Top entrepreneur on the benefits of business cards

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An award-winning Australian CEO shares her words of wisdom with Finder.

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Bubbly, approachable and still shy at 45, Leela Cosgrove is breaking the mold of traditional CEOs. But she is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

With a background in copywriting, Cosgrove managed to build a multi-million dollar consulting business, Strategic anarchyand partnered with Hermès, Deloitte and Virgin Australia.

She’s given TED talks, won countless industry awards, and is a certified media darling. So why are we telling him about business cards?

Well, Cosgrove is an avowed fangirl of business cards and specifically American Express. Used responsibly, she says they can be an affordable and effective business tool. Here’s what she had to say about business cards and how they can help.

Cash flow

No matter how successful an organization is, low cash flow can easily bring it to its knees. It’s an issue that affects some industries more than others, something Cosgrove experienced first-hand when it expanded its business empire last year.

“For us in our consulting business, managing cash flow has been easier because clients are recurring and they prepay us for the month,” she told Finder. “But the e-commerce business I bought last year is completely different.”

Cosgrove’s newest business venture involves subscription boxes. She has to buy all the stock, pack it up, and get it ready before the money starts coming in.

In total, it costs around $18,000 to $20,000 to completely replenish inventory. It’s an expense Cosgrove regularly puts on its American Express Qantas Business Rewards card, which gives card members up to 51 days to pay for purchases.1.

“Having extra days means I can buy my inventory, bill my customers, and then use that money to put back on the card,” Cosgrove said. “It makes life so much easier knowing I have access to this money and it’s interest free during this time.”

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Employee expenses

Beyond helping with cash flow, Cosgrove says her business cards have helped track employee expenses. Because she has an American Express Qantas Business Rewards card, Cosgrove can apply for up to 99 free employee cards.2.

“All of my employees know to use the Amex card first,” she told Finder. “Everything goes automatically in Xero and it makes it easy to see who is spending what and where.”

It also makes life easier for the Cosgrove bookkeeper and accountant who can see instant feeds of card transactions alongside bank account statements.

“They do the numbers and just send me the bill for the quarterly BAS,” Cosgrove said. “There is no administrator, which was the bane of my existence.”

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Points

Not surprisingly, dots are also a big draw for business cards. Cosgrove’s American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card allows members to earn up to 1.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent on everyday business expenses3.

These can then be redeemed for a whole host of different goods or services, covering everything from kitchen appliances and home technology to flights and spa experiences. Other rewards cards may have their own point systems or loyalty programs.

Cosgrove recently used her Qantas Points for a new work laptop that reportedly cost nearly $4,000 but was instead offered for 400,000 Points. She also used 127,000 points to reduce the cost of a trip to Fiji, lowering the overall price from around $11,000 to $3,000.

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