Banking and running a small business are often opposite sides of the same coin. Finding someone who straddles both worlds with as much passion and expertise as Travis Duran is rare. As a small business owner and a trusted banker with WaFd Bank, one of FINSYNC’s respected partner banks, Travis has a unique lens through which he views financial tools and solutions.
Outside his bank, Travis and his wife run a local bakery in Arizona called Bubble & Bruja. With a name inspired by Shakespeare, their bakery captures creativity and dedication.
In this interview, Travis provides insights into his journey with FINSYNC as both a banker and an entrepreneur. Exploring the platform’s solutions and numerous benefits, he shares his perspective on how FINSYNC has transformed his approach to financial management for his bakery and how it can benefit other businesses.
How did you first hear about FINSYNC?
I was part of the initial WaFd Bank partner rollout with FINSYNC. We at WaFd were excited to get a more comprehensive strategic partnership. Integrating the invoicing, cash flow management, and other services round out the tools we don’t have on the banking side.
What about the FINSYNC Platform attracted you to it?
WaFd has a lot of self-sufficient customers who are hands-on with their businesses. They start their business for a passion they might have. A common complaint is that they have to be their own accountant. They no longer have time to have dinner with their families because they are running the cash side of their company. I was instantly excited that FINSYNC could save my banking customers money and guarantee them time savings.
As a banker, what specific features of FINSYNC do you believe most resonate with business customers?
We have several tradespeople across the full-trade spectrum, like handyman contractors and home service workers. They struggle with their accounts receivable and ensuring their invoices have been paid. Balancing the books can be a challenge for them.
Also, invoicing directly through FINSYNC and integrating those invoices directly into the cash flow management side is a big need for our customers.
How does FINSYNC compare to other accounting platforms you have come across?
We have always heard complaints about QuickBooks. Knowing this was a QuickBooks Online alternative was an easy resource to tell our clients. For our small business customers, we have observed that they sometimes rely on Excel spreadsheets or handwritten notes for accounting, which can pose challenges. So, we like that FINSYNC integrates different systems into one.
The reporting aspect is huge as well. Being able to track to the penny where your money is going, what is owed to you, what will you owe down the road? Being able to answer these questions has been a big resource for clients. Cutting down on their paper and allowing them to ditch QuickBooks. Because there are banking systems that QuickBooks doesn’t speak effectively to, FINSYNC solves this problem.
How has FINSYNC supported or enhanced your banking relationships with these businesses?
Speaking personally from the banking side, I offer FINSYNC as an alternative to QuickBooks to nearly every business client who walks through the door.
In addition, my wife and I also run a side business, and FINSYNC helped us get through the holidays and attract customers outside our immediate market. An example of a success story is my own experience with my company.
Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start.
Here in Arizona, bakery owners can run on cottage food laws as long as they are not selling perishable items. We got a license out of our home, got insured, and sold to farmers’ markets, B2C and B2B. There is a lot of flexibility with our local licensing.
My wife worked for a bakery in Phoenix, so she had more of the know-how, and I am more of a visionary. We both liked the idea of creating something new. We are both literary buffs, so “Bubble & Brujah” is based on Shakespeare’s mysticism, producing a magical play on words.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner?
Time management was a big challenge since I am a full-time banker. Accessing a broader market outside of our friends and family was also challenging. We were successfully able to do this with the marketing experience I have. This brought its own challenges; the marketing outreach resulted in the need to accept credit card payments. We had to figure out how to accept debit and credit cards. This is where FINSYNC came in.
What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?
FINSYNC is an all-in-one platform. It links to the bank account and shows me money in and out. It shows me what is coming in; I can balance that once I see when it hits my account. It integrates easily into one. The time management and organizational benefit of keeping everything housed within one platform makes it easy to answer questions like, “What is my profitability?” or “What are our costs this month?” These are questions all small business owners should be asking themselves.
With inflation being as rampant as it has been the last couple of years, FINSYNC makes it easy to actively track what is going out versus what is coming in. We were buffered from inflation since we could be more nimble to adjust what was necessary to survive.
How has FINSYNC’s customer support or onboarding process been for you personally and for those you’ve invited to FINSYNC?
We have customers who have been using QuickBooks for a long time, so they bring in their information on a disk. There is no one they can talk to, and they are passed around from one phone prompt to another without resolving their issues.
I have had experience with customer service on the bank side, where it is super easy to talk to our dedicated service person. I have also had experience on the customer side as well. Whenever I have an issue, there is an expert who knows how to walk me through where I need help. Even though it is a Fintech company, people are working on the backend to help those needing more hand-holding. I am one of those customers.
What advice do you have for those thinking about starting their own business?
It is easy to start a business here in the United States. You can be an entrepreneur if you have the tenacity and confidence to create something that people will want.
Depending on what you are doing, you can make a difference. We have made wedding cakes, celebrated baby showers and sweet sixteen birthdays, etc. You get to be part of someone’s life at that moment. If you are considering starting a business, I would encourage everyone to at least try it.
FINSYNC allows you to run your business on One Platform. You can send and receive payments, process payroll, automate accounting, and manage cash flow. To learn more about how we can help your business start, scale, and succeed, contact us today.