Profile – Phil Rice (Entrepreneur)

Embarking on his entrepreneurial journey in 1980, Phil led a dual life filled with passion and dedication. By day, he navigated the bustling aisles of a retail supermarket, while by night, he transformed into an entertainer extraordinaire, serving as a DJ and a charismatic Master of Ceremonies. The music that flowed through his veins was both an outlet for his creativity and a steadfast companion as he ventured into diverse career endeavours over the next 35 years.

In 1987, Phil’s career took an exciting turn when he joined the ranks of Tandy Electronics. With remarkable zeal and prowess, he swiftly ascended to franchisee status within a mere two years, steering one of Adelaide’s largest retail emporiums. However, the retail sector’s evolution into 7-day trading in the early ’90s ushered in heightened stress, gruelling hours, and escalated expenses for franchisees. Faced with these challenges, Phil made a pivotal decision to bid farewell to the retail realm.

In pursuit of a fresh horizon, Phil’s quest for reinvention led him to Aussie Home Loans in 1996, where he assumed the role of Loans Manager. It was here that he discovered a springboard into the financial industry, equipping him with the knowledge and experience to dive headfirst into the world of finance. Following two years at Aussie, Phil transitioned to BankSA, taking up a senior lending role within their Business Development team.

Phil had always held a deep-seated passion for finance. Back in 1980, after completing his high school education, he had even ventured into interviews with three different banks. However, he found the stringent entry criteria stifling at the time, which steered him towards the world of retail. A turnaround came in 1996 when Phil charted a course into finance through Aussie Home Loans.

Yet, while BankSA provided a structured environment, Phil yearned for more autonomy to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. It wasn’t long before a golden opportunity presented itself through Century21 Real Estate (C21). With his innate financial acumen and a well-connected network within the real estate industry, Phil envisioned the creation of a robust finance arm for the C21 group. After arduous negotiations, Phil devised a groundbreaking model that was pilot-tested in two offices. After just 12 months, the results spoke for themselves—a substantial increase in income from finance commission splits, an influx of new property listings from the finance brokers, and the implementation of an effective customer retention strategy. This resounding success soon saw the model adopted nationwide.

In 2009, Phil’s contract with C21 concluded, and Macquarie Bank seized the reins, propelling the finance arm to new heights. It was at this juncture that Phil founded EZ Finance, a boutique finance brokering firm. His vision was clear—to establish a true brokerage with the ability to find finance solutions for a wide spectrum of needs. Achieving this required the acquisition of an Australian Credit License and the assembly of a diverse panel of over 150 banks and lenders. This strategic move empowered Phil and his adept team of finance brokers to think beyond the conventional and craft tailored financial solutions, particularly for the dynamic SME market.

Phil’s remarkable journey is a testament to his unyielding dedication to his passions and an unwavering commitment to reshaping the financial landscape. He stands as a paragon of the enduring entrepreneurial spirit, fearlessly navigating diverse terrains in the quest for fresh horizons and innovative ways to cater to his clients’ needs.

During this remarkable journey, Phil found himself deeply engaged with business owners hailing from every corner of Australia. While financial solutions were readily available, they often offered nothing more than a temporary fix, as underlying issues plagued businesses. This intriguing conundrum led Phil to delve into the root causes, giving birth to The Business Advice Agency (BAA). It was a revelation to discover that the business support industry operated in a wild west of its own, unregulated and infested with impostors posing as business coaches, charging exorbitant fees, and shattering the dreams of countless business owners.

In the midst of this chaos, Phil was galvanized by a singular motivation—to develop a solution that could be rolled out nationwide, accessible to the average business owner, and comprehensive enough to eliminate the need for seeking solutions elsewhere. In 2019, BAA was officially incorporated, and in 2023, it opened its doors to the world after three years of intensive research and development. Within the BAA umbrella, two other divisions, Better Business Coach (BBC) and Wiilson, seamlessly interweave to offer a holistic proposition.

Beyond these impressive milestones, Phil boasts an impressive array of qualifications and certifications, including a Diploma in Finance, Certificate 4 in Finance, Certified Professional Business Coach (CPBC), certificates in Business Law, Economics, Communications, and Accounting, along with holding an Australian Credit License. His extensive knowledge and expertise are further reflected in his Retail Sales Certificates and more. With offices in both Adelaide and Brisbane, Phil frequently traverses state lines, ensuring that his impact reaches far and wide.

On a personal note, Phil is not only a seasoned entrepreneur but a loving husband and father to seven adult children, with eight grandchildren who remind him that time never stands still. While sports may not be his forte, music remains his soul’s true harmony, his evergreen “Jam” that keeps his spirits high and creativity flowing.

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