by the Townsville Business Women’s Circle and are very proud to sponsor their Education Bursary, which provides funding towards furthering educational opportunities and empowering women within our community to achieve their goals both personally and professionally. The Bursary was established in 2016 and to date, $20,000 has been funded. Being able to give back and see the benefits for the local community is such a great feeling.”
Most owner operators would agree that running your own business is not a walk in the park. For David and Lisa, embracing those challenges has been part of the learning curve. While the franchise model offers strong support, each market is unique and offers its own challenges and opportunities.
“Being in the banking industry, our franchise is subject to a lot of corporate compliance and regulation,” adds David. “Having the systems in place to deal with changes in these areas is crucial to being able to provide a consistent level of service to our customers.
“Over the years we have managed to develop very clear insights into the logistics of being a small to medium enterprise and the everyday challenges you face as a business owner. For Lisa and I, we take the time to work on our business and not just in it. It’s so important for us to be able to step away and regularly review how things are travelling. Something else that we’ve learnt is to do what we do and do it well, ask for help when you need it, and if someone else can do something better let them. Having a key group of business advisors, like our accountant, solicitor and other business owners are have been crucial to our innovation, growth and success.”
As well as celebrating 15 years in the business, Bank of Queensland Castletown is currently undergoing a full refurbishment and branch fit-out, due for completion at the end of September. Customers can look forward to a whole new look, to compliment a unique style of banking.
To keep up to date with David and Lisa’s 15 year celebrations, BOQ’s community sponsorships and the development of the bank’s new fit-out, follow their Facebook page @BOQCastletown.