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Name: Chad Otar
Company: Lending Valley
What are you building and who benefits from it?
At Lending Valley, we’re incredibly mission-oriented, our mission being to help small to medium-sized businesses access the funding they need as quickly as possible.
So far, our products include bad credit business loans, merchant cash advances, and general small business loans.
What is the difference between our loans and those from other lenders? We match you to a loan program and make funds available within 24 hours of application—we aim to make this even faster in the future.
What has been the biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
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Just like any business, we’ve had our fair share of challenges, making choosing the biggest one somewhat difficult. That said, the coronavirus pandemic threw the economy and us a curveball. However, we performed after-action reviews to help us deal better with unprecedented times in the future, should they come.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
Our team couldn’t live without Monday.com. The tool has worked wonders to enhance productivity and efficiency and align all our employees. It allows us to communicate seamlessly, ensuring we’re all on the same page, regardless of our physical locations.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
I learned early in my career that you can’t market to everyone everywhere. So, Lending Valley focuses on three channels—LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Why? Because these are the platforms our customers use, and we want to target our marketing efforts to those who need us most.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
We’ve all heard the expression “jack of all trades, master of none.” With that in mind, I’d say my best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs is find your niche. Determining your specialization will differentiate you from others in your sphere. On top of that, you’ll reap rewards such as:
• Loyal customer base—A solid niche ensures a specific sector will want to buy from your company instead of your competitors. Customers can easily identify your product or service and know it suits their requirements.
• Reduced marketing costs—Without a distinct customer group, you’ll spend tons on marketing to no avail. With a niche, however, you’ll run targeted ads and hard-hitting campaigns for the people who genuinely need your business.
• Minimized competition—Niches automatically differentiate you from the rest. You won’t be competing with big names and can focus on the quality of your product and customer service instead.
• Demonstrated expertise—Occupying a niche lets you easily establish yourself as an expert rather than a supplier of another generic product or service. Ultimately, this helps you attract the right people and stand out from the crowd.
What does your company’s trajectory look like over the next five years?
Over the next five years, we aim to harness AI-powered technology to deliver even quicker loans to our SME customers.
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