Our Corporate Finance Associate Partner, Chris McCourt, reflects on The Naked Deli investment deal and his advice on scaling up your business…
The Naked Deli
Earlier this summer, Foresight’s investment of £2.5m into The Naked Deli was announced. In September, the deal won an Insider Dealmakers Award. It’s this success that has prompted me to reflect on the work that I did with the business.
I first met the team from The Naked Deli about a year ago when they were looking for someone to help them raise a much smaller sum of money so that they could open two more sites.
At the first meeting we talked at length about their business and the immediate plans they had set out. What caught my interest though, was when I asked what they would do if someone gave them £1.5m. At that point, rather than pause and think, they started to immediately talk about their “grand plan”. They knew where they wanted to get to and they believed that they could do it, but weren’t sure how to go about it or how to finance it.
Scaling up your business
When you are focussed on running your business, it is easy to get trapped into thinking day to day. Cash may be tight, with every sale or spending decision being critical, and management time can be spread too thin by learning to deal with new problems such as running a payroll or making sure all the right insurances are in place. It can feel like there is no time to just step back and think about the big picture, the plan, the ambition.
The Naked Deli is a great business, made greater by the fact that Chris, Kirstie and Ian had ambition and made time to talk about it with each other. Most importantly, they were confident enough in the business to look for help to make their plans a reality.
It’s fantastic to see ambitious businesses such as The Naked Deli in the region who are setting their sights on scaling up. One programme which is currently being run by RTC, on behalf of the NE LEP, is working in the North East to address the major barriers to businesses scaling up. The programme tackles issues such as access to finance and risk capital, building leadership capacity, talent and skills and access to markets. All of equal importance, addressing these issues is essential in creating the environment to rapidly grow a business.