From SMB to Lending Technology: The Business Warrior Journey.
At Business Warrior, we often get asked how we went from a small business platform to a lending technology platform… How did we evolve? Where is the synergy? Is this a new business model? The truth is, we used to ask ourselves the same hard questions…turns out the answers are so much simpler than anyone could have ever imagined.
As many of you know, Business Warrior started as a traditional marketing agency for small and medium-sized businesses. Our initial goal was to fuel business growth by providing data, tools, and resources to drive new levels of success.
During our journey, we found that businesses really needed a way to understand and identify issues with essential public data that affected their business. We also found that once they identified the issues that needed to be addressed, they needed a supporting plan and strategy for growth.
The problem is that for most business owners, strategy is meaningless without the capital to execute that strategy. Raising money to grow a business is challenging, especially for small businesses.
We knew we had to help. We needed to solve the SMB growth journey.
We were ALL IN.
For a month, we asked ourselves, “how can we help our customers get the funding they need to pay for essential improvements to their business?”. We explored partnering with banks, lenders, private equity groups, and even good ol’ Uncle Sam. No Takers. SMB lending was simply too challenging for most groups. They didn’t understand our market or how our platform’s value would mitigate risk.
There was really only one route. We needed to become the lender.
So we set out to license a lending platform. The goal was to lend to business owners as an extension of our SaaS offering. EASY right? Find a platform to host a loan application, check credit, and perform some decisioning… This would enable us to fund our customers’ growth plans AND create a new revenue stream for the company. Win, Win.
We gave ourselves a few months, which we knew was tight, but it seemed plausible given the focus of our team and the resources we already had at our disposal.
Boy, were we wrong.
During the discovery phase, we found that almost every one of the lending ‘platforms’ we vetted fell short. They were either too complex, outdated or needed more features and functions to support a complete lending offering. Then we found Alchemy.
At the time, Alchemy was a custom lending software solutions company. They had by far the most attractive offering in the market and had built solutions for many successful enterprise companies. Finally, a real option – a full-featured platform we could license within our budget (which by the way, was very healthy).
We pulled the trigger, and our project with Alchemy got started. All went as planned, but not without issues. Although they had the experience and knowledge to provide us with an entire lending solution from end to end, implementation felt more like a custom software development project than a pre-built configurable platform. We spent a lot of time discovering, planning, and creating software that felt redundant to what we knew they had already built for others.
We wondered why isn’t a complete turnkey lending platform already out there for consumption. More on that later…
Fast forward 6 months, and our custom lending solution was launched. Everything we needed – soup to nuts. Our vision came to life; we started lending and never looked back.
Then something magical happened.
We realized that lending platforms needed marketing technology just as much as businesses themselves. We discovered that traditional marketing challenges like funnel analysis, conversion optimization, and pipeline reporting were just some of the many ways a lender needs to optimize their marketing to be successful.
It was then we knew there was an even bigger opportunity to help businesses grow. The combination of marketing and lending was explosive. If we could empower lenders to be more successful, capital distribution to their businesses would have far more reach.
The evolution of the lending industry was right in front of us; we knew it was a vital part of innovating our business. Creating a full-featured lending platform would be a significant step forward in our efforts to provide the lending industry’s best possible service. It would alleviate all of the headaches and obstacles that slow down a lender’s ability to scale. We must build the best possible platform for lenders and financial institutions and make lending a fluid experience for everyone that touches the process, including customers.
We can turn the lending industry upside down.
So in June, we acquired Alchemy, and from there, we set out to build the best, most efficient, results-driven lending platform in the market.
The result: PayPlan, the next-generation lending platform – built from the same lending technology that has powered globally successful lending companies, brought to our customers as a complete offering. It’s Intuitive. It’s Efficient. It’s Turnkey. It’s Cost-effective. PayPlan has everything we have always wanted to build, and we want to show the world what it can do.
For more information, visit enterprise.businesswarrior.com
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