Home Funding Case Studies Geelong Business Owner Rides The Wave Of Recession To Come Out On Top

As far as experts in the business go, Colour Tech Coatings founder and owner Diego Rossiello might just have reached legend status.

For a staggering 33 years, Diego has worked in Geelong, VIC, operating a powder-coating business. Over the three decades, he’s changed the business name three times, raised a family, and even survived one of the most dramatic economic downturns the region of Geelong has ever seen. But one thing has remained the same: his determination to see his business stay afloat.

‘Colour Tech Coatings’ was officially founded from a previous company of Diego’s almost 18 years ago. Dealing in protective coatings, they take on anything and everything – fibreglass, powder, spray, boats, cars, trucks, equipment – you name it. He is, in his own words, a ‘one-stop shop’.

But despite his wealth of experience in the trade, it has not been smooth sailing for Diego’s company.

Diego calls 2014 his ‘worst year in business’, and with his business one million dollars down on their usual profits, he wasn’t exaggerating. It would be the worst year in business for most people in Geelong, following the closure of the Ford, Qantas, and Alcoa factories. In what was once a bustling industrial hub of Victoria, the streets are now empty as the smaller businesses who relied on the work of the larger companies were also forced to close.

However, when you have been in the small business game for as long as Diego, the ebbs and flows of both the good times and the bad become expected. So rather than pack up shop, he set his mind to how he could innovate, expand, and increase his business.

The well-paid contracts from the government had all dried up in 2014, you see: the council jobs disappeared, the school jobs disappeared – anything that involved funding, finished. It was these types of contracts that supplemented the private work that Diego operated in, and were a fundamental part of his income.

Now that they were gone, he realised there was a need for hunting down and securing a variety of cash jobs. He needed to look local, and find out what the immediate needs of his community were. And with one of the only surviving industries in Geelong being the swimming pool factory, Diego set his sights on how he could get involved.

Since 2014, Diego expanded his business to include swimming pool and water slide refurbishments, as well as Polyurea anti-corrosion and waterproofing coatings. Has business increased? “Slowly but surely,” he says happily. “We haven’t even started the marketing for it yet.”

But Diego says his expansion and consequential survival in the harsh economic times for Geelong would not have been possible without GoGetta.

“We spent the money with GoGetta so that we could venture out and do things we don’t usually do, to generate more income, and more stability for my employees,” said Diego. “It just made sense. They knew that the extra equipment would mean extra income, and so offered security on the equipment, rather than on our cash flow.”

Prior to approaching GoGetta, Diego had been put through his paces by the local bank.

“Compared to what we got with GoGetta, the bank’s processes were just longer, harder, with 20 million more questions,” he says.

“You have to go through the rigmarole of accounts and figures, and it was just too hard.” Diego noted that the poor figures for 2014 – a rarity in his usually booming trade – were an unfair basis for the banks when considering him for a loan.

Frustrated, he went to see Peter at brokerage Geelong Finance, who put him onto GoGetta. It was a model that to Diego, just made sense. Anticipating retirement in just a few years’ time, he wanted a fast and simple solution without signing onto long-term contracts or loans. GoGetta was perfect.

For Diego, part of the attraction to GoGetta was being able to talk, learn, and negotiate with an actual person…not a machine. “15 years ago, you could go down to your local bank and talk to them. It was up to them to agree or disagree.” The GoGetta solution therefore felt closer to the face-to-face business conversations he was used to.

Being able to quickly fill the void with the equipment he needed to move forward, Diego was able to increase business and even hire another two employees. His global track trapezoidal bridge crane (financed value of $36,000) now allows him to lift and move the massive machinery, previously shifted either by hand or forklift. It has meant being able to take on larger equipment, and larger contracts.

So, if there is one thing you can learn from Diego it is this: don’t give up. No matter how bad business seems to get, there is always a solution.

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