Ami Kassar tells us how MultiFunding has been helping businesses achieve their biggest growth goals through creative and personalized funding solutions.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded MultiFunding.
Ami Kassar: Like most, I started off working for a huge corporation and climbed the ladder. At the time, the company was the largest issuer of credit cards to small businesses. That’s how I got introduced to the realm of small business and business financing. Then, 2008 hit, and I was forced to fire close to 1,000 people. It was only after that that I was let go by the board of trustees. The very next day, I used my home equity line of credit to start MultiFunding LLC. After witnessing how bad financing could decimate small businesses and seeing companies who were claiming to help small business owners lead them astray for their own financial gain, I wanted to start a different company. A company that would do what is right for the business owner, even if that meant sacrificing profit. The beginning years were tough, as they are for many start-ups, but creativity, character, and a sense of humor saw us through. MultiFunding has helped thousands of companies fund their dreams through responsible financing methods a dozen years later. In 2021, MultiFunding did almost $85m in SBA 7(a) loans. Comparing our performance to the country’s biggest banks, we are ranked number seven. We have helped do more SBA loans than PNC Bank, Citibank, and Capital One.
And we are chomping on the bit of J.P. Morgan, Chase, and Bank of America. In my “spare” time, I help coach entrepreneurs through EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) program.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Ami Kassar: Stop comparing yourself to those “unicorn” silicon valley companies and entrepreneurs. Find the right pace that you’re comfortable growing your company at. You’ll be much happier and less stressed about it.
How does MultiFunding market its product/services online?
Ami Kassar: We maintain brand awareness through our social accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and have created groups on those platforms for business owners to turn to when they need advice. We also advertise webinars, conferences, and other speaking engagements I will be at or hosting. The webinars/speaking engagements are where we help teach entrepreneurs to move about their finances, answer questions, and meet possible clients. That being said, we do get a lot of business from referrals as well.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Ami Kassar: I always have an open mind going into an interview, don’t base everything on what is on their resume. Many times, their personality and work ethic are the most important. To retain employees, I think you have to be very understanding and supportive. For the most part, I let my employees set their own schedules as long as they continue to do their job on time and with high proficiency.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ami Kassar: While there are some “competitors” who provide some similar services, our biggest competition is really entrepreneurs themselves. Getting them to understand that debt isn’t always bad, and equity isn’t always good is a challenge we face. That’s why we focus a lot of our time on education- to show business owners how financing scenarios play out and how they will ultimately affect your bottom line.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Ami Kassar: During the pandemic, a strategic messaging firm came to us to ask for help growing their business. In 2020, their business model had shifted due to COVID, and they needed money to fund the new work. We found them a $350K SBA loan that they used to hire more people for their consulting business. They hired a Design Lead for new client offerings, a Director of Business Operations, and a Director of Strategic Communications. After this, their average deal size grew by 2.5x, their revenue by 36%, and increased their net margins from 2% to 20%. At that point, they decided to have us get them a second $350K SBA loan that they used to expand their marketing efforts. They hired a new marketing lead, head of client operations, and engagement lead. The new hires and a new website and lead generation program led to their sales pipeline value going from $3M to $6M and increased their sales calls from 3x/week to 6x/week.