Bernadette is the CFO/COO & Founder of Blanco Fintech. She has previously founded multiple businesses including Het Strategiekantoor and The Strategy Counsel. Blanco Fintech is based in the Netherlands and provides digital services to the wealth-management industry.
The best way for Blanco to manage company spend in a crisis is to do it well outside of a crisis, too. See which metrics Bernadette found more urgent to keep track of, and how their value’s increased with COVID-19.
With or without COVID-19, Blanco keep a tight grip on costs. They only spend on things they really need, and negotiating is always expected.
The spending they do is very focused on their team. They only hire highly talented people, and they make sure to provide the training they need. Making their people top priority also means they spend more money on them.
Blanco believe preserving cash is crucial, and it’s what helps them create cash. By maintaining healthy growth and ensuring product demand is high, they’re able to save more while finding more opportunities.
At Blanco, cash is always king. That means it’s also the most important metric to keep track of, particularly during uncertain times.
They look specifically at cost and turnover, focusing on drivers such as number of employees, number of clients, products per client and revenue per clients.
They also pay special attention to valuation, given they’re raising capital to speed up their growth. To prepare for investors, they keep track of important milestones that will help them take a step forward in valuation.
COVID-19 saw a lot of businesses making significant changes to stay afloat. Blanco stopped using a few business software tool they weren’t using often enough to justify their cost. But because they’ve always kept a close eye on their spending, they didn’t need to make deep changes.
They didn’t need to pivot their business model, as so many did. The problems they solve for their customers – wealth managers and financial institutions, mostly – have stayed the same. If anything, they started solving more and newer problems.
Margins for Blanco clients was still high, but rules and regulations kept increasing, and more traditional businesses faced even more pressure to digitalise their services.
This was great for Blanco. They actually increased their momentum during an uncertain time.
As a founder, Bernadette’s role already extends beyond CFO. But when the crisis hit, her role in company finance was elevated.
She was quick to dive into scenario planning, linking potential external situations with their own strategy and financial outcomes.
Blanco outperformed their best case scenario. Demand for their product increased due to the efficiency it brings and the costs it helps save. This led to a bigger need for insights, not just to better understand their spending, but also to present to their investors – who felt a strong need to be even more in control.
Along with all of this, Bernadette also spent a great deal of time supporting her staff. Communication to and with them became even more important.
But her biggest concern was to make remote working easier for the team. Because, at the end of the day, they’re what keeps the business alive (and well)!