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Meet Our Team - Matthew Thompson

  1. Can you share a bit about your journey and how you got involved with Toynetworks and the Virtual CFO Group?


I met Ben when he was MD of the previous Toynetworx. He was one of my first Virtual CFO clients when I was operating on my own. Once I established a liking and reputation as a Virtual CFO I merged with another CVFO and we now operate the Virtual CFO group as a partnership. My relationship with Ben evolved to focus on remodelling the Toynetworks service offering so I have retained a working relationship with him now for over a year.


  1. As a Commercial Director of Toynetworks, what are your primary responsibilities and challenges?


I primarily focus on being a trusted advisor to Ben. TN limiting factor is capacity so knowing what to say no to is important for achieving a good Return on Time. This is the main theme on which my advise to Ben is based on. Where are limited in the sense that we don’t hold stock or carry debtors so as a conduit business it can be difficult to convince people about the value proposition.



  1. How has your experience with the Virtual CFO Group influenced your work at Toynetworks?


I think understanding the mindset and struggles of the small business owner and trying to cover a lot of bases with limited resources translates well in both companies.


  1. Can you share your insights on the current state of the Australian economy and its impact on businesses like yours?

The labour market and cost of living are both bad and are likely to only get worse until a solution to housing scarcity is found.

My main point of interest in the Small business sector. This sector makes up 80% of the economy but they are struggling in the face of increased costs and the scarcity of good people. We found focusing on this niche to be the best deployment of our skillset.



  1. What are your thoughts on the future of the Australian economy, especially in the context of global economic trends?


The labour market and cost of living are both bad and are likely to only get worse until a solution to housing scarcity is found.

There is a clear lack of foresight and macro economic planning and sadly the politics is quite petty and fails to focus on any real fundamental delivery of change.


  1. How do you see the toy industry evolving in Australia and globally over the next few years?


The big retailers will get stronger and squeeze out more independents. Those with a strong online presence and lean supply chain will service, everybody else will battle.


  1. What unique challenges and opportunities do you see in the toy industry, given your position at Toynetworks?


I think cooperatives and the use of agents like Toynetworks to form an extension of others value and supply chains to create compelling ranges and increase buying powers and scale economies is important. Expertise in licencing is perhaps also underestimated as an advisory service for those with ambition in the industry.


  1. Can you share an instance where you had to make a tough decision in your role at Toynetworks or the Virtual CFO Group?


The hardest thing as your growing is to decide what to say No to, especially when you are still getting established and want to specialise or become know for something.



  1. How do you stay updated with the latest trends and changes in both the toy industry and the financial sector?


LinkedIn and online reading mostly as well as frequent conversation with trusted people in my network.


  1. What advice would you give to someone looking to enter either the toy industry or the financial sector in Australia?


Bolt on to somebody more knowledgeable and established than you are, be teachable, figure out what you are good at and take honest feedback on board.


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