As the owner and CEO of Team Friday, a Los Angeles-based creative firm, Michelle O’Grady knew that agility would be a key to success. Since rapid growth in business can sometimes lead to cash flow challenges, especially from new hiring costs and long payment delays. She required a financing solution as agile as her agency. To gain access to funds—as and when they were needed, without taking on long-term debt—Michelle turned to Fundbox. Here’s how we helped.
On a mission for service, not just growth
Providing brand strategy, experiential marketing, digital communications, and other marketing initiatives, Team Friday primarily serves nonprofits, government, and philanthropic clients, including the City of Los Angeles and Inglewood Educational Foundation. Its social mission is focused on building purpose, furthering causes, and creating impact.
Her agency began with five full-time employees and a few contractors, but in the highly-competitive marketing industry, growth demands taking on large and innovative projects. While landing such clients has the potential to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, these organizations, especially in the public sector, tend to have more complex contracts and longer repayment terms than the traditional Net-30—often multi-year.
Such challenges can make cash flow less than certain. What’s more, in order to ensure the agency had both the capacity and the competencies to take on such new accounts, Michelle needed access to working cash flow to hire additional help, including contractors.
Like many business owners, Michelle had originally bootstrapped her business using funds drawn from a savings account. However, when it came to her growth objectives, she didn’t want to carry the operational debt associated with a traditional small business loan. To cover unforeseen or short-term expenses, from talent acquisition to covering payroll and other overhead when facing late invoice payments, the agency needed a solution that was quick to access, flexible, and renewable.
Getting a line on an agile solution
Through a Fundbox partner integration with the QuickBooksⓇ accounting software used by Team Friday, Michelle learned about how a Fundbox line of credit could help smooth out cash flow and support the growth of the business.
“I stumbled on Fundbox and just applied. Within minutes I had a credit decision and funds were available as early as the next business day,” said Michelle.
Besides the quick and seamless application process, Michelle values the flexibility and control that a Fundbox line of credit gives her. “The funds are there whenever I need them. I only pay when I draw funds and pay back on a schedule that works for me, either 12 or 24 weeks – eliminating the burden of ongoing operational debt,” said Michelle. “When I make a payment, my credit replenishes and there’s no penalty for paying back early. I also have complete visibility into my account status, so there are no surprises.”
With a Fundbox line of credit, fees are clearly communicated ahead of time and payments are only made when funds are drawn. It’s a seamless solution, too. Because Fundbox integrates with QuickBooks invoicing, if a customer pays late, Team Friday can easily offset any delinquent payments with Fundbox credit.
From filling gaps to fueling growth
The results have been measurable and impressive. Team Friday has used Fundbox for more than two years, during which time it has doubled its client base and revenue.
“Fundbox has been really crucial as we’ve shifted gears and built our new client base,” said O’Grady. “We’ve used Fundbox to grow headcount to fill in gaps in our expertise, expand the business, manage cash flow when a client pays late, and more. If we didn’t have Fundbox as a resource I don’t think we would have been able to expand the way we wanted to while staying true to our agile roots.”
The benefits of using Fundbox go beyond the tangible, short-term relief of having quick access to liquid capital. Because she’s not burdened with worrying about cash flow, Michelle says she has more time to focus on doing what Team Friday does best.
“The level of foundational support that Fundbox gives us helps with all the things we need to do as a creative firm,” said Michelle. “I need to dream of ideas for clients. I don’t have time to worry about whether something is going to lapse, because we don’t have the cash flow. I look at Fundbox as a partner who helps us make sure that we’re stable.”