Steve Molyneux is an investment executive at FW Capital, an investment service providing flexible finance to dynamic businesses in the North and South West of England. Through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, FW Capital offer business loans of £100,000 – £750,000 to Lancashire early stage or established businesses that demonstrate growth potential.
Steve shares his top tips relating to business funding.
What gets you excited about helping businesses secure funding?
Businesses often come to us when they have been turned down by traditional lenders. We are able to provide funding through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and will take a common-sense approach to assessing credit applications.
It’s always satisfying to see the impact that our funding can have on a business, often enabling them to recruit more staff and ultimately fulfil their growth potential.
When looking for funding, where should a business start?
A good start is to seek advice from local accountants, business support networks or the Local Enterprise Partnership.
They will be able to signpost where grants, finance and other support is available. There is a lot of help out there! Even if you have been turned down by traditional lenders, alternative finance providers are often able to help.
What are your top tips to get a business investment ready?
It is important to have all your paperwork in order. A clear, focussed strategy, along with both historic and current financial information is a minimum requirement. Make sure your financial information is up to date and accurate.
We want to see evidence of affordability and a clear understanding of how our funding will benefit the business.
What are the common pitfalls businesses make when seeking funding?
We want to see the facts. Tell us about what is going well but also be honest about the challenges you face and your key risks. There is no gain to be had from providing over ambitious forecasts.
Make sure your financial information is clear and up to date – without this it’s very difficult to provide you with an expression of appetite.
What are funders looking for in a leader and management team?
We want to see a strong management team with a solid business plan. The team needs to demonstrate the relevant experience alongside enthusiasm and passion. They need a commercial focus, realistic plans and ambitions underpinned by a proven track record.
Ideally, we like to see a diverse workforce with a spread of experience and skills, and no over reliance on one individual.
Why should investors and funders be looking to Lancashire Businesses?
Lancashire businesses have so much to offer! There are so many diverse businesses within the region with extremely talented people and skill sets.
Aerospace, engineering, tourism, manufacturing, industry – all thrive in the county, whilst our universities are hubs for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
For more information on FW Capital, visit: www.fwcapital.co.uk