Meet Bianca Andrada-Banez & Donnie Banez from Cinch + Strike.
Like many start-up businesses, it started with the passion, skills recognition and desire to bring value to the community.
The couple live and breathe Salesforce and love seeing how it can transform the lives of other small business owners by making their work flow more efficient and effective.
We asked Bianca a few questions to get to know our Chamber Member.
Tell us a bit about your background – your career to date, your experience… basically, how what you have done has got you to where you are today.
Originally from the Philippines, we got the opportunity to work for large, global IT organizations where we were introduced to the Salesforce platform. When we moved to New Zealand, Donnie worked for Davanti Consulting and The White Shed (both Salesforce.com partners), while I worked for Dimension Data (now NTT) – a global systems integrator company.
Donnie, being an innovator and a problem solver, is a Salesforce Solutions Consultant and Architect. My skills and experience come from an end-user to the platform. We decided to move to Tauranga (from Auckland) when Donnie started operating Skydive Tauranga with his friends.
We then decided to combine forces and form a business out of a technology that we genuinely believe in.
When did you start your business? How long have you been operating?
We started operating in Feb 2019, trading as DB Consulting. One year later, we re-branded to Cinch +Strike. We wanted a name that best represents our work ethics.
‘Cinch’ means ‘an extremely easy task’, which is what we want our clients and staff to experience when they partner or work with us. ‘Strike’ represents how our solutions hit the mark when addressing our client’s business problems and goals.
Why did you start your own business?
Our story is no different from many start-up companies. It all started with the passion, skills recognition, and desire to bring value to the community. I can’t stress this enough, but Donnie and I live and breathe the Salesforce platform. We’ve seen it in action a lot of times, and we know how powerful the platform is. We also use it in our own business, so we know if done right and used properly, it can help small and local businesses like us. This is where we come in.
Tell us about your business: What services do you offer? How can you help our business community?
We are a registered Salesforce.com consulting partner, providing design, implementation, training and support services. We have been supporting businesses across New Zealand and Australia remotely. We help businesses leverage their Salesforce platform and enable SMB start-ups who want to take their marketing, sales and business operations to the next level by using the platform.
Outside the revenue-generating aspect, we have also been partnering with schools and attending meet-ups to speak about careers in Salesforce.com. We mentor and train committed individuals fresh out of school and experienced professionals looking for a career change who want to start their Salesforce journey.
Our dream is to be a significant part of the Tauranga community. We want to help local businesses get access to the digital world so they can be more competitive and pave the way for individuals who want to start a career in IT.
What makes your business unique?
We partner with clients who trust us and our capabilities rather than having a customer-vendor relationship. Staying true to our tagline ‘success simplified’, we are pragmatic and look at the simple solutions first, less of the multiple layers of steps to get a job done properly.
When you first got into business, what is the one thing you wish people told you?
That we should have started this business a long time ago! We see the value, and it gives us pure joy and pride in seeing our clients excited every time we deploy a solution for them.
In your first year of business, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Managing the risks of the unknown. We’ve done our homework, and when we first thought of starting the business, we researched and sought advice from mentors. But there’s always that worry and the ‘what if’. However, it greatly helped us that we have a clear idea on how we wanted to run the business.
And now, looking back, what have been your biggest learnings?
That mistakes do happen, no matter how cautious we are. But we can always recover fast when we recognise the mistake, own it, learn from it and find a fix immediately.
We’ve also realised that rather than the dollar value, what makes us sleep well at night is when we know we’ve produced high-quality work and have exceeded our client’s expectations.
What’s the one misconception people might have about your industry?
The biggest misconception is that Salesforce.com is only for large enterprises because it’s expensive. We are a small business too, but we’re using the platform. And that’s what we’re hoping to achieve, to enable the SMBs to see and experience the business value. Salesforce platform can also be for SMBs like us if done and used properly.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your business?
It’s truly easy to partner with us.
What are your goals (personal and professional) for the next six to 12 months?
We’re in the process of scaling to address the growing demand. Because of the size of the team, we (Donnie & I) find ourselves working longer hours now and both wearing ‘too many hats’. This is something we’re hoping to address in the next 12 months. We also hope to identify the additional roles that we need and hire more keen people, and of course, to keep a healthy work-life balance.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
Before lockdown, we were always road-tripping and bushwalking with our Parson Russell dog named Greyhound. On weeknights, we find ourselves in restaurants throughout the CBD and Mount.
If you could impart one piece of advice to fellow business owners, what would it be?
Follow your passion and lead from the heart.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing. We’re just happy to be here in Tauranga 😊
New members can find it hard meeting people at events, so we want to take some of the pressure off that awkward small talk by shining a light on your business through our member profiles.
Our member profiles are a great way to give the business community a taste of who you are and what you do, so when they see your face at one of our events they won’t hesitate to make that all-important introduction.