Thriday's North Star: Eliminating Financial Admin

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Michael Nuciforo
Table of Contents

It’s been an absolutely crazy few months at Thriday HQ. Even saying ‘absolutely crazy’ feels like a severe understatement. We went live to sole traders after a four-month Beta phase, we hired half a dozen people, and we successfully completed a pre-Series A fundraise of $6 million. We have also been working on some game changing new features – which I can’t quite share yet – but we will be announcing them shortly.

At the end of an intense period of work bringing our product to market, coupled with the time involved in raising money and hiring, we felt it was a good opportunity for the team to get together and review our strategy. With a startup, things can sometimes get so busy, you can spend a lot of time looking straight down at your feet, rather than into the horizon. With new investors, new team members and new partners, it was the perfect time to gather around and get on the same page again.

When we started Thriday, one of the key hypotheses we had, was that the needs and motivations of business owners doesn’t change.  Hear me out. Let’s hop into a time machine and travel back to ancient Rome. Imagine walking through the Trajan Market, in your tunic of course, and you come across a business market stall owner. ‘Quid es negotium?’ (How is business?) you ask.  I can guarantee that the market stall owner would talk about the same concepts, fears and challenges that a business would face today - supplies, costs, labor and profits.

So, the question becomes, what can be harnessed from new technologies to support business owners.

Whilst business needs and motivations are largely the same, technology isn’t, and how is it being used to address some of these fears and challenges?

New technologies have delivered a more efficient, cheaper or healthier way of doing things across many industries. So, this then leads into Thriday’s second hypothesis. There is new technology, namely artificial intelligence and machine learning, that could be used to streamline businesses even more. New technology that gives great control, reducing the noise and helping businesses achieve their goals.

We believe in these two hypotheses more than ever, and whilst we still have a long way to go, we are confident that we are now at a tipping point. Business owners are recognising this more and more because the tools and services they use around them provide this.

We conducted our strategic review over three phases – keeping each phase short and sharp. Not because we didn’t want to get into the detail, but more so because we knew the detail, and it was time to map it out. The three phases were:

  1. Discovery
  1. Workshops
  1. Report


To kick off our strategic review, we started by going back to the beginning and looking at the research that helped form the basis of Thriday.  It was a helpful reminder. Looking at the data we had already collected, it was clear that owners start their businesses because of the control it gives them, whether to enjoy their craft or the lifestyle to do their own thing. However, financial admin invariably gets in the way. It’s all consuming, hard to keep on top of, and it brings on anxiety.  It’s not usually a strong competence for a small business owner.

The existing products in the market promise to remove this burden, to make things easy, but do they really? There are a lot of cool marketing campaigns that say the right things, but the reality is empty promises and false dreams.

We then had a session with small business expert Ross Cameron.  Ross is the guru on all things small business. To put it into perspective, Ross has interviewed over 3,000 small businesses across Australia over a twenty-year career. During the three-hour session, Ross identified that there are three core groups of business owners; Business Builders (25%), Lifestyle Seekers (50%) and Passionate Professionals (25%).

Passionate Professionals are just focused on practicing their craft, whilst lifestyle seekers just want to maintain the status quo. Interestingly, most business owners don’t want to grow their business; about 25% do, and 75% don’t. Ross has also identified the concept of ‘mirroring’, which is when business owners expect the same level of service as they provide their clients.

The final part of the discovery phase was one-to-one interviews with team members, key stakeholders, partners and customers.


We then entered the workshops phase. The objective of this phase was to really align around our target segments, product and strategic priorities for the future.  We explored the conventions for Thriday to tackle as a challenger brand. We also started to do some initial brainstorming around our North Star.

The workshops were a great way to get everyone together in a room and just hash things out.  One of the highlights to come of the sessions was the exploration of current conventions around business owners:

  • Financial admin is done ‘after hours’
  • Business owners fear they are not doing it right.
  • Accounting is for accountants.  

The group then discussed brand challenges and capabilities and came to an important consensus. It’s not about what Thriday does. It’s about what you (business owners) no longer need to do. Our strength is automating and simplifying complex features and we need to really double down on what we are good at.

Final Report

After some very engaging workshops and discussions, we had our answer, and it was time to document it. Creating a final report puts a bookend on the process and is an important part of the process. If done well, it not only captures the strategy, but enhances it.

So, what was the outcome, you ask?

Well, I’m happy to say we have identified a clear mission.

A mission that is ambitious, bold and slightly scary (which should be).
Our mission, or our North Star, is to eliminate financial admin.  

Thriday’s technology should automate financial admin tasks to the point that they feel as good as eliminated, so owners can maintain control of their time and focus on the things that matter.  

This mission will steer Thriday on prioritisation, differentiation and messaging. It will provide a set of guardrails and help focus the business across internal and external activities.  

From an internal perspective, it aligns the business to ensure new features and innovations are in line with the Thriday mission, whilst setting the vision to push the boundaries in order to differentiate against competitors.

Externally, we expect it will establish a compelling message to the market that cuts through competitors’ empty promises and demonstrates how Thriday is best option to meet needs of business owners.

After completing our refresh, we now plan to run this through with customers, both existing and target. We will also play it back to our key partners and stakeholders. It’s important that they are onboard with our reason for being.

It was an exciting process to be involved in, and it’s already provided a lot of immediate benefits to the team. There is extra clarity, and certainty in decision making. It’s easier to know what to say yes to, and what to say no to.  

Whilst we recognise that our vision is ambitious, there is no doubt that admin frustrates people in all forms, and across all walks of life. We are excited to see if this new proposition resonates as we hope it does. Hopefully sharing this little insight into how we did it might inspire you to think about your own business strategy.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

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