Business Leader Magazine: August/September 2021

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COVER STORY I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS AN INVESTOR NOW – WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN INVESTING? I believe that transparency and integrity are very important. I need to understand that what they are telling me is the truth. And if there is a problem, they will let me know about it. I also believe that I need to get a sense of how resourceful are they going to be. Sometimes getting an investment may not be a good thing because then you can get complacent. I really want to understand how resourceful has that entrepreneur been on the journey so far. Have they wasted money? And, how much of the business that they really understand themselves? Furthermore, it is a simple thing, but what are they going to be like to work with? Are they going to take advice? Of course, the other important factors are is it a viable business proposition? Is the product nice? Does it have a potential competitor? All those are separate things. But in terms of entrepreneurs, the ones I mentioned are the key ones.

"I FEEL THAT E-COMMERCE ACTIVITY IS UNLIKELY TO REDUCE FROM WHERE IT IS NOW AND IT IS MORE LIKELY TO GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, AS MORE PEOPLE ARE CONNECTED AND MORE PEOPLE ARE ONLINE NOW." YOU JUST MENTIONED AGAIN ABOUT BEING RESOURCEFUL – WITH SO MUCH CAPITAL AVAILABLE IS IT TOO EASY TO RAISE MONEY AND DO ENTREPRENEURS NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON REALISING PRODUCT MARKET FIT? I think there is advantages of doing it that way and being resourceful. Many businesses have become successful through raising significant amounts of money. And that seems to be the common route today. But sometimes what happens is you have a business, you set it up, you get an investment, and then you keep raising and raising money. And on paper, the valuation increases on paper with each raise, but ultimately, a lot of the time it ends up just folding, and then you have £50m that has been wasted.

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Some businesses will need to raise money though, and there is no problem with that. I am always a believer in raising enough capital to figure out whether your business model works and whether it is generating money. I WOULD LIKE TO MOVE ONTO A NEW TOPIC AREA - DO YOU THINK THAT THE E-COMMERCE BOOM WE HAVE SEEN WILL BE MAINTAINED? The digital age has been fast forwarded by ten years and it is taking away friction for many people in terms of going online, whether it is zoom, buying groceries, or buying clothes. The business world has changed and retail especially. Businesses have realised that they have had to adapt to having a different route to market. So, I feel that e-commerce activity is unlikely to reduce from where it is now and it is more likely to go from strength-to-

strength, as more people are connected and more people are online now. This also means that there are more opportunities for businesses to come up with ideas and to target new customers. IN YOUR BUSINESS YOU MUST BE SEEING THE COST OF ONLINE MARKETING GOING UP? Yes, the cost of marketing and advertising online is going to go up because a lot more people are going to be using it to target customers, and also getting the right talent and team on board is going to be more difficult and challenging because everyone wants digital marketing professionals and programmers. MOVING ON TO ANOTHER POINT – DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD BE RETURNING TO OUR OFFICES? Every business is different but for me, I like having people in the office and

August/September 2021


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