A Chat with Lynne Darcey Quigley, CEO and Founder at Know-it: A Cloud-Based Credit Management Platform
Know-it is cloud-based, credit management platform specifically designed to help small to medium-sized businesses chase late payments, manage their credit, and check the credentials of the people they do business with – including through their supply chains. Ultimately, it is a one-stop-shop to help small businesses mitigate credit risk, secure and monitor their cash flow and reduce overall debtor days.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Ultimately, the main reason we started Know-it was to try and give small businesses the tools to give them the best opportunity to grow and chance at success as possible –
With c.6m SMEs in the UK, they are the lifeblood of our economy and hold a major place in the British psyche.
After having worked in the credit industry for 25 years, and running Darcey Quigley for the past 14, we’ve seen debtors’ behaviour first-hand and wanted a way to help SMEs combat problematic late payers and make credit management easier. There was a significant gap in the market for this kind of platform and even more so post-Covid.
Small businesses are incredibly time and resource-poor, and it is often difficult in such small and busy companies to create an openness to technology, implement an effective credit control process, and the effects of this are still staggering. Late payments are a scourge, and recent data shows over half of SMEs experience late payments to some degree, and on average spend £500 a month chasing them. This is money that could be spent much more effectively on growing the business.
In short, we want to small businesses become more productive. According to recently published A Springboard to Recovery by NatWest, helping 900,000 SMEs reach the next decile of productivity will unlock £35 billion GVA for the UK economy. This meant giving them a cloud-based, digital, streamlined, ‘one-stop-shop’ for credit control and debt collection – and that’s what we have achieved with Know-it.
How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Well firstly, the problems at hand have intensified for all businesses. This made the work we were doing more important, and more in demand. Late payments have now increased by 22% to £61bn, with 68% of UK businesses regularly paid late – making it a significant national issue, for the wider economy at large and certainly for the many entrepreneurs that have started their own business during the pandemic.
The pandemic has been a debtor’s paradise as they’ve been able to hide away and avoid responsibility, which has exacerbated the huge late payment problem SMEs face. In a bid to help, we’ve added even more resource and personnel to further develop the platform ahead of its launch last week. Ultimately, there has never been a better time to introduce our offering to the market, and we are very excited for it to grow and help as many entrepreneurs and business founders as possible.
Perhaps not a surprising answer, but remote working has of course made things more difficult for us, particularly when it comes to collaboration between businesses and developers. However, we worked through it and are delighted to see Know-it formally launch.
What can we hope to see from the company in the future?
Our first aim is to continue helping small businesses. This is what it is all about for us, and the coming months should see a consistent growth of company size and the customers we help.
After securing our position in the UK, we are looking to expand into Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the next 12-18 months. This means working on key partnerships in business organisations and progressing talks with high street banks.
Furthermore, we are already exploring fund-it, borrow-it, finance-it, credit-insure-it as alternative products, as well as doing more work in the federation/organisation, membership, accounting and mainstream finance sectors. However, for now, our time has been taken up with the launch of our initial product, Know-it, yet still we are very excited for what could come next.
This article was first published by TechRound.