Opportunities for SMEs in the UK

Founder & CEO, Lightspeed

Twelve years ago I set up Lightspeed to provide a point of sale commerce solution for independent businesses that has since helped over 40,000 companies worldwide grow into successful, profitable organisations. In that time, we’ve seen a number of key themes many of our partners have had to deal with, particularly those in the UK, and how they have managed to turn them into success.

Finding Investment

Funding remains top-of-mind for many startups, but crucial to building a sustainable business and giving it the opportunity to grow. The challenges range from securing the investment in the first place, to knowing when it’s the right time to approach the market, and most importantly, who the right people are to bring into your business.

Ensure you conduct due diligence when facing investors, and the amount you really need to raise. If your aspirations are huge, you probably need investment. If they are lower, it may not be something you need to jump into.

Before meeting with investors take the time to properly present your business. You have a short time to hook their interest, so make sure you’re getting across the key messages right away. Prove that you have a plan in place if you were to receive the investment, and just as importantly what the expected return is, whether it’s growing the company physically or financially.

Finally, while financial investment is wonderful for a new business, there is also a benefit in having a mentor that can act as a strong advisor.

Finding the right presence

Many businesses are trying to create an online presence to compete with the larger chains that benefit from globalisation, but the bricks and mortar stores still has a huge amount of influence. Customers still want to meet the company, get to know the brand and…