Reaching New Heights: 50 Fastest Companies Share Investor-Ready Knowledge


The growth of a business depends on a lot of things. Strong leadership; the right infrastructure; proximity marketing; a clear objective; and a team culture that everyone in the company can support. But growth also depends on a focused financial plan and, often, economic support through investments to support clear decision-making at critical moments in the life of the business.

Here, some of the Fastest 50 alumni share their collective wisdom, alongside Ward Hadaway’s business partner Richard Butts and Ian Wilson of Mercia Asset Management PLC. Companies discuss their investment readiness experience and what it means if you plan to scale your business.

“An essential ingredient in being prepared to invest is to plan and structure your business in a completely transparent and coherent manner,” explained Richard Butts. “A business structure can be meaningful to the owner and serve their interests, but it doesn’t always attract investment.

Richard Butts, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway

“To be ready to invest, the ownership and assets of a business must be clear and, vitally, structured in such a way that an investor can fully understand. In order for an investor to engage in a business, they must have a comprehensive understanding of how the investment will support the growth and development of the business. If the ownership structure is unclear or if key assets are held outside the business, an investor, quite frankly, is unlikely to think twice.

After leading a management buyout at Mediaworks 18 months ago, founder and CEO Brett Jacobson understands exactly what it means to be prepared to invest in reality. He said: “To attract investment, which is ultimately owned by others, you have to be prepared.

“You cannot be too prepared in my experience. Be prepared for due diligence. The microscope on your operations, your projections and your plans are intense. As a company, we had always anticipated ambitious growth, but we could clearly show our investors specific success in carrying out past plans which gave them confidence in our future forecasts.

“Whether it’s fast or steady, investors like lines that don’t have unexplained peaks. Predictability, not volatility, is what our growth has been based on and it has been driven with a firm hand on the bar.

“Show your investors that you are running a tight ship. We have developed the capabilities to transform data into information, not only for our customers but for ourselves.

“This allows us to accurately forecast and allocate critical elements in terms of customer retention and profitability, resource utilization and where and when to push the button for smart and timely reinvestments in our infrastructure, our people and our systems. “

Mediaworks Founder and CEO Brett Jacobson

Ian Wilson, fund director at Mercia Asset Management PLC, agrees. He said, “Preparation is everything. Business owners should do the necessary research to ensure that their growth plan includes detailed information about the company’s product or service and the markets the business will target.

“Information about the team and why the experiences and skills in the company are suitable is essential, as is full transparency about the amount of funding required, how it will be used and where it will take the business.

“It’s also important to show that you know where you need to improve and how the investment will allow the business to achieve that improvement. This gives an investor a sense of confidence that the company has a humility and intellect that are sustainable and, most importantly, a team that they can trust.

When they attract investment, the goals certainly change. It’s no longer just about what works best for the business owner, their interests or expectations, but more about the investment, how it will benefit the business, and what rewards it will bring. will bring in terms of growth and scalability of a business.

“Being ready to invest requires significant preparation and good advisers,” said Mark Rutherford, managing director of international battery manufacturer and exporter Alexander Technologies Europe.

“The more time and effort you put into initiating an increase in investment, the more successful it will be. Take the time to prepare a good marketing material, make sure that all historical financial statements are presented clearly and in a way that requires little further explanation.

“Provide an honest assessment of historical results and don’t try to hide anything because investors will dig into the details and eventually find out.

“Also, be sure to select a good local business finance advisor and explore what types of investments might be available and for what end purposes. Always keep these goals in mind when making a decision that changes your business – one of the most important you’ll ever make.

Corporate finance, when done properly, is the catalyst for growth. A structured and progressive investment plan describes exactly how the funds will be used, in what way and when.

“Being focused on investing is almost as important as being focused on the client,” added Richard. “As any business owner will tell you, the customer always comes first.

“It’s the same mindset that leaders need to adopt when it comes to investing. If they want the capital to take the next stage of growth, the business has to be investor friendly.

“Leaders must demonstrate tangible goals and a clear, achievable plan that illustrates how funding will enable the business to achieve those goals. Companies should also implement good governance and reporting to ensure that performance and results can be measured.

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