Stick To Your Knitting Or Risk Wearing A Funny Jumper (And Cause Irrepairable Damage To Your Clients Business)

In the past few weeks, I have learned a few things and seen a few things that others should know! I have learned that in 16 years of providing debt collection and debt prevention systems to my clients in the Bay of Plenty, I have become very good at it and that the value that I can bring to my clients in this area is, by all available evidence, unparalleled.

In saying this, I do not mean to be immodest or arrogant. It is simply a fact. Since Feb 2007 I have met with, on average, three businesses a day for 16 years, each with their struggles, USPs, niches, styles and approaches, meaning that I have listened to 11,745 scenarios from nearly every industry and when I say almost every industry let me give you a snapshot of one day: In the morning I was meeting with an $800 per hour commercial lawyer in a plush CBD office, mid-morning I was in a Kohanga discussing errant accounts, and in the afternoon I was in a dairy shed with a man who manufacturers synthetic cow vaginas for the artificial insemination industry discussing how to create terms of trade to protect his business.

For each industry I work with, I research the transactional nature of the industry, the legislative requirements and the most common points of contention in those industries. If I am to be trusted by these clients to protect them, I ensure that I do just that. The amount of work that I do and have put in to become an expert in my field has given me enormous respect for other professionals that do the same, often as trusted advisors, we are asked to weigh in on various business issues (I was once even asked to be a guest lecturer at a polytech to speak about marketing because they were impressed with my credit management knowledge!)

It is then our opportunity to show professional courtesy to our fellow advisors and say that ultimate line, “Unfortunately, I am not an expert on that issue, but I know just the person who is, and I’m sure they would be happy to discuss that with you”. I have heard so many advisors bluff and blunder through giving advice that they have no place giving simply because they feel that saying “I don’t know” will cause them to lose face. Deferring to a true subject matter expert shows ultimate respect for your client and the expert you refer to, strengthening both relationships!

There is no shame in holding your client’s well-being above your pride! It is the difference between a functionary and a trusted advisor, I know which one I would rather be.


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Brooke Ahern
Lower North Island Manager

Based on the Kapiti Coast in Wellington, with over ten years of success as a strategic, hands-on leader, Brooke Ahern brings a wealth of experience over his career, driving innovative revenue growth and profitability for his organisations. As Brooke progressed through his career, he developed a reputation for being creative and executing high-profile product marketing and growth strategies. These have significantly impacted an organisation’s bottom line.

After ten years of management experience ranging from business development manager to chief revenue officer for a large company, Brooke joined Debt Free Limited in 2022 after observing and experiencing the difficulties in obtaining and managing business documentation. Brooke saw an opportunity to provide New Zealand businesses with industry-leading credit-checking tools and documentation they need to mitigate/prevent future risk.

Brooke has a proven record of going above and beyond for his clients, and we are excited to have him a part of the team here at Debt Free

[email protected] | 0212262563

Mark McLachlan

Mark is an expert with ten years of experience dealing exclusively with business documentation and credit management processes. He has completed a New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5 qualification and consulted with thousands of companies, saving his clients millions.

Mark founded Debt Free in 2021 as he is passionate about helping New Zealand companies to succeed and flourish by getting paid their hard-earned money while avoiding typical issues faced in their industry. He has immense knowledge of real-life cases and how tailored credit management processes can prevent debt, address the unique demands of a wide range of industries, and remove risks and liabilities relevant to business activities.

Attending association and organisation speeches, Mark is a respected figure in the credit management industry and is a member of the New Zealand credit and finance institute.

[email protected].nz | 021 283 9027

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[email protected] | 0212839027

Josh Whitehouse
South Island Manager

Growing up in Taranaki, Josh worked in business consulting for eight years, delivering successful solutions to his clients before relocating to Christchurch and joining Debt Free in early 2022 to look after the beautiful South Island.

Josh is a trusted and valued team member specialising in business documentation, business development, credit management and account management. He has helped the companies he consulted with to implement best practice credit management processes and saved individual clients hundreds of thousands of dollars. Josh entered this space for one reason, his absolute love and adoration for people and a passion for helping others to achieve greatness in business and life.

Josh’s business motto is “there is untapped greatness in all of us. Sometimes we just need a little help to cultivate it.”

[email protected].nz0272722132


Rana searle
Office Manager

Rana started as an Office Manager when she was only a teenager and has extensive experience across many different industries, including building, horticulture and healthcare. She is a great communicator, an avid list maker, and always plans things well in advance.

Rana is super helpful, caring and kind and is a perfectionist when it comes to documentation. She has an incredible eye for detail and thrives on getting stuck in and succeeding. Rana prides herself on being people-focused, loves motivating others to be their best and always puts her client’s needs first as she genuinely cares and wants the best outcome.

Rana is always smiling, has a proven track record, is a natural-born leader who loves managing a team and genuinely loves to help whenever and wherever she can. She is passionate about our purpose to make sure New Zealand businesses flourish and grow. Rana loves being able to help the people behind those businesses feel safe and secure to succeed and is a big part of the Debt Free team.

[email protected] | 0212226425