Finding an ecommerce banking partner that truly understands

Michael Shackelford


Michael Shackelford

Michael Shackelford was always determined to run his own business and work for himself. After dabbling in a few entrepreneurial ventures, Michael began doing more product research and looked to Amazon for his next pursuit.

Michael eventually launched his first product as an Amazon seller in 2019. Following that product’s success, Michael has continued to grow his footprint in Amazon’s Home Decor category. 




Finding capital to grow that felt good

At first, funding his business seemed simple, Michael used money he had set aside combined with leveraging credit cards to get started. However, that type of financing only worked temporarily, “Now that I’m growing, I can’t get away with that anymore. Looking at projections, I realized I can’t grow it on my own. I’m going to need more resources.” 

Between paying suppliers, the fees on Amazon, and keeping up with the increased demand for his products Michael discovered the biggest challenge was finding the capital to keep growing his business. “You make that first order and you have to give them $20-30,000 and you’re not going to see that money for a while, but you still have to pay for other business expenses along the way.” 

Like many ecommerce businesses, Michael encountered challenges in maintaining a healthy level of cash between inventory purchases and their sale, “It’s tough, especially because you have to have a cushion of cash to grow the business.” 

Eventually, he started looking at funding opportunities for ecommerce sellers, but quickly found the options to be disappointing. Michael researched and partnered with 8fig and AccrueMe, but based on his experiences and how he wanted to scale his business, these providers ultimately weren’t the right fit for him. 

Michael needed to find a funding solution that was transparent about their funding structure, didn’t have outrageous fees, and was interested in pursuing a legitimate, longer term partnership with his business. 


Funding with fixed fees and a strategic banking partnership

Instead of going with an offer that didn’t fit his needs, Michael decided to move forward with a loan from his current banking provider. Shortly after this his mentor, Tomer Rabinovich, introduced him to Viably and changed how Michael saw alternative funding providers

Unlike other funding providers that Michael considered, Viably took the time to understand his business before making an offer. “Viably doesn’t just have better offers. Viably assessed my track record, and we’ve been able to develop a relationship.” 

While other companies left Michael feeling like they saw his business as a faceless profit, Viably sought to understand the strengths and challenges. “Not only do I have confidence in Viably, but I feel like Viably has confidence in me. I mean, you get to see what I’m doing and my track record with products. You can see that they’ll be successful.” 

This newfound confidence has motivated Michael to develop an aggressive growth plan for the next three years – one that he wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the right funding plan and partner. 

Viably has helped to take away one of his biggest worries when it comes to scaling up, and as a result he’s been able to focus on new aspects of the business.

Initially Michael needed capital to make inventory purchases, “only recently, in this calendar year, have I been able to start really pushing PPC,” he shared. “Before then I wasn’t focusing on it very much, but now I have employees working on it and I can put more energy into that. When I was managing it myself I was just doing the bare minimum to get by.” 

Viably has become that cushion of safety net that Michael was searching for. “It’s really exciting that I don’t constantly have to worry about funding. I love it. I love the whole concept of vetting sellers to see that it’s someone you actually want to work with. It becomes this mutually beneficial relationship if you find someone you’re confident in. We’re benefiting from each other and it’s an awesome thing.” 


A launch pad for exciting new opportunities and expansion

While Michael is just getting started leveraging Viably’s funding and support to its full extent, he’s confident that the funds will be there when he needs it, a luxury that he’s never had before.  It’s easier to dream bigger and bolder when you’re confident that you have the backing to achieve them. 

His new three-year growth plan has him scaling up over eight times his current business, which, in his words, “takes some significant cash. It’s a plan I wouldn’t have made unless I felt I could get the money to make it happen.” Viably has empowered Michael to “put the pedal to the floor” to grow his business. Beyond the funding options Viably provides, he’s equally as excited to utilize the ever evolving growth and banking tools offered.

“I love the Growth tool. It’s awesome, there’s no other tool out there that really simplifies the process and shows your cash flow and forecasting like that. I think right now everybody just uses spreadsheets that are messy and inconsistent.” He’s hopeful that he can begin to rely even more on Viably’s digital banking platform as it evolves. 

“It’s going to be an essential tool for planning your cash flow.” 

In the meantime, Michael is focused on scaling up his business without worrying about capital. While he’s pouring most of his time and growth into Amazon, Michael is also looking at potentially expanding into additional marketplaces.

To other sellers, Michael shared how easy it is to run out of money on Amazon, “You lock up so much money while you’re waiting for your inventory to come in, and if you’re growing you have to keep buying more. But you still have to wait to get that cash back, so it’s a really big issue.” To combat this challenge, Michael advises that sellers find a funding source that they trust not to take advantage of them or their business.

“I would say that Viably is the only option that I would really recommend at this point,” Michael said. After experiencing firsthand how helpful and supportive the Viably team could be for his business, he’s confident that they could help other businesses alleviate that same financial anxiety and give new perspective to growth. 

“I think, ultimately, Viably is just quicker, more flexible, and they have a more intimate relationship with the seller,” said Michael. “I feel the support, and it’s just better. It’s better on all points.”