HOW FINANCE SHOULD FUEL A GROWTH ENGINE
A word that often crops up is ‘synergy’. It can sound like a worn cliche but entrepreneurs will know exactly the kind of sustainable growth they want and how best it can be supported by partners, investors and clients. Crucial to achieving that is a financial partnership that brings more to the table than just corporate credit. Rightly, entrepreneurs will push for a support network that understands their business, their market and the real purpose of their company.
A good financial partner must understand that too, fully grasping the challenges a business faces and the delicate balance an entrepreneur is looking to strike between securing growth and investment and giving up equity and taking on debt. I see this as the critical stage to bring all our potential to bear – because a financial partner is only ever as good as the success their client can achieve.
Financing is one aspect of partnering with visionary entrepreneurs but there must be a holistic approach. That means providing a network of interested parties, potential investors, business partners and wider professional services. It also means sharing specific market knowledge and regional intelligence.
Experience is invaluable but it doesn’t have to be all hard won on your own. A good financial partner will be able to share their expertise from working with companies in the same sector, they’ll understand the technologies and the clients you’re dealing with and have an eye on the regulatory developments. They’ll know how those inform your market and your route to it but also how it might reflect on your internal operations and decision making – everything they do should ultimately feed in to how an entrepreneur achieves better growth.
Finally, there should be a clear understanding on what an entrepreneur wants to achieve on a more personal level. Is the scale up about securing value and a route to sale or is it about building a longer legacy around a family business? Are there social and environmental challenges that might be driving the purpose of the company alongside making profit?
The work we do with entrepreneurs is never anything short of inspirational. I’m always acutely aware of the variables they are managing inline with an overarching vision. Being able to support and partner with them as they realise that key growth stage is rewarding because we only grow when our clients do but it also keeps us on a constant learning curve – we’re here to listen as well as advise. Today, with all the economic challenges we face, I’m more inspired than ever by the work of entrepreneurs and how we can help them achieve their vision.