As a serviced office provider we are usually always at the coalface of other businesses in some or other state of change. Seldom does this apply to us however this is exactly where we find ourselves at the moment.
Business, by its very nature relies on growth and expansion – it’s how the world works, at the moment anyway. But before you think this a rant about rights or wrongs of capitalism perhaps I should contextualise; our little regional business has been dying to expand for at least a year now but unfortunately the planets just haven’t aligned yet – until now that is.
Entrepreneurs out there will agree that as small businesses the ‘will and way’ to become BIG is usually always front of mind but cash or the access to cash almost always the single biggest barrier. So what do you do?
Self fund? If you had the money you wouldn’t have the dilemma!
Go to the bank/an institution? We did, but given the current global attitude to lending and risk (never mind the conditions) we were kindly shown the door/s – banks really are Umbrellas on a clear day’.
Phone a friend/family for a loan? If they have faith in your ability and the business this is/should be the path of least resistance and cheapest route – provided they understand the downside.
Secure some private equity? A partner will take up the ‘risk’ slack but partnerships are always challenging especially when the relationships are new. The advantages are that if they understand and buy into your concept they should share your appetite for gain and as a result will also be prepared for any downside. The two pearls of wisdom, if I may, that I can impart when embarking on this journey are;
- make damn sure that you enjoy working together, trust one-another and most importantly have fun and
- be clear on how you intend to deal with conflict – I recommend in a respectful, professional and positive-outcomes based way
So I thought it might be a fun and fitting way to kick-off our blog, at the beginning! The start of our intended expansion and the relationships we are forging to make this monumental leap into the murky depths of Joburg business fog!
Change is good – so they tell me!
By Brad Porter