JG: “Good ideas come in all shapes and sizes but success is generally always driven by a capable management team. We also find that successful businesses are often the ones that find a niche or offer a disruptive proposition which is capable of scalable growth.” What are you looking for in a business, what would convince you to offer them finance?
AB: “First of all, we are looking for the right people who have drive, passion and perseverance as well as being open minded, flexible and able to make decisions quickly. Of course, the right market-product fit is a must.” JG: “Maven has invested in both established SMEs of scale with annual operating profits of around £1m, as well as in significantly earlier stage firms where perhaps losses are being incurred in the initial years of trading. “The common thread across all of Maven’s investments is a strong management team with sector expertise or previous experience of growing an SME and the capability to deliver growth in earnings” What tips can you give to businesses pitching? How do you impress investors? AB: “A strong business that is pitched poorly will not find backers. Our advice to entrepreneurs is to make sure that you are able to explain the concept of your business in a simple way. “Keep it short but informative. Select only the information that matters and that explain why there is a good reason for your product or service to exist. Investors are looking for money, so tell us how you’re going to make it.” JG: “We cannot emphasise enough the importance of producing a comprehensive investment proposal which should provide information on the company’s financials: historic trading performance, three years projections along with underlying assumptions on turnover growth, gross margin, overheads, and cash flow as well as outlining how the funding will be used. “A knowledge of the market and competitive space is also important – being able to articulate the opportunities and threats and how you plan to overcome these shows clear business vision. Don’t forget also to outline any aspirations around an exit plan as this will help align investors’ interests with your own from the outset.”
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