Insights

Why Seeking Investment Is About So Much More Than Just The Money

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Are you looking to secure investment for your business? Have you considered what the process might include?

Sometimes a business needs a fast injection of cash to support growth, but at other times growth is about bringing in the right mentorship and expertise. I recently chatted with a director of the Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, Daniel Booth, on the EHE Capital podcast, Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together.

 

In 2021 Leonard Curtis secured £15M funding from Arete Capital Partners, in partnership with SVELLA, to help take their business to the next level. 

 

In this blog, we’re going to explore why funding is often not just about the money, why looking after your people must be a priority, and why it’s useful to admit that there are gaps in your knowledge!

 

The desire for funding

Daniel: “We wanted to improve the platform and develop our business in the marketplace. We asked ourselves what we wanted to do, how we wanted to improve the business, whether or not we needed support, and who the best people to support us would be.

 

We were really honest with ourselves and realised that we didn’t have the skill set that was necessary to take the business from where we are to where we want to be.

 

We didn’t need investment from a financial point of view, but we did want to realign some of our shareholder group and to encourage new people to come in, we wanted to reward the existing shareholders and grow the business, and we needed support to do that.”

 

In any business, it’s really important to reward existing shareholders as well as consider using investment for growth and development. When you reward the people who have already bought into what you do, you send a clear message to prospective shareholders.

 

Why you need to think ahead

Daniel went on to explain that the investment supports a long-term vision.

 

Daniel: “We look within rather than look externally for the people who you want to come through the business. You want people at shareholder level to feel positive and energised for the next round, because that will rub off on the others who we hope will become the next owners of the business and carry the baton further than we can. We have to demonstrate what’s possible so that the people who aren’t shareholders yet want to get involved.

 

We knew when we were seeking investment that we wanted to do business with like-minded people that we trust and respect, otherwise you’re doomed to fail because you don’t have the same sort of vision or opinions.”

 

Although there was a shared vision and plenty of common ground, it was also clear from what Daniel shared that he was happy to adopt a beginner’s mind.

 

Why you need a willingness to learn

Daniel: “We’ve seen lots of situations in business but you should always be prepared to learn and listen to other people. It’s been a massive help for me in terms of sharing ideas and being able to lean back on other people and trust them to give you support. 

 

During the investment process, there were lots of situations where we’d be in discussions with lawyers or accountants and I didn’t understand what was being said or what was being asked of us. I would just acknowledge that I didn’t understand, and I think that’s really important because there’s no point in pretending that you know what’s being talked about.

 

Sometimes it felt quite invasive and personal because I had people asking me difficult questions about something that I really care about, but I used all of it as an opportunity to learn something new about the business, find ways to make it fun, and take the positives from the experience.”

 

Daniel touched on the aspect of “fun” and I think to grow any business in a meaningful way and keep your team enthused, there has to be fun. I’m a big advocate of working hard but also playing hard. Daniel shares a similar philosophy.

 

Realising your business vision

Daniel: “I consider us to be in a privileged position: we’re part owners of a business that has already realised some value for our shareholders and we want to be able to sell the dream to the next generation of people coming through, and that means making it fun. It is going to be hard work but it’s just as important to have fun along the way; and even if we don’t successfully double the size of the business, it’s not a failure, because we’ll grow along the way.

 

While we want the shareholders to benefit, every single person in the business is important to us. We want to listen to what people need, and support them in the best way possible – and that goes for the people in the business and the ones who haven’t joined yet, because they are all our greatest assets. It’s our job as a management team and ownership team to make our people our first priority. We want to share our vision, help them understand where we’re threaded, and develop a culture that runs throughout the firm so that people can see what we’re all about.”

 

The investment that Leonard Curtis has secured will help to drive future growth, build on existing capabilities and add new specialist services aimed at its professional and small and medium-sized enterprises. 

 

What does your business need in order to grow and thrive? Whether it’s investment or mentoring or peer support, why not check out the EHE Capital community where we can help you build the right mindset, tap into resources and create a valuable network.

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