David Banfield received his professional credentials in banking and credit management in the United Kingdom, where he held positions in both the banking and factoring industries. In 1975, after fifteen years of service in various sectors of banking operations, David was appointed Vice President and Manager of Mercantile Bank & Trust Co. Ltd. From 1978-1986, he was Vice President of Walter E. Heller Financial Corp. He was subsequently named President of Interfax Financial Services Limited, a position he held from 1986-1990. David was named President of the Interface organization in 1991 and has played a significant part in the successful development and growth of the Interface organization.
BeTheBoss: Tell us about The Interface Financial Group - IFG 50/50 concept.
David Banfield: The Interface Financial Groupis an affordable home-based franchise that provides short-term working capital to small businesses by purchasing current, quality invoices at a discount, thus accelerating the client’s cash flow and growth.
The Interface Financial Group (IFG) has been in the invoice discounting business since 1972. In IFG 50/50, all transactions are syndicated 50/50 with the franchisee and the franchisor, and that means less working capital required to fund transaction: IFG does the bulk of the due diligence and the ‘paperwork’ for the transactions, and IFG 50/50 franchisees will concentrate their efforts on building the referral relationships – they do the ‘people work’.
Through syndication – Interface effectively sharing the risk and reward with their franchisee – the franchisee gains access to the Interface underwriting and management expertise. That’s the IFG 50/50 approach.
BTB: How and when did you become involved with The Interface Financial Group?
DB: Initially, in 1990, I was hired as a consultant to assist with the transition from invoice discounter to franchisor of an invoice discounting system, and in 1991 I was appointed President of the now Interface organization, and have been there ever since.BTB: What was your background prior to joining The Interface Financial Group?
DB:I received my professional credentials in banking and credit management in the United Kingdom, where I held positions in both the banking and factoring industries. In 1975, after fifteen years of service in various sectors of banking operations, I was appointed Vice President and Manager of Mercantile Bank & Trust Co. Ltd. From 1978-1986, I was Vice President of Walter E. Heller Financial Corp. Subsequently, I was named President of Interfax Financial Services Limited, a position I held from 1986-1990. I was named President of the Interface organization in 1991 and played a significant part in the successful development and growth of the Interface organization.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being an IFG 50/50 franchisee?
DB:A successful franchisee of The Interface Financial Group will enjoy not only significant financial benefits, but also a quality lifestyle with none of the pressures or limitations associated with a conventional 9-5 job.
Key advantages include:
- No staff to hire, fire, or manage
- No storefront to own, lease, or maintain
- No Inventory or stock to purchase
- No extensive travel because IFG franchisees do business locally
- Business-to-Business, professional environment with regular business hours of op-ration
- Flexibility to relocate for part of the year or permanently and continue doing business
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
DB:Our IFG 50/50 franchisees are excellent communicators, relationship builders with decision-making and problem-solving skills, and much more sales & marketing oriented.
BTB: Tell us a little about the invoice discounting Market?
DB:The invoice discounting marketplace is part of the factoring ‘financial service’ family. The market continues to grow at a healthy rate, especially at the lower end of the sales volume scale, i.e. the unique Interface market niche. Since 1972, when Interface began its invoice discounting business, we have enjoyed great success working with smaller emerging companies. Our client profile shows that these companies have sales in the range of 300,000.00+ to about 4-6 million per annum and have been in business, in some cases, for as little as 5 or 6 months, and usually not much more than 4 years.
Invoice Discounting is a mature financial service, both in North America and on a worldwide basis.
According to the Factoring Year Book, (published by BCR Publishing of Bromley, Kent, England) and Factors Chain International, invoice discounting and factoring have shown a dramatic increase in volume over the past five years. On a worldwide basis, invoices that were subject to discounting or factoring were measured in trillions of dollars, with over 2,000 companies worldwide engaged in this type of business in over 70 countries.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
DB:Stick to the basics. Have a vision and follow the vision. Interface provides the same dedicated service to their clients today exactly as they did over 40 years ago. Certainly technology has assisted in streamlining the delivery process, but the underlying service remains along with a high commitment to service.
BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
DB:Fortunately the founder of Interface is still very much involved with the day-to-day operations and is accordingly able to share a wealth of information and knowledge not only with myself, but also with franchisees.
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
DB:Research - check out the offering thoroughly at the outset - after you have signed the franchise agreement there is no going back. Do the due diligence up-front, and do as much as it takes to make you comfortable.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that the IFG 50/50 franchise would be a great opportunity for someone?
DB:The IFG 50/50 franchise would be a great opportunity for someone who wants to be in control of their income potential, their capital, their work schedule and their life.
IFG has an extensive training program for their franchisees, and ongoing training for the life of their franchise, including self-study of our Operations Manual, Formal training at our training facility, Marketing training at the franchisee’s location, ongoing coaching and mentoring, web-based training, and annual training review at our Annual Franchisee Conference.
IFG also gives full support to their franchisees, including reviewing of every transaction together, executing the due diligence program together, funding transaction together, as well as handling 90% of the day-to-day paperwork.
For individuals who enjoy working directly with people in a one-on-one environment, this represents a great opportunity. Similarly, for people that don’t have a passion for paperwork this opportunity fits well.
The bottom line is naturally the return on your investment, and here again IFG 50/50 franchisees score big with returns that would be considered well above-average.