While polishing school shoes for the start of a new term and gearing up for the next season I reflected on a summer where I have been blown away by the ongoing determination and passion of small businesses and entrepreneurs in spite of the utter dereliction of duty and gross incompetence shown by the government.
Stories of growth, plans to expand and a real belief in their product or service are the common themes in meeting after meeting. Even when the business was not performing there was a resilience and commitment to go again, put things right and learn from the tough times.
As business advisors and fundraisers for small and medium size businesses we understand that there are many hurdles to success.
A business can lack a clear strategy or an independent perspective to decision making. Owners and management can spend so much time working ‘in’ the business that they don’t work ‘on’ the business. Mistakes frequently happen that could have been avoided with an underdeveloped network of trusted advisors and suppliers all contributing to a weaker that expected performance.
We also know that appointing a business advisor with in-depth sector experience and expertise can be a vital for the growing business. The healthiest businesses put the right funding plan in place earlier in the cycle than is typical and certainly well before cash is an issue. So, finding advisors who also know how to prepare a business for investment increases the likelihood of success even more.
Of course, there is an investment in time and money. Yet it is clear that the businesses that make this decision progress ahead of schedule and those that don’t, often fall below expectation and even risk failing.
All too often during these early meetings business owners say, ‘we wish we had met sooner’.
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