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Why I founded ORMA

Insight into the 'why' behind ORMA from our Founder and CEO, Olivia Allen


So, I’ve officially launched ORMA… after 6 or so months of running it. When I sent some feelers out nearly a year ago, I was very fortunate to become almost oversubscribed — and so you might say I’ve been working so much on other peoples brands and marketing, that my own has taken a back seat.

There’s a danger that gives the impression that I can’t multitask, or don’t move quickly (I signed three new clients within a week of deciding to go solo — so that’s probably not the case). The reality is that like many entrepreneurs, freelancers, and founders, I sat on the fence for a while.

I was having immediate success — but also scared of failure. You can’t fail at something if you don’t fully commit to it. You’ll always be able to tell yourself you could have been a success, you ‘coulda been a contender’ to quote Brando. You’ll be able to blame all manner of things for not being a success — but deep down, it was you. You chose to have Schrodinger’s Startup — an idea that is both successful and a failure — but until you open the box, both are possible, neither are definite.

So, I got off the fence. I put together a brand that meant something to me, self-taught some website building skills, mastered Zapier to automate a tonne of stuff, and sat down to write this. So, why am I being so transparent? Well, I’m a big believer that marketing is storytelling, and good product needs good story. Time will tell whether this is a good story — but success or failure it’s 100% mine.

So, that’s the ‘how’ I took the plunge. But what’s the why? The short answer is that there is a gap in the market.

That market specifically being FinTech. The first gig I ever worked in was FinTech, and so has every single one since. I’ve done Virtual Card Issuing, Banking-as-a-Service, Global Payroll, Embedded Banking, and more recently Acquiring, Crypto, and Asset Management. I never said FinTech wasn’t a broad church…

In nearly all of those gigs I have worked on launches. Launching whole businesses, launching new products, or into new countries and markets. It’s the part of my job I love, sinking my teeth into something new, figuring it out, then making it a success. But when a project is complete, a new product launched, a new market conquered, I found it hard to recapture that high when everything becomes BAU.

So I decided to double down on the work I liked doing. And fortunately for me, in doing so I found a sweet spot. You see not every FinTech is blessed with regular injections of Tiger Global shaped money, and the table stakes in FinTech are so high that compliance and risk will invariably chew up large chunks of what capital you have just to get running.

I saw this gap in the market, a sweet spot. A place where an agency could offer strategic marketing services that were more embedded and creative than what typically comes out of the agencies and more strategic than what you would normally find with freelancers.

So I decided to start a company that would offer the opportunities, the challenges, and the highs I craved. One where I could help smaller companies, those who couldn’t afford high fees, to rebrand, to launch new products and expand their business.

And that’s ORMA. Get in touch if you think I can help!



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