Although he’s been using Fundbox for less than a year, this isn’t Duke Lambert’s first rodeo. Prior to co-founding the Salesforce consulting company SNAP Business Intelligence, Duke Lambert spent 20 years in Silicon Valley as a VP running sales teams—and before that, he used to run a successful motorsports dealership. In fact, he still rides a KTM and a BMW, proving that there are small business owners of all kinds.
After two decades spent managing sales teams that depended upon Salesforce, Duke realized he never had a very good experience when hiring outside consultants to help with Salesforce. He loved the Salesforce product and recognized the business opportunity, so he and his cofounder, Curtis Christensen, decided to create a consulting company of their own to help tech startups with business process and Salesforce configuration.
“Our job is to help business clients realize the value in Salesforce and related business applications,” Duke says. “We deliver good infrastructure and a solid Salesforce instance that their employees love using—and that their executive team can efficiently query to make good business decisions.”
With such great value proposition, SNAPbi has been profitable from day one. Business is great, but it’s not without its challenges. Because they’re a people business and bill by the hour, it’s imperative to have the highly skilled people resources to do the work for the clients. At the same time, it’s also important to always have interesting work to keep the team busy. Balancing the workforce and the workload is an ongoing challenge, especially when the company has more than doubled each year since it was founded.
“On any given day, I’m worried that I have too many people and not enough work or too much work and not enough people,” says Duke. SNAP prefers not to work with contractors, since contracting can lead to a poor client experience. “Everyone on the team is full-time and salaried, so we’re losing money if there isn’t enough work for them.”
SNAPbi has great receivables, but that’s largely because they’re very diligent with collections and pay very close attention to their cash flow. “For a long time, our cash flow was very thin,” Duke says. “We may invoice on net 15, but clients sometimes take 30 or 60 days to pay us.” Rather than look to investors for capital, as is typically the case in the Valley, Duke and Curtis started with two customers, then used revenue generated from them and subsequent customers to fund SNAPbi’s growth. In other words, growth was limited by cash flow. That’s when Fundbox came in.
“Curtis and I have been in business for years, and we’ve never needed any money. That said, when we started the company, payroll was $25k/month. If something went wrong, we could cut personal checks. But now that the company has grown and payroll runs over $150k/month, the financial risk is higher. We’re in a business where the majority of our costs are payroll, so it’s important that we receive client payments quickly and reliably.”
Duke decided to check Fundbox out after seeing an ad on Facebook. While he initially hesitated when it came to connecting his accounting software to the Fundbox platform, he ultimately figured it was reasonable. “After all, I’d show my financials to a bank,” he says. At first, they were approved for a small Fundbox Credit limit, but they recently received an increase.
“What really stands out to me is how easy it is to use Fundbox,” says Duke. Unlike other financial solutions, Fundbox didn’t need a personal guarantee. “We love the simplicity of the system—easy to set up, easy to sync, choose an invoice to clear, money in your bank account the next business day. The product is straightforward, communication is great, and customer service is excellent.”
Not too long after SNAPbi started using Fundbox, one of their business partners was acquired by Salesforce. Through that acquisition, that business partner grew very quickly, resulting in more business for SNAPbi. “Without Fundbox, we would have been more cautious about pursuing that business with them because of the risk,” says Duke. “Whenever we take on a new client, we need to bring on new employee resources to support them. All of a sudden, we had an opportunity to take on many new clients, and Fundbox mitigated the risk so we could grow faster by hiring new employees who supported the increased workload.”
Business growth can stagnate when cash flow is locked up in unpaid invoices and late payments, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Unlike some small businesses who seek funds only when they need immediate access to cash to pay bills on time or make payroll, Duke used Fundbox to safely take on new customers. With SNAPbi rapidly growing year after year, he’s looking forward to seeing Fundbox grow as well. “We’re hoping our Fundbox Credit continues to increase so we can keep taking on new clients when the opportunities arise.”