COO Scott Winicour authors a piece for Smart CEO magazine on how Gibraltar innovates as a business and supports business innovationInnovation is most often associated with technology, given the sector’s constant introductions of new inventions, services and products that truly disrupt industries or foster new processes. These are game changers—like smartphones that keep getting smarter, the promise of driverless cars or personal drones. In today’s competitive business landscape, any company, regardless of industry, must recognize that innovation is its lifeline for relevance today and growth tomorrow. Businesses that fail to innovate run the very real risk of losing market share to competitors, sacrificing talented staff and missing opportunities.
Innovation can arise and make a significant impact in any industry, even in more conservative industries such as what may seem like the traditional world of commercial lending. The evidence: marketplace lending, micro-lending and crowd funding trends continue to gain traction. Recently, American Banker has even named marketplace lending its Innovation of the Year (American Banker, 12/17/14).
As a niche lender in a competitive space, Gibraltar Business Capital understands this and can’t afford not to innovate. We look at what our competitors aren’t doing and try to fill that void. However, what’s more effective is to determine what our existing and prospective clients require for their funding needs, and to develop innovative lending solutions that meet those very specific and evolving circumstances. As such, we continue to learn valuable lessons from all of our clients, particularly within the tech sector.
Funding tomorrow’s innovators today
Increasingly, we are called upon to step in and fill the void facing young, often start-up tech companies who seek funding solutions, but may not be considered candidates by traditional commercial banks, or are unable to pursue venture capital or seed funding. In fact, we’ve seen so much potential in technology finance because of the specific considerations and nuances that tech inherently brings, that we created a division to exclusively focus on tailored finance solutions – Gibraltar Technology Finance.
Many times, there are huge funding gaps in technology finance—and we consider this a challenge to help businesses advance their innovation and growth. By introducing a flexible borrowing-base lending model, it allows us to accelerate the demanding pace of tech businesses, while structuring deals differently based on individual company needs and varying assets, even when credit may be an issue. This creates effective and efficient financing alternatives and offers new access to working capital, so companies can continue to move at the critical speed of innovation.
At present, the tech sector holds the best examples of innovators and drivers of economic change, very often requiring a rapid infusion of capital to support their abilities to bring innovations to market. As their needs will inevitably change in the coming months and years, it will be our role to create even more tailored solutions so that today’s emerging software manufacturers, online solutions providers and other tech gurus become tomorrow’s industry leaders. In this way, innovation begets innovation—a virtuous process.
Innovation as a mindset
We also look to innovation as a thought process to help set us apart—whether to enhance our product offerings, or streamline processes and gain efficiencies. Especially now, Gibraltar continues to explore new software platforms that will enable enhanced connectivity and productivity, with faster turnaround times in the processing of its deals. In addition, our company ethos encourages each employee to make innovation a consideration in their everyday work, always thinking critically and re-assessing all aspects of our business, to help pave the way for the next concept that will perhaps re-define our industry. This openness to innovation is also significant for attracting and retaining the best and brightest staff.
Just like any business looking to establish or maintain a competitive edge, we must consider macro-trends in technology and financial services and apply them appropriately, thus keeping up with the pace, and taking our asset based lending, factoring solutions and client services to the next level.
© Copyright 2015, SmartCEO, All Rights Reserved.
Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s growth – SmartCEO. (2015, April 30). Retrieved June 1, 2015, from http://www.smartceo.com/gibraltar-todays-innovatio…