Hayley Mackenzie joined Bluestone Leasing’s marketing team in May 2021. During the interview process, we decided to turn the tables by asking her to interview our managing director and marketing manager about the business and its future plans. We then asked her to turn her first impressions into an article. This is what she wrote.
With so many businesses reeling from the financial hardship and uncertainty of 2020, Bluestone Leasing’s asset finance services and expertise are needed now more than ever. After so much societal change, general distrust of the financial industry, and the undeniable impact that the internet has had on buyer habits, the team at Bluestone have decided to make some changes.
To find out what 2021 and beyond looks like for Bluestone Leasing, I met with managing director, Vineesh Madaan, and marketing manager, Charlie Brook.
Who are Bluestone Leasing?
Starting and running a business can feel like stepping into a fast-moving river. You are using all your energy just to stay upright but, with sinking sand under your feet, standing still is not an option. Now and again an unexpected branch or a strange-looking creature comes downstream, threatening to throw you off balance. You can see the other side of the river and what you need to do to reach it, but every step you take increases the risk of falling beneath the surface.
What you need is a sturdy steppingstone to stand on, followed by another, and another, so you can continue to move forward for as long as it takes to reach the stability of the opposite bank. For 25 years, the team at Bluestone Leasing have been providing those steppingstones for thousands of UK businesses through asset finance.
Bluestone Leasing is a finance broker for businesses looking to develop or expand without parting with a big chunk of money all at once. In the beginning, the company focused on financing technology for businesses, but has since opened its doors to just about every type of business asset you can think of.
Bluestone can provide finance for a wide range of projects valued between £1,000 to £2.5 million, from office technology, furniture, and software to complete office renovations. Whether a family-run chippie needs a new fryer, or a digital marketing agency is embarking on a million pounds worth of office upgrades, Bluestone Leasing can help businesses to spread to cost and keep cash in the business where it is needed.
Why are Bluestone Leasing making changes?
Historically, Bluestone Leasing has grown organically, and their success has been largely due to the team’s ability to create and sustain long-term relationships by providing expert and honest advice. Bluestone are committed to ethical and transparent lending and will never advise a customer to take out asset finance if it is not right for their business. They are not interested in anything other than mutually financially beneficial arrangements.
Unfortunately, in the world of business asset finance, many brokers will prioritise their own profit over what is best for their customer. Due to well-publicised unscrupulous conduct and the numerous scandals that haunt the financial industry, many people are apprehensive or sceptical about dealing with finance brokers. Bluestone want to challenge the way finance brokers are perceived, and to show people that they can be trusted.
How are they going to do it?
To date, the company have not invested much time or money into outbound marketing, but in late 2020 Bluestone Leasing brought on their first marketing manager, Charlie Brook. Charlie has big ambitions for the company, to be delivered through a more proactive marketing strategy.
With greater investment in marketing that showcases the company’s expertise and transparent approach, Bluestone Leasing aim to become the go-to source of knowledge and support for UK businesses looking for asset finance. Whether someone is looking for honest advice about the pros and cons of asset finance, or they have already done their own research and are ready to set up a finance arrangement, Bluestone want to help.
The company is investing in their website to bring multiple software programs, knowledge, advice, and customers relationships together. Bluestone Leasing will offer one integrated, transparent, and accessible online platform to be used by staff, partners, and customers. Bluestone are also passionate about investing in their staff as individuals and giving them the support they need to succeed.
The company’s customer facing team used to be structured according to the type of asset being financed, i.e., technology or furniture, but Bluestone will now have regional account managers. This means that customers and partners will be assigned a particular team member depending on where they are in the UK, so they will deal with the same person no matter what it is that they need.
At the end of my meeting with Vineesh and Charlie, I leave with one question still on my mind. Why did they call the company Bluestone?
I asked if the name has any special significance, or metaphorical meaning, and was told that it was originally called Wise Leasing before being renamed Bluestone Leasing in 2007. At the time, management asked the staff to lead the change by putting forward their own name suggestions. Bluestone was one of many on the table, but Vineesh tells me that it was the most popular and, quite simply, felt like a good fit.
Leaving their offices, I also like the name Bluestone, but I am not sure why. When I arrived home, I looked up the literal definition of bluestone, and it seems to me that there is more of a connection between Bluestone Leasing and its geological namesake than even they realise.
Bluestone is not a specific geological term but is used to describe over 20 different types of rock. What all bluestone rocks have in common is that they are made up of lots of diverse sediments, formed organically over time, and only made possible by the movement of water.
The company stands out against an otherwise dull background. Bluestone Leasing are not afraid to do things a little differently and to stand out in what is often deemed a complex and dry industry. Bluestone know that they are not like other finance brokers, and that is fine by them.
A bluestone rock remains strong despite the fast-moving water around it and can even become stronger because of it. The metaphor only got stronger when Vineesh said, “We want to create a legacy, and to become a firmly rooted company that is not going to be swept away”. Bluestone Leasing have also formed organically over time, and the company is made up of lots of diverse individuals with unique talents. They recognise that, just like bluestone, they grow stronger when they value and nurture the diversity and strength of each person in the team. And, finally, continued success will only be possible through movement, not of water, but of openness, learning, and innovation.
In 2022, Bluestone Leasing want to help more businesses than ever before by financing the steppingstones they need to travel across the river. Through proactive marketing, a more personalised approach to customer relationship management, continued commitment to transparency, and a genuine desire to empower staff, partners, and customers to achieve all that they can, I am convinced that they will succeed.