Plotting the road to 400% growth with a one-person finance department
If you’re rapidly expanding, how do you go about managing market entry speed – and spend?
That’s the question Wild, a sustainable personal hygiene brand from the UK, had to ask themselves. And when your mission is as big as theirs – eliminating single-use plastics from the bathroom, one product at a time – finding the right solution is a necessity, not a nice-to-have.
Looking at where the company now is, with an ever-growing brand profile and consistent release of well-reviewed products, it’s easy to forget that Wild is only two years old. Having launched in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, the business has grown to operate throughout Europe and the US – largely through the use of influencer marketing and highly-targeted social media campaigns.
Naturally, this level of expansion brings with it a cost that can easily spiral if not managed properly. Market entry decisions are happening faster than ever, particularly in the e-commerce sector, so outpacing the competition is even harder.
For Arthur Edson, Wild’s Head of Finance, it’s all about balance in a high-growth model. Powered by Revolut Business, he’s helped Wild achieve exactly that – but it wasn’t always plain sailing. Here’s why.
Finance Department, Population: 1
While his job title is Head of Finance, the scope of the role was far broader, like a financial controller. “Everything finance-related goes through me”, Edson says. “Admin, responsibilities, controls – it all rolls up into one person. When I first started, people were manually sending receipts and I could see this would become a problem as we continued to scale”.
With a growing influencer network across multiple countries, finding the right way to do foreign exchange (FX) was also a crucial problem to solve early on. “In order to open currency accounts with traditional banks, I found you had to tick so many boxes, and the fee structure simply wasn’t optimised. It felt much more punitive. For a business the size of ours – and with growth goals like ours – it didn’t seem like a feasible option.”
A clear view of company and individual spend
So, as Wild’s team and expenditure grew, they needed to ensure finance wasn’t a blocker to launching campaigns, working with international suppliers or entering these new markets. Revolut Business helped Arthur provide a streamlined solution to the wider business on all these fronts.
“The first thing we changed from a team process perspective was purchasing. All team expenses are now managed through Revolut Business – we have around 8-10 cards currently active – with expenses uploaded directly to the app. We’ve integrated the account with our accounting software, and approvals now sync automatically.
“Having everything managed in one place is a game-changer. I can add spend controls to each of the cards, establishing tiers of spend, limits based on seniority and preventative measures against excesses. I can see all spend as and when it comes through, meaning I always have a clear view of both company and individual spend. And if any cards are lost on work trips, I can turn them off immediately.”
Going global, but operating like a local
It was a similar story when it came to FX. By this time, Wild were beginning to operate across continents, with a particular focus on influencer spend and manufacturing costs in Europe. Arthur needed flexibility to manage the different streams of money heading in and out of the business.
“I set up accounts per currency, making it as easy as possible to convert when we needed to. Sending and receiving payments was simple, and we could do it on our terms. It meant we could expand into Europe with very little friction, and at pace.”
Through multi-currency accounts, Wild now spends local currency – EUR and USD – on marketing, rather than going through its GBP account. “This effectively allows us to operate as if everything was a single currency”, Edson says.
European sales are also received in EUR, so there is less FX exposure – and it means that marketing agencies and influencers can be paid in their local currency in order to keep pace with Wild’s ever-accelerating growth.
“We’ve grown over 400% in revenue in 2020-21”, Edson says. “The company is unrecognisable. Direct-to-consumer decision making is extremely fast-paced; we make market entry decisions over weeks, not months, and Revolut Business gives us the confidence to do that.
“We don’t have to consider any logistics when it comes to financial management, because it’s already a done deal. For us, using it is a no-brainer. Now, everything is so straightforward.”
The best thing about Wild’s story? You can access all the features from your Revolut Business account, too.
Disclaimer: we can’t guarantee 400% annual growth for everyone. And remember – growth in revenue doesn’t have to mean a growth in headcount, too. With Revolut Business, Wild has unlocked scalability with a one-person finance team, meaning running costs are kept low.
Whatever your business goals are, we’re confident that we can make your life easier through empowering your team, helping you control spend and much more.
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