Businesses fail because of bad financial management. And we are not just talking about businesses that go bankrupt here. We are also referring to businesses that do not make as much money as they could have done. Potential world beaters that get overtaken by seemingly less well resourced businesses.
And yet if you look at most business plans or proposals, while they will provide full details of the sales, marketing, creative and operational talents within the team, there is often very little reference to the finance talent that will be required to manage the money, and provide the financial returns that are faithfully promised to potential investors and finance providers.
In the heady atmosphere of developing an exciting business idea, it seems that financial management is almost an afterthought (as opposed to finance, which of course is seen as vitally important, especially when it is provided by somebody else).
I can recall all too many instances where financial management skills have been reluctantly brought in at the last minute in an attempt to avert a catastrophe. I say reluctantly, as the management still seems to want to haggle over the cost, as if you are a burden rather than the one thing that stands between them and financial oblivion. And yet this is the same management that has probably splashed out vast sums on the other talents in the team (and themselves) with almost carefree abandon. That is of course until the money has almost run out.
So entrepreneurs, if you want the money men to be interested in you, and achieve the best result for yourself, you need to make sure your have somebody in your team at a very early stage interested in looking after their money. Britain really does have financial talent – make sure you use it and value it.