Vicente Fleites, CEO at Finaton, about personal financial services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vicente Fleites: We are all doing quite well. It is harder for my children because they are both homeschooling and learning at home is not their cup of tea. So we are only struggling with that. Spain does not have a very strict lockdown, so on sunny days we can go to the beach in Malaga and enjoy nice weather.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined Finaton.
Vicente Fleites: I work as a personal financial planner and because Double Technology was hiring experienced copywriters with great knowledge of the Spanish market for their Finaton’s Spanish branch, I was successful with my application and got this job. I continue in the precious job from the previous copywriter called Roger Mollins and I write the topics my own way. I also guarantee the quality of the provided information in Spain and Latam market.
How does Finaton innovate?
Vicente Fleites: We launch new projects all the time. At the end of 2020, we introduced a brand new website called Finatino, and of course, it also has a Spanish branch too. This project should not be only a loan comparator but will focus also on different kinds of products, which costs money every month. Mainly mortgages, insurance, credit cards, internet, and mobile tariffs. Hardly working on that these days.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Vicente Fleites: It affected a lot. I have to close my office, where I provide the financial planning. But my clients have big money troubles these days. So I try to help them through my social networks and through phone calls. It is hard, but we all must survive that unpleasant situation. Luckily I can work on Finatino a lot, so my income is stable. Thank god.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Vicente Fleites: I always try to not rely on one source of income. I heard and remembered this quote: It is much better to have one dollar from 1.000.000 businesses than 1.000.000 dollars from one business. So my income is also divided into at least two separate sources. Currently, I do financial planning by providing mortgages plus the Finatino copywriting tasks. So this is the big lesson for everyone: Do all the best to have several sources from different niches.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Vicente Fleites: Hard work. Outsourcing and using people’s skills to improve the projects. That’s it. We try to keep our projects lean. Double technology is a fully remote company, so I work with people that I’ve never met personally. Sometimes it is hard, but if you keep simple basic processes, it is much more sustainable work.
About the tools, you’ve asked: We use just Google docs and sheets for reporting, sharing, and planning. We communicate through emails and sometimes Skype if there is something really urgent.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vicente Fleites: Because we run mainly loan comparators based on organic search, our toughest competitors are mainly banks. These corporations are investing big money into SEO these days, so it is not very easy to overrank big bank brands. But there is still some room for smaller projects like we are.
How to stay in the game? We have to create the perfect content for users. People should find all the important information on our website and we must provide our readers with all the crucial facts. We must also invest in updating content and product parameters. So it is not very easy to stay on the top quality of the information.
Your final thoughts?
Vicente Fleites: People survived harder times. We are very very VERY lucky that our current world is online. One hyperbole: We can make money even in the dark basement in our house without meeting anybody only through a computer and our internet connection.
If you can, continue in your work. Do the best as always and the results will come soon. Think also about more sources of income. It could help you a lot in the future.