milestones or millstones?

When we work within our businesses on growth capital strategy we don’t advocate the popular funding principles of ‘bootstrapping’ (UK) or at the opposite end ‘get as much as you can’ (USA). Instead we advocate a milestone based strategy where the company targets a capital raise that gives it sufficient leeway to achieve a substantial, […]

do you eat your vegetables?

You’re never too small to forecast. There are a surprising number of entrepreneurs I meet who seem to view forecasting/budgeting as a chore rather than a necessity. It’s one of those regular scenarios where I seem like a dullard, old man, nagging about the need to do financial forecasting when the world of being an […]

milestones and cheese

I have found myself referring to milestones a lot recently. A word that resonates for me, is common parlance in investing yet like many things might not be clear to all. Milestones, for me, relate to strategy. Certain points in a business’ life when an event, or events, conspire to deliver a transformational change in […]

it’s not a sales pitch

I had a meeting last week with a great entrepreneur with a good business idea who made one simple mistake. He gave me the sales pitch. I enjoyed it but it missed the mark. To be fair to the entrepreneur in question, it’s a common mistake. The problem is that the sales pitch in isolation […]

tactical or strategic capital?

In the marketing world a tactical campaign is one that is constructed to seize on an immediate and valuable opportunity (often offer or promotion based) to boost the P&L. Generally from a responsive budget and with short-term defined goals. A strategic campaign is one that is less focussed on short-term gain and more structured in […]

hard coded outputs…. shame on you

A financial model is not a business plan. Even if it is allied to a ‘vision’ document or route map. Instead it is an excel spreadsheet with a series of numbers in it that calculate a series of outcomes. 1+1=2 etc….. Not a business plan: Spreadsheet + Vision document = an idea with numbers open […]

I really doubt it’ll be a majority stake…..

Often when meeting entrepreneurs for the first time you are faced with the inevitable question ‘how much equity will you want’? An important, emotive and understandable question even if it is challenging to answer in an initial meeting. The fear is always that you will want a majority of their business. And I agree that […]

investor communication and Chinese whispers

The majority of entrepreneurs ‘get’ that they need to have a coherent marketing strategy when it comes to selling their product or service. A large proportion also ‘get’ that true success in sales comes from understanding, communicating and pricing the ‘need’ that is being addressed by the product or service. However it is not always […]

fit the capital to the strategy and don’t believe the odds

Find the capital that fits with the strategy and don’t develop the strategy to fit with the capital. Day in – day out I am endeavouring to find focussed investment opportunities where the sector, stage, investment size and risk profile fit with the small number of investors I work with. I reckon the odds on […]

do we all get off at the same stop?

This post is all about the reasons for building a business but, more importantly, a strategic overlay on both the personal and corporate strategy that an investor is likely to require. You have to tackle what you’ll do when your respective motivations and timeframes don’t overlap at exactly the same time. Investors (by dint of the name) are […]