that don’t impress me much….

Hi. Okay. So you have: a phenomenal CV, identified a mega problem/gap in the market, a genius CTO/co-founder, a brilliant business idea, a huge addressable market, some interesting and well respected investors/advisors and you will be worth £millions in a very short amount of time. Unfortunately, in the words of Shania Twain, “that don’t impress […]

running a marathon

The catalyst for this post was a comment from a good friend over the weekend who was talking about his (sub 3hr) marathon strategy. His comment was that when he realised “the way to run a marathon is to consider the halfway point to be 22 miles” that it really step shifted his abilities. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

tell tales

This post derives from a blend of marketing and investment experience. It is going to sound a little bit churlish (which it is not meant to be) as it is all about really small minutiae that I believe make a fundamental difference at that initial point of intro to an investor. Normally such minutiae I […]

growth vs paying shareholders – the disconnect

Bit of a dry one this, my apologies. But super important. Basically the need to look at the entirety of the investment proposition and to consider the medium term impact of investment terms rather than just looking at the pure ‘what % am I giving away’. I’m a little bit old-school when it comes to […]

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 […]

soundbites

There are a few recurring themes that keep coming up when I meet with businesses and I have summarised a few of the most recent ones I’ve come across into soundbites in this blog: – Before you reach sustainable cash breakeven then cash truly is king. You must get as much control as you can over […]

presenting your assets

Communicating with investors requires a certain type of language and presentation that sits outside of the standard client presentation.  Too often I have seen entrepreneurs present the investor the customer rather than investor pitch. Investors are typically keen on understanding your business in a particular way which will not necessarily marry with the ‘standard’ presentation […]