21 min 1 sec
It’s easy to imagine politicians and traditional lenders as old school Chatty Kathy dolls… you pull the string and utterances about the importance of small business come out of their mouths. You might hear: “Small businesses are the foundation of this country,” or, “small businesses are America’s engine.” There’s a reason that politicians, and lenders like banks, at least pay lip service to the importance of small businesses. It’s because there are 31.7 million small businesses in the United States and they comprise 97.5 percent of exporters. Small businesses are America’s economic engine — that’s a fact. But, historically, they have had difficulty securing money from lenders. Oftentimes, they aren’t really acknowledged at all by the big banks and if they are, they are treated as economic tools for growth rather than as equals. But what if a fintech company came along that respected small businesses as partners; that quickly and accurately measured them for their true value, and then worked to efficiently provide them the resources they needed, even before they actually needed it? Cetin Duransoy is the Chief Operating Officer at Fundbox, which he describes as a fintech company that has small business etched into its genetic code. It serves almost 300,000 clients and uses the power of digitization, data science, and A.I. to form relationships with small businesses and ensures that they have the loans and lines of credit they require to operate successfully. Even though many politicians and lenders extol the virtues of small businesses, what is Fundbox’s special X factor that helps it not only talk the talk but walk the walk? What is it that keeps Fundbox in that pocket seeing itself as a tool for clients rather than clients as a tool for the company? Find out on this episode of Business X factors.Main takeaways: Partners are the Key: Strong partnerships with other companies or small and medium-sized businesses can help to scale businesses to new levels. For startups that tend to have a solid grip on innovation but struggle to reach key markets, it is important to have partners. A McKinsey study identified principles for successful partnerships, such as commitment and attention on both sides; bridging cultural and technological differences; pilot projects to find the sweet spots; key performance indicators should be defined and monitored; and, the focus should be on joint product development rather than general programs. The Little Mistakes Matter: Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway said in one of his shareholder letters, “It’s remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid.” CEOs often focus on avoiding the big mistakes, but it is not just about avoiding the whoppers; it is execution or avoiding mistakes at every level, including at the micro-level that affects customers’ experience. Solving issues or ensuring execution at micro-levels do contribute to success or failure. Getting them right can lead to something greater down the road. Work Back from Customers’ Needs: Many companies figure out what to do next by building on what they’re really good at doing. George Bezos called it a “skills-forward approach” in one of his shareholder letters. The skills-forward approach says, “We are really good at X. What else can we do with X?” But this approach would not lead to developing fresh skills and give customers what they really want. To take your business to the next level, start by thinking about what customers want or need, and work backward to determine what you can build. When Amazon developed the Kindle, the company used this approach, hiring people with the right skills to engineer a device that customers needed rather than creating a product out of their existing skills. ---Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland. For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.