Building a successful fintech is not to be taken lightly. And even though the best entrepreneurs make it look simple, it comes down to having the right team. Throughout each phase of growth, having the right mix of skills and drive on your team can propel your firm to the top of the industry. Here are a few of the main challenges fintechs face when hiring for their team.
From the beginning of any startup, until they are ready to go public, securing funding is a top priority. Whether you are looking to venture capital firms, or strategic financing through lenders, the right funding drives your development, launch, and growth. Even the most talented entrepreneurs look for assistance or guidance during the fundraising stage of their venture. In the fintech world, adding someone experienced with successfully securing funding can be the best option.
What does the best candidate look like? That can be complicated, venture capitalists are notoriously fickle and without a firm sense of your market and a pitch deck to woo investors, funding will be hard to come by. Adding a specialist to your team can be the best option, but there are a few things you should look for before you make a hire.
Do they have an established network? Their network has to be specialized, they’ll need contacts in the venture capital landscape as well as access to other entrepreneurs who have successfully funded and launched in the fintech sector.
Are they able to adapt to the stage of funding you need? Securing capital post-launch can be a tougher challenge than your initial asks. A professional who knows the types and sizes of firms to approach for Series C funding versus Series A can mean the difference in gaining funding quickly or reaching a bottleneck in your growth. Make sure you bring the right person to your team.
Lastly, securing funding is about more than simple investor relations. It’s a sales cycle, an unforgiving one at that. You need to bring a professional who’s cut their teeth in sales long ago and has the instincts and skills necessary to see a possible deal and close it. In the fintech world, there is no time to waste, build your team with the same urgency.
In the fintech world, regulations are the rules of the game. While fintechs are shaking up the banking world, the governing bodies are holding them to the same strict standards when it comes to handling and moving money. Even though the rules of the game change frequently, the OCC has little patience for fintechs who try to exploit grey areas and loopholes. Make sure your firm is on their good side.
As I mentioned before, the regulations change very quickly, especially after a change in leadership. The right person in your corner has a history of navigating tight regulations as well as staying abreast of any new changes that are on the horizon. Simply following and knowing rules is only the beginning.
Recent changes to the process and rules for fintechs seeking bank charters have complicated the charter process for many fintechs. Now more than ever, fintechs are relying on banks for access to a charter to successfully handle money and access the financial system. Your team isn’t complete without someone who can forge successful relationships with financial institutions with aligned goals. Being familiar with the ins and outs of federal charters and the many ways that fintechs can take advantage of them is key in building and scaling successful fintech ventures.
Everyone wants to be the next Simple or Venmo, but success is more than a great model. Even well-built fintechs have failed because of one thing; marketing. A strong brand, as well as the marketing strategy to back it up, are crucial both pre and post-launch to gain the followers and users necessary to succeed. While many companies turn to established agencies to accomplish that, others bring talent in-house to build a brand from the ground up.
Building a successful marketing and branding team hinges on a few key points, but it can be a difficult balance to strike. First, it is rare to find one person who can successfully design a graphic brand, plan a marketing strategy, and inspire a following. While those select few professionals are rare, they can add a lot of value to your team.
There is a reason that successful fintechs stick in the minds of everyone they touch; they create an exclusive club that is easy to join. Through the colors, the name, and the way your customers interact with your brand, you are building a customer base that is also a fan club. Getting them in the door is also a major hurdle. Your ideal marketer needs to know how to carve out a precise niche of people that their messaging will not only reach but also people who will be moved to take the next step and convert. Building a presence on social media, in paid media, and in print is key to launching with enough momentum to get noticed and continue to grow.
At launch, early adopters are the lifeblood of any fintech, and gaining that audience is not easy. Lasting success that will propel your firm to the top of the heap requires business development professionals who can take the momentum of your launch or major growth and convert that into increased adoption in your niche. Similar to fundraising, this takes a unique person who is hungry for the win, but also understands the unique fintech landscape, as well as what it takes to close a sale.
Beyond the thrill of the hunt, you need a person who knows how to work both the B2B and B2C markets depending on your target audience. While the fintech is relatively new, it is key to find specialists within the industry to drive the growth of your customer base, whatever growth stage you’re in. Many fintechs come to market with a very precise and singular goal, later pivoting to another niche after you gain unexpected interest. AT that point, there isn’t time to return to the drawing board and build a new audience plan, you need a sales team that can pivot and keep your growth moving forward.
While building the ideal team for any fintech requires a diverse team, you aren’t alone in your fight. Partnering with a specialized recruiter can take the stress of a talent search off of your plate. You can focus on innovation and future growth while a recruiter finds the best talent around for your team. If you’re ready to partner on your next talent search, contact me today at MarkMartinSearch.com.