Founder & CEO Adam Stettner
Every business owner has their own logic, reason and passion for doing what they do. It is the driver or their “why”. Fulfilling that why is what pushes them forward every day, it’s the fuel behind their business, and for many business owners uncovering their why is a moment they can recall, because it’s when their career and their life changed for the better.
I’ve been involved in many different aspects of business across different industries for over 20 years. My early work was focused on manufacturing and distribution, including sales. Then Wall Street followed by the Student Loan industry. I worked for two publicly traded companies, including as an executive at a Fortune 100 before transitioning into starting my first company.
The business was going well, in fact we had over $450 million dollars in Student Loans on our books within the first few months. But then the 2008 financial crisis hit and it led me to my own why. I worked with banks closely, they knew me and my business well, we were a profitable company they could trust. When the financial crisis hit, banks froze. I quickly learned that despite my track record and the health of the business, the banks were not there to support me. My line of credit disappeared and with it my access to credit and working capital was gone. I had created a total of $15 Billion in assets that I relied on banks to support, all of which were performing better than forecast and were profitable for the banks. It did not matter, they left me and my business without access to capital.
I went to lunch the day my bank informed me they could no longer support my credit line. That lunch changed my life, and empowering business owners across America has been my focus ever since. I realized if my business couldn’t access money from traditional sources, what was happening to businesses like the restaurant I was eating lunch in? How were American small businesses going to continue to fund their wants and needs if I couldn’t fund mine?
This was the moment that launched Reliant Funding. The experience confirmed that traditional banking and bank loans do not support or accommodate most business owners or small businesses. I thought about the restaurants, drycleaners, contractors, auto repair shops and doctors that rely on funding for marketing, equipment and supplies/inventory. I learned how serious this gap was by asking around at the local businesses and they confirmed my thought – none of them had easy access to working capital.
After over 20 years in the business world, I knew one thing to be true: Every business will need money at some point.
The limitations and lack of flexibility, and commonsense, traditional banks used when dealing with small to medium sized business owners drove me to want to do things differently. I saw the need for a solution because small businesses weren’t empowered by the traditional banking processes, instead they were limited or shut down by the requirements. Every business has a unique and specific need, I wanted to create the ultimate product and process with flexibility for small business owners.
Typically, a traditional funding route begins with a long onerous application. The owner then needs to provide a complete list of financial statements, assets, tax returns and often a business plan. Banks want to understand what businesses do, why they do it, where they are headed and how the money is going to be used. Then, they will take pledged assets or collateral. It can take weeks just to get approved and then a few more weeks to see money deposited. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through when time is often of the essence and any delay can really hurt a small business. After funding, they report the debt taken by the business against the business owner and in turn, can adversely affect the individual’s debt to income ratio or ability to borrow personally.
We do things differently at Reliant Funding. You won’t find the traditional business financing process when you work with us. Our goal is to make the process simple and to build a relationship that benefits both the business owner and their business. There is much less in the way of documentation, application forms are significantly shorter and there are fewer fields to fill out. We have a simple one-page verification form and while we do look to verify important facts, there is very little in the way of supporting documentation. The financing we provide is around a story, and it’s your story, the story of you and your business. We customize our programs to meet your business needs so rather than trying to make you fit our box, we have options to fit into yours. In most cases, businesses are approved and have the funds they need as soon as the next day. That’s the Reliant Funding way.
We aren’t going to put you through a complicated process, we want to make sure that the money we’re providing helps and doesn’t hurt the business. The fact is, I consider Reliant so much more than just a financial services company, but akin to the ultimate business partner, providing the support and service only when you want or need it.
Each business owner can tell a story about their “why”. For me it was the loss of access to capital and a lunch that gave me my why; it changed my perspective on the need for access to fast, low stress capital and a funding relationship small businesses can count on. It gave me direct relatability for the struggles access to working capital can place on successful businesses. Since that day, I’ve worked to build a business that provides business owners access to the capital they need to build and grow while making sure they are heard. I want to get better every day and want the same for Reliant Funding. The only way that happens is if we deliver for our clients so they can deliver for themselves. It is an amazing cycle. We’re not done yet, but we’re fulfilling our “why” and I hope in the months and years ahead we can continue to assist business owners across this country fulfill their why too.