RAAF spouse Karin Bennett has launched her own financial planning business to empower women and transitioning defence members.
RAAF spouse Karin Bennett has launched her own financial planning business to empower women and advise serving members as they transition into civilian life.
The experienced tax agent, accountant and financial adviser opened Your Fresh Start Financial Services in March 2020 after failing to find the right company to join.
“I didn't like the old-style businesses that are out there,” she said.
“They’re sort of still running on the old mentalities and I didn't really feel like I fitted with those.”
So Karin started her own business. And she’s loving being a one-woman start up.
“I'm not really in it for the big profits,” she said.
“I really want to be able to continue balancing working in my business and helping people to fulfill their lives, empower people and get them to that better lifestyle.”
Karin said being a military partner also influenced her decision to strike out on her own.
“As a defence spouse, it's harder to continuously find jobs that fit in with your partner’s working hours, if he's deployed, and how that affects your family,” she said.
“So being able to start your own business gives you a lot more flexibility.”
And being part of the defence community meant Karin was able take part in Prince’s Trust Australia Enterprise programme this year.
“Even though I'd already started my business, those Enterprise Online sessions were really, really helpful,” she said.
“It helped dig down into why we are doing this business, what we need to make this business work, and what is our business model going to look like.
“It also connected me to other women - our group was just women - that are all over the country doing the same with other small businesses.”
Karin went on to do the follow-up Enterprise Connect workshop and she also made an important connection with the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre through the programme.
“Through that connection I was able to see if I could fit the criteria to become part of the consumer group,” she said.
“So, on the actual website that they have, it now lists my business. And that listing helps generate leads.
“Because that's the hardest thing when you start up a business, being able to get your name noticed somewhere.”
ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre Chair, Air Commodore Robert Brown said Karin was a fine example of an ADF family member who enjoyed helping others and was committed to her clients’ best interests.
“We’re more than happy to freely offer our knowledge and experience to a person like Karin whose professional expertise and caring attitude can make a real and positive difference to members of the Australian community,” he said.
Robert said the Centre was delighted to be able to present a segment in the Enterprise programme on establishing, running, and selling an owner-operated business.
“We are impressed by the commitment of the Prince’s Trust to the welfare and success of our ADF members, veterans and families who are contemplating small business ownership,” he said.
Visit Karin’s business: https://yourfreshstartfinancialservices.com.au
Article is written for The Trust by an Australian Defence Force spouse, freelance copywriter, and Enterprise program alumna Courtney Snowden.
Article features in the October/November edition of Top Ender Magazine.