LaunchLink Communications was founded in 2017 by Felicia Coco and Laura Blue, with a vision to create a specialist PR and communications agency for some of the world's most innovative high growth tech companies. Four years later, LaunchLink has grown to represent a portfolio with a net worth of over USD $15 billion, and has become the agency of choice for cutting edge technology firms, such as eToro, Employment Hero, Blue Prism and, our very own, GoCardless.
However, despite working with clients at the cutting edge of new technology, LaunchLink found themselves facing the same age-old issues that many other small businesses grapple with – the challenge of navigating legacy payment systems, which threatened the consistency of the business’ cash flow.
Felicia Coco, Co-founder and Director of LaunchLink shares her insights into the benefits of GoCardless.
Employing big biz technology for a nimble start-up
Like many of its clients, LaunchLink is, at its core, a start-up, facing many of the same challenges that countless others were experiencing with cash flow and invoicing.
LaunchLink decided to overhaul its payment system with the help of GoCardless after winning the business’ PR pitch.
“When GoCardless engaged us for their regional PR program, we were thrilled to have secured the global brand as a client. While in the process of onboarding for PR, we realised GoCardless’ solutions would be perfect to help us overcome some of the most frustrating financial pain points of running a small business.”
Thanks to its partnership with GoCardless, the communications agency was able to employ sophisticated tools and a secure payment platform that would otherwise have been extremely difficult and costly to build from the ground up.
“By partnering with GoCardless, we’ve been able to deploy some incredibly simple yet innovative payments solutions that benefit our clients and the LaunchLink business – solutions that would not have otherwise been at our disposal as a smaller player" Coco said.
"We went through the headaches of trying to accept credit cards, wire transfers, and cheques which made accounts receivable a mammoth task, especially when working with clients around the world.”
The gift of ‘set-and-forget’
LaunchLink has experienced significant improvements to its revenue stream since implementing the GoCardless platform thanks to the automation of invoice payments, which had previously been a manual process for the PR firm.
The agency had experienced issues with late payments that affected its cash flow and were able to mitigate these problems once it implemented GoCardless as a payment platform. Felicia reflects on the impact that automation has had on the business:
“The majority of our clients are on monthly retainers and all of our clients are invoiced recurring monthly consulting fees. We’ve always been reliant on the timely payment of invoices for smooth cash flow, especially when covering out-of-scope disbursements for clients, which can sometimes be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, manual processing meant some clients would pay invoices late, creating more work on our end- from searching through bank statements, to awkwardly chasing payments. A lot of these problems stemmed from working with startups that didn’t have accounts teams, meaning paying invoices was often a chore for them, and understandably, a last-priority task,”
“Shifting to GoCardless made the process of collecting recurring payments so simple for us and our clients. We could set-and-forget, knowing that the power of Bank Debit would do the heavy lifting for us, reducing admin burden for us, and our clients.”
Seamless integration into existing systems
The GoCardless for Xero integration was also a useful tool for LaunchLink, who were already using Xero for its accounting tasks.
“Automating the invoice distribution and processing workflow has been incredibly seamless with GoCardless for Xero. We’ve experienced 100% payment success for clients on GoCardless and we’re able to streamline the entire invoicing and reconciliation process, which has been beneficial for our cash flow and our customer experience.”
Recurring payments facilitating growth
As an independent agency, LaunchLink attests to the power of recurring payments in helping to facilitate its growth as a business by enabling the agency to scale according to its predicted revenue stream.
“Shifting to a recurring payments model with some of our clients has been critical for our growth as an agency. We’ve been able to use GoCardless’ forecasting tools in our business planning to scale sustainably.”
The seamless automations afforded by GoCardless and a recurring payments model has also freed up valuable resources, allowing the women-led PR agency to focus on what matters most – the health of the business.
“As two young female founders, the reality is that we have had a few people try to take advantage of us, particularly in the very early stages of our business. Bank debit is a safe payment option that ensures we don’t get left high and dry after we deliver a job – no bouncing cheques, no failed credit card payments.
“Not only does recurring revenue and automated payments provide us with peace of mind and security but it also leaves us to put our energy into the most important parts of the business: growing our agency and nurturing the relationships we have with our clients and journalists.”