Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Brendon Krout from GetParker. He an experienced sales professional who has spent most of the past decade working in the corporate payments industry at both Fortune 500 and fintech organizations. He has a degree in Biokinetics from Eastern University and his MBA from Louisiana State University. Outside of work he loves to work out, play guitar, read and spend time with his family. If Guns N’ Roses or Kiss ever need a new guitar player, he will be the first to sign up.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Brendon, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to Parker and a little bit about how the company got started?
Brendon: Thanks for talking with me! Parker was created a few years ago when our two co-founders (Milan & Yacine) were working in the ecommerce space and noticed a few gaps that many companies had.
The first was cash flow. The ecommerce vertical is unique in that companies can go from no revenue to tens of millions overnight if things break right. Fast growth is fantastic but it also creates some problems, namely cash flow.
Secondly, Milan and Yacine identified that many companies assumed things were going well when sales were up, without being able to clearly see if the products they were selling were profitable. If you are selling more of a widget that is unprofitable, what good is it for your business?
Parker was created to help ecommerce companies have a strong grasp of the financial aspect of their business while also improving cash flow.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the card services for eCommerce that you offer and why is it better? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Brendon: Parker is the first corporate card designed specifically for ecommerce/consumer brands. In fact, this is the only vertical that we work with so this expertise allows us to provide a product tailored specifically for ecommerce/consumer brand companies. Our product is designed for this vertical in a few ways:
- We typically provide credit lines that are 40%-80% of our clients monthly revenue which is significantly higher than anyone else in the card industry
- We have a few different billing cycles including one that provides Net 60 terms on each transaction and another that allows our clients to float ⅓ of each transaction 90 days
- Our clients are able to have multiple billing cycles at once so they can maximize cash flow or cash back depending on where they are in their business cycle
- We are a corporate liability product so individuals do not need to put their personal assets at risk for their business. Many very popular “business” cards actually are personal liability cards and the users are often unaware of this. This is an even bigger issue as companies scale revenue above $5M or have multiple owners. Why would one owner expose their personal assets for the business why the others aren’t?
To summarize, our card products provide higher credit lines, longer billing cycles, flexibility around billing cycles all while not exposing the personal assets of any owner.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Brendon: Our ideal client is any ecommerce/consumer brand company that is based in the United States. While we work with companies that have as low as $1.5M in revenue, fast growing companies that have $5M+ in revenue tend to see the greatest value from our product. Along with the need for higher credit limits and longer billing cycles, companies that are approaching or are past $5M in annual revenue tend to desire corporate liability cards v. personal liability.
The majority of our clients sell on their own site using a tool like Shopify and many also sell on Amazon. We can also work with companies that have a brick and mortar presence as long as they are doing at least 10% of their total sales online.
Lastly, our best clients value cash flow improvement as the most important part of a card program and are looking not just for a card provider but for a working capital partner who will help them continue to grow.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other companies in the financial space, can you share a story of how GetParker truly helped one of its customers?
Brendon: There are two main things that make Parker stand out in a crowded card market:
- Our focus on cash flow by providing higher credit limits and longer billing cycles than anyone else in the market
- Our exclusive ecommerce/consumer brand focus that allows us to understand the industry intimately
Out of all the client stories we have, my personal favorite is about a consumer brand who has a large corporate card line with us and uses one of our rolling terms products (providing Net 45 or Net 60 on each purchase). With one of our rolling terms products, they have been able to float seven figures on Parker for over a year, essentially using Parker as a free million dollar plus line of credit to fuel their growth. Not a bad way to super-charge growth!
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Brendon: We are really excited about the year ahead for Parker. In 2023, we are focused on developing and launching more products that will help our clients improve cash flow and gain visibility into the financial data of their business. We recently launched a new longer-term billing cycle as well as the ability for our clients to have multiple billing cycles at once to maximize cash flow and cash back. Other 2023 products will include a banking platform and an analytics tool that will recommend the best billing cycle for each charge allowing our clients to easily increase cash flow and growth.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Brendon: 2022 was a year of tremendous growth for Parker despite a tricky macro-environment/economy for the market we serve. For us, one of the biggest complications was making sure our processes were scalable. What works well when you are at x can get bogged down a bit when you are at 3x and struggle when you are at 5x-10x. To make sure we were well-positioned for continued growth, we spent time at the end of 2022 identifying processes that needed improvement and mapping out where they needed to be immediately, as well as 3, 6, 12 and 24 months down the road. While many of these processes/plans will change from our roadmap, we now have a scalable structure that is infinitely flexible.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Brendon: I will do my best, however, if I were good at predicting the future I would be retired and sitting on a beach right now!
It appears that the next 12-24 months could be challenging for the ecommerce industry. As of now, it does not sound like interest rates will be lowering any time soon with inflation still not under control. Higher interest rates means the cost of capital from lenders will be more than it was for quite a few years prior. Additionally, money from venture capital firms will be harder to access and on less appealing terms. Lastly, more and more companies are requiring employees to be in the office potentially impacting post-covid bump that many ecommerce companies saw.
However, there is good news too! I am a huge Warren Buffett fan and one of my favorite quotes by him is:
“Only when the tide goes out do you learn who has been swimming naked.”
For the last 12 months, the tide has been going out for the ecommerce industry and those companies that were well-capitalized and well-prepared will be able to take advantage of the uncertain and ever-changing economy. If a company is well-capitalized and prepared for growth, now is the time to reinvest while your competitors are likely getting conservative and pulling back on growth.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Brendon: I think the biggest bookkeeping/accounting pain point for most ecommerce business owners is that they love the business/products they have built but don’t really like or understand bookkeeping/accounting. Most ecommerce founders are visionaries and entrepreneurs, so taking time to learn details like finance/accounting is often overlooked. Understanding the finances of your business is key, so it is important to hire the right people and/or work with the right partners to ensure this essential part of a business is well-managed while also freeing up the owner’s time to focus on what they love and excel at.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Brendon: Don’t be afraid of or focus on where the economy is going, but rather focus on the tremendous growth opportunity within the ecommerce industry. Make sure you have great products, processes that scale and the right partners to take advantage of the current environment. While not all of our clients thrived in 2022, many of them were able to work through external factors and grow 30%+. The ecommerce industry changes very quickly, so don’t hesitate to reevaluate the way you have been running your business and see if you could do things even better.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Brendon: There are a few ways to find and follow us:
Lastly, any EcomBalance customer who applies and is approved by Parker will receive a $1,500 sign on bonus. Just make sure to say “EcomBalance sent us”.
Thanks again for the time today!