Hady’s advice for anyone needing to find capital to grow their business:
As much as possible, know your business is going to succeed first. Do the numbers thoroughly and be sure it’s worth putting money into. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but before you go out looking for investors, applying for loans or putting your house down as security, you need to know there’s a need for your product or service.
Always ensure you have enough cashflow to cover a number of costs hitting at once. Things like GST and Provisional Tax can be unexpected surprises for a small business, so in addition to covering day-to-day operating costs, wages and PAYE, always ensure that you include these in your cashflow forecast.
Have your debt at a comfortable level before you push for further expansion. I could have grown the business faster and taken more risk, but the way I did it meant it was within my comfort zone.There’s an opportunity cost there sometimes in that you could miss the market, but it needs to be something you are comfortable with as everyone has a different level of risk.
Refine the model before you expand and ensure the business can be profitable. It’s all too easy to get caught up in topline sales and all the publicity that a shooting star can get, but make sure this is translating to a profit now -or in the near future - before you expand further.