When Chad Otar launched New York-based Lending Valley Inc. in May 2019, he never imagined how fast the firm would grow. According to Otar, the company's founder and CEO, Lending Valley, a boutique shop that cares for each client with white-glove services, is on track to end 2019 with nearly $4 million in gross revenues ‒ after only eight months of operation.
In addition to helming the company, Otar wears several other hats at the startup and is a well-known veteran in the business-lending space. He works closely with his management team, which collectively boasts more than 35 years of experience in finance in both the public and private sectors.
Otar noted that providing white-glove service is the highest value at Lending Valley; he believes it is the key ingredient in the company's secret sauce. He added that his people are "always out there for clients" and his salespeople all give clients their cell phone numbers. Since his industry tends to be relatively informal, the "self-care and attention we give helps to show the client we're selling with personal integrity and genuine care," he said.
Along this line, Otar also mentioned the value of getting to know the client's business on a more intimate level. "I believe we pay attention to detail and truly understand what the client's needs and wants are," Otar said. "We try to always give them the product that makes sense for their business in the short term and long term."
Otar indicated Lending Valley's primary objective is to serve as a money consultancy firm for business owners. "It's all money, and where there are small business owners, there will always be a need for money," he said. "So, what really matters is the way we approach the business owner to assist them with figuring out what the best ways are to extend capital and how to utilize it to help the business grow."
Furthermore, though merchant cash advances are Lending Valley's core product (much like other capital lending firms), Otar confirmed that all 24 staff members are trained to always focus first on providing the right product set for the client. This applies even if it means they "need to be referred out to one of our affiliates to get the right capital product for their needs," he noted. "Every business, big or small, will always need some type of capital in their hands, and we don't just give them any random thing. We get into the nitty-gritty based on what they want to accomplish."
Recognized for his exemplary service to small businesses by Forbes magazine in 2017 as a Turks of America's Top 40 Under 40 recipient, Otar believes the good will he's extended toward his large network of industry connections has contributed greatly to Lending Valley's stunning success rate. Otar also believes his company can sustain its success. "We're planning on sticking around as long as we can," he said.
So, how will the leadership team ensure the company's longevity and white-glove service going forward? Otar indicated it's all about infrastructure. "We'll focus on upgrading our products and adding new technology," he said. "We will incorporate technologies into our system that give us the ability to rely on artificial intelligence and possibly blockchain technology to enable us with what we need for making decisions quickly and seamlessly."
As far as growing Lending Valley's footprint, Otar said, "For two to three years, I want to work more internally to help all of my people deeply understand our values and what it is we are trying to do." For example, he added, "If a [team member] says he's moving away to Kansas, we will want him to be ready to incorporate the same values there that he does in the job he's doing right now."
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