1/ My alarm goes off…
I get up at 8:00 and review my calendar first thing, after which I check in with the Operations Team to ensure that the Crowd2Fund platform has had no issues from other regions during the night; China and Singapore are winding down at this point of the day.
The Romanian team will have been online for the last 3 hours and will normally have sent the UK team a number of queries which need to get responded to promptly. After confirming all is OK, I’ll scan emails received while I was sleeping and prioritise my day.
2/ I’m responsible for…
Running and growing Crowd2Fund.com, a debt-based crowdfunding platform. We’re currently growing at 28.5% month on month, so managing this growth effectively and responsibly is important, particularly overseeing the teams, both in London and Bucharest. As the CEO and Founder, I’m ultimately responsible for all areas of the company, such as Finance, Technology, Marketing, Operations, Compliance and updating our shareholders.
It’s not easy keeping a finger on the pulse of every team, so I make sure the team are happy, motivated and organised, meaning communication flows and is consistent. This is the most important part of Crowd2Fund’s growth, as the team are the ones moving things forward in their particular area of the company.
3/ My typical day…
Our core team sit together in a war room environment first thing every day and I get the offshore teams on a video conference to make sure everyone is aligned and on target.
I mainly work with the business development team: quality deal flow is the lifeblood of our company. The more content we have on the platform, the more investment activity we get. Tatiana runs the business development team and will update me on any exciting deals that may need special attention.
We’re a technology-led company, so I also work closely with David and Liviu who head up the platform’s technology requirements from both an operational and feature perspective. David sits next to me and if he wants quick answers from a business perspective, he can ask me directly and we can talk the problem through. This enables us to deliver world-class technology in a highly agile and flexible environment.
The final thing to get the day started is delegation and making sure that requests that come to me directly are sent to the right individual, ensuring requests get delivered quickly, and I manage my time and my team’s time effectively.
I get many face-to-face meeting requests, and in the past, I have found myself running around London for these. My belief is that these are a bit of a waste of time, given Skype and phones, so I only take external meetings if absolutely necessary. Generally, my external meetings will be with regulators, investors, potential partner companies or very good clients, which I try to bunch up into one day.
The afternoons generally comprise of meeting with other team members, checking on progress, looking at reports and checking our monthly targets. Afternoons, particularly Thursday and Fridays, entail wrapping up the day’s priorities and getting things ready to continue over the weekend.
4/ I check… (Which metrics? P&L, Cashflow etc…)
We have a few dashboards I like to keep an eye on. The most important is daily investments, which varies based on the day or the time of the day. Another key statistic will be the forecast revenues for the month, based on the number of transactions we’re expecting from Risk Team approved financial offers.
A great thing about Crowd2Fund is that we’re a data-rich company, where so many insights can be driven by our users’ activity. Understanding strategic insights, and acting on them, is critical to ensure we are delivering a better service than our competitors and keeping our investor community happy.
5/ I track the following KPIs…
The marketing team will deliver a weekly report on progress and KPIs, which includes user registrations, number of new business registrations, new investors, new IFISAs registrations.
The fund performance, or percentage return for our investors, is another key indicator. We keep tabs on this to make sure we’re managing the risk of defaults and ensure we are offering fair interest rates to both investors and businesses.
There are many other KPIs on which we keep an eye on, such as cost per acquisition, dwell time on the platform, the number of investor queries and performance i.e. the speed the platform is working from a technology perspective.
Finally, our accounts team will keep me updated on our monthly burn rate, costs and forecasts.
6/ My most memorable work moment…
Completing our first deal on the platform back in November 2014 for £17k, which felt like a lot of money at the time.
Back then, David, our current Tech Director, was working with me. I remember being at our first office in Holborn and we just couldn’t believe it was working. We celebrated that same evening at the Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street, the oldest pub in the UK.
Another big one was achieving our first month of positive cash flow in April 2017. We opened a magnum bottle of Champagne that had been in the office for about 2 years waiting for the right moment to be popped.
7/ After work…
Evenings are normally booked up with work engagements, such as meeting external partners or freelancers.
We do nights out and dinners every few weeks and it’s a great time to catch up outside our close-knit work environment. We’ve had some great times!
On a personal note, I feel it’s really important to stay fit and healthy, so I play basketball once a week with a local team. It keeps me feeling refreshed.
8/ Top tip for entrepreneurs…
My biggest tip would definitely be to get a great team. I think this is one of those overstated things, but I can’t say enough how important it has been to get the right team in place. The wrong people waste your time and energy and drain those around them.
On another note, I would definitely say that keeping things tidy in the back-end, whether coding or admin based, it’s a definite thing to keep in mind, as well as aligning yourself to a regulatory body for your field.
9/ Plan B is…
On a beach surfing in the summer in Thailand and running a Ski School in the Alps in the winter.