We sat down with Robbie Faucett, Business and Corporate Development Officer for Chesapeake Bank’s Flexent Division, to get to know the guy behind the briefcase. From his wealth of financing knowledge and past experience working with a commercial toilet tissue company to his personal life and hobbies and being a “Baptist Bouncer.”
CB: Tell us about your role at Flexent and the companies you serve.
Robbie Faucett: I provide small and medium-sized businesses with working capital solutions to help them fund growth and support operations. We do this by providing a line of credit for the company by using its accounts receivable and inventory as collateral. My trade territory is the Southeast, as well as anywhere in the country my referral sources have clients with needs that fit our products and services. I primarily work with companies whose revenues range from $1 million to $50 million.
CB: What is the most interesting company you’ve worked with so far?
RF: We serve a lot of distribution, manufacturing, service and staffing companies. So far, my furthest customer is located in Las Vegas, but I’d have to say in my 22 years, my most interesting customer was a commercial toilet paper supply company. The company sold tissue strictly to the portable toilet industry — large and small rolls to be exact. Who would have ever thought there was a successful business model behind toilet tissue for portable toilets!
CB: On a more personal note, tell us about your family.
RF: I enjoy being a father to three fantastic children: Madison Grace (19), Sara Carolina (16) and son, Adams (13). I married my high school sweetheart, Ann, with whom I will celebrate 23 years of marriage in December of this year. I am truly blessed.
CB: What do you like to do for fun?
RF: My hobbies are anything that involves my family – from travel baseball, soccer, golf, snow-skiing and water sports to travel getaways. I also serve as vice chair of the Upstate Workforce Board (UWB). Our Board helps displaced workers find jobs, and we help economic development leaders recruit industry that will employ the vocational and professional skill sets of our citizens. The UWB also helps “at risk” youth graduate high school or complete their GED to enter college or the workforce in Spartanburg, Union, and Cherokee Counties of Upstate South Carolina.
I’m also an usher at Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Spartanburg. (I like to call us the “Baptist Bouncers at The Mill.”)
CB: What’s one thing you wish people knew about your products or industry?
RF: Our credit line easily grows with the business, unlike many traditional lines of credit that are tied to the conservative balance sheet and income ratios.
CB: What’s in your tool bag that helps you do your job most effectively?
RF: My 22 years of industry experience is my best tool. Prior to joining Chesapeake, I was an executive in a regional factoring company; I joined the company during its start-up phase and helped it grow for 13 years. Thus, I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing many aspects of operating an Accounts Receivable Finance firm: from operations, budgeting, credit risk, and compliance to sales and marketing. This experience helps me blend internal expectations from our operations with the customer to identify potential pitfalls before they become a problem.
In addition, my experience of operating a construction company in the early 1990s helped me understand the pressures of a small business owner.
CB: Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
RF: Yes, it’s a simple one, “know thyself.” It applies whether you’re playing sports, preparing for school, building relationships with others, planning your workday for success, operating a business and everything in between. Know your limits, and be honest with yourself.
Also, know when to seek advice from others always be willing to explore ways for self-improvement, whether it’s through education or other means. Remember, great CEOs will tell you they don’t know everything, they just surround themselves with good people.
CB: Why would someone want to work with you?
RF: A customer would enjoy working with me because I don’t view what I do as sales. I address every potential customer with a consultative approach. I first have to understand the customer’s need, situation, and the problem they may be experiencing, or potential problem they may eventually face as a result of certain dynamics developing in their business.
From there, I articulate and provide a solution. If it’s a working capital need, it’s most likely a solution we can provide with Flexent. If it’s not a working capital situation, I’ll introduce solutions offered by other sources in my network. In my tool bag of experience, I work with many business consultants, accountants, investment bankers, and other professionals who provide solutions that help companies succeed.
Most business owners value the time I share with them genuinely listening and giving feedback. Whether it’s a product offered directly by Flexent, or an introduction to another professional who can help, through the years, I’ve found life is about building relationships and helping one another. This is what matters most to me.