There is something intoxicating about what drives entrepreneurs to create their own successful business. This single-minded enthusiasm, coupled with a pugnacious, never-say-die attitude that helps turn a dream into reality, is rare and powerful.
We are immensely fortunate to work with many of these entrepreneurs on a day-to-day basis. Our clients are predominantly business owners and this gives us a privileged insight into the UK economy. Each business has its own profile, its own issues, challenges and triumphs. We get to see these first hand and with a deep understanding that the large High Street lenders can never replicate.
New orders, new hires, difficult trading, unexpected issues, each day we are helping clients respond to situations that mark the pulse of the nation’s business community.
And we listen.
There is no doubt that trading conditions have begun to improve – balance sheets are gradually being repaired. But it is not yet across the board. Indeed, the nature of this recovery is very different from recent ones. The rising tide is not lifting all boats, it is being very selective.
However, the general state of the economy is not dulling the merchant spirit and we are experiencing somewhat of a boom in those seeking to make their entrepreneurial debut. This can only be a positive trend and says much for the confidence of those who may be striking out on their own for the very first time.
But these businesses, small or larger, will need capital to grow and all the enthusiasm in the world will not compensate for the lack of a good business plan and a good execution strategy to back up a good idea.
I believe that it is in the best interests of all involved, lenders and borrowers alike, that as many of these businesses succeed as possible. Therefore it is in all our interests that lenders understand their role in nurturing these fledgling tycoons.
Sophisticated business lending is a partnership where both sides are actively engaged in the success of the enterprise.
It is something that I believe we need to see a lot more of.