What do you do when your 30-year-old business model is completely disrupted by a global pandemic?
Newable Finance is part of Newable, a multi-faceted business with a relentless focus on enabling SMEs to thrive. It offers SMEs flexible workspaces, advice and access to financial services - whether investment, loans or funding for buyouts.
Previously the largest non-bank Enterprise Finance Guarantee lender in the UK, Newable Business Finance’s primary point of differentiation was largely stripped away by the pandemic as the Government introduced a much needed support package for UK SMEs, including, CBILS and BBLS.
The SMEs Newable Business Finance supported could now access government-backed loans from a broader range of financial institutions, who previously would not have lent in this market.
This is the story of how the organisation pivoted its entire go to market strategy and why it is now preparing for considerable growth in the months ahead.
Adapting rapidly to meet the shifting demands of the market
The critical first step was to recognise exactly how the market had changed and identify where Newable Business Finance could add value to the businesses it supports.
“Our business model of enabling and supporting SMEs to access loan funding was eroded due to the rapid deployment of the CBILs and BBLs programmes,” explains Philip.
“We no longer had our USP since the business finance products available were the same everywhere.”
Newable Finance understood SMEs and entrepreneurs would still need advice, guidance and support in accessing the right finance, it had to position itself as the go to place for support.
It recognised an increasing need for small and medium sized businesses to access funding experts to support them in repositioning their business for recovery and growth in 2021 and access an increasingly fragmented lending marketplace.
“Our value is in being local experts and that meant we had to be experts in the local market and the sector within which the SMEs operated,” says Philip.
“We are now several months into a completely new go to market strategy, ramping up our hiring in key local areas to deliver the support our customers need, where they need it most.”
Building out a new USP for customers
Creating regional offices staffed with local experts was the second step on the journey for Newable Finance. Then it had to expand the product offering over and above the existing portfolio to ensure any suggested solution is perfect for its customers.
“We are proactive in securing new partnerships and always looking for more,” says Philip. “Our value is offering our customers the best possible solution for their needs.
“To do that effectively we need two things - to know everything about the customer and their circumstances, and to have access to a wide range of solutions to match their circumstances and objectives.”
With a blossoming product portfolio and a growing team of local experts, Newable Finance needed to ensure its technology platform was primed for its new go to market strategy.
Creating a technology ecosystem to empower employees and customers
“Everything is built on top of a digital core in Hubspot,” explains Philip.
“Operating from the cloud is essential since it gives us the power to access from anywhere, review everything in one place, integrate all the tools we need and monitor our performance easily.
“We can then replicate best practice and even deliver prompts to our operatives that ensure consistency at point of service and generate trust in our customers.”
Taking advantage of digital tools has helped Newable Finance pivot rapidly to its new direction and is helping the organisation grow too.
“This approach has proved incredibly scalable and has given us the confidence to pursue a growth strategy into 2021,” says Philip.
“Government lending won’t continue forever so we have made sure we are ready to support SMEs who are looking to better manage the debt they’ve taken on over the last year.”
Working from a single source of truth
Information is ultimately Newable Finance’s USP, it’s what its customers need.
They come looking for honest guidance, support, and the right opportunities to help their businesses grow. Which means that up to date and accurate data is critical.
“Our customers want and expect intelligent conversations with knowledgeable people,” says Philip. “Therefore, our brokers and advisors on the front line have to have all the correct information ahead of time.
“Small business owners don’t have time to waste either, so every conversation they have with us needs to be insightful, useful, and based on truth.”
To help deliver on these objectives, Newable Finance has switched from the DueDil Web App to the API. Although it's very early days in the deployment, Newable Finance is already seeing impact.
“Newable Finance was able to switch to the API and be up and running on a no-code form of the product in a couple of days,” says Philip. “And we are hearing positive feedback from all those on the front lines.
“Our customers receive first-class service and support based on up to date information and our brokers are impressed at the rich depth of the data at their disposal.
“We can’t wait to see how this evolution and partnership with DueDil continues to power our growth and improves the support we provide to the SMB sector.”