Octtava Wines has a bold vision to build a new, inner-city venue that brings food, music and wine to the people.
To fund this dream, owner Nikki Palun applied for an ANZ business loan using ANZ GoBiz – which she summed up as “the best, easiest and fastest loan application process I have ever experienced.”
Across Australia, certain regions are famed for their fine wines. Shiraz in the Barossa Valley. Chardonnay from Margaret River. Pinot Noir on the Mornington Peninsula. Wineries in these regions are vertically integrated businesses – they grow the grapes, make the wines, offer tastings at the cellar door, and more.
Yet a new breed of urban wineries are breaking this traditional mould and proving that fine wines can be made anywhere.
Nikki Palun, owner and winemaker at Octtava Wines, is one of the people behind this change and since opening in Melbourne in 2013, she has achieved great success. The business – its name a nod to the musical octave – now employs six people and operates from an office in Port Melbourne and a facility in Melbourne’s south-east.
Until recent trade bans came into play, Octtava Wines had a strong market in China and a loyal local following. After losing around two-thirds of her market when the door to China closed, Nikki is now exploring new opportunities. In fact, exciting plans are afoot to grow the domestic business, explore new overseas markets, and open a new space in Melbourne.
“My next step is to build an urban winery, food and retail space that celebrates the perfect pairing of food, music and wine. Rather than the old idea of ‘build it out in the regions and they will come’, I want to bring Octtava Wines to the people – so more people can enjoy it, more of the time,” Nikki said.
Funding long-term growth
To realise these new dreams for her business, Nikki needed funding. The wine industry runs on lean margins at the best of times, requiring long-term financial commitment.
Add to this the day-to-day financial commitments that any small business faces – hiring staff, renting offices, marketing and more – and the cash flow pressures mount.
“I decided to apply for a business loan to fund Octtava’s growth”, said Nikki.
Fast access to funds
Nikki’s business broker, Chris Fuentes from Sentient Finance, recommended an ANZ business loan.
“I wasn’t an ANZ customer at that stage, so I set up a meeting at my local branch. The person I dealt with there, Coral, was amazing – extremely welcoming and helpful. And from that first meeting, I couldn’t believe the efficiency and speed of the whole application process. I applied on a Friday, had all my forms submitted by Monday, and approval from the credit team on the Tuesday.”
ANZ GoBiz links directly to Xero
The secret behind the super-speedy loan application process? ANZ GoBiz, an online loan application tool that links directly with business accounting software including Xero, Intuit QuickBooks and MYOB to automatically fill forms and supply the financials a bank needs to approve a loan.
Chris summed up the appeal of ANZ GoBiz for a small business like Octtava Wines, saying, “The process is simple, the product is competitive, and if it makes life and business easier for my clients, then I’ll absolutely recommend it. There are no antiquated hurdles to jump through and there is a level of trust in the data provided.”
Having used Xero since she first started the business, all of Octtava Wines’ financials were securely stored online.
“With GoBiz, it really was as simple as pressing a button. The whole loan application was online, with everything uploaded straight from Xero. By eliminating all that tedious form-filling, I reckon I saved myself a good couple of days of admin work,” she said.
“Without hesitation, it has been the best, easiest and fastest loan application process I have ever experienced.”
A bright future for a promising winemaker
Nikki is certainly one to watch. Her passion is infectious: “When you play music and drink wine, life becomes better. I absolutely love running my own business and doing what I do. It helps that wine is a fabulous product – it symbolises all the fantastic moments we share with friends, the conversations we have, the food we eat, and the places we travel to.”
Since receiving GoBiz funding, Octtava Wines has identified new markets including India, Bangladesh and Taiwan, and has established a relationship with a Japanese distributor. Domestically its built a new distribution network in Queensland, grown restaurant penetration, and will be opening a retail cellar in Port Melbourne.
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