Ward Hadaway Fastest 50: How to navigate complexities of funding and transactions

Jonathan Pollard, a partner in the corporate team at Ward HadawayJonathan Pollard, a partner in the corporate team at Ward Hadaway
Jonathan Pollard, a partner in the corporate team at Ward Hadaway
"There are deals to be done, but ensure your house is in order," says Jonathan Pollard, a partner in the corporate team at Ward Hadaway

Yorkshire’s business community came together this month to celebrate success at the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50, which champions the fastest-growing businesses in the region.

One factor that united many of the companies in the room was their ability to secure appropriate funding at the right time. 

In the fast-paced world of business, securing funding can be the catalyst that drives the next phase of expansion for a rapidly growing company.

Yorkshire's economy, rich with innovation and entrepreneurial activity, is home to many businesses looking to scale up, expand internationally or even prepare for an eventual exit.

Jonathan Pollard, a partner in the corporate team at Ward Hadaway, talks about how businesses can navigate the complexities of funding and transactions in today's market.

Understanding Yorkshire's corporate market

Reports show that the past year has seen a noticeable reduction in transaction activities across Yorkshire, raising questions about the importance of transaction timing and execution going forwards.

However, not all areas of the market have felt this slowdown equally. Sectors such as technology and recruitment continue to thrive, proving that opportunities for growth, investment and exit remain, regardless of broader market conditions.

Whilst the market may appear quieter, it's crucial for businesses not to lose sight of the opportunities still present.

No one can predict the future with absolute certainty, but with the right professional guidance, insight and strategy, companies can find and take advantage of these opportunities for growth.

Preparing for growth and success

One common hurdle for rapidly growing businesses is ensuring that a solid foundation is in place both operationally and legally. It is very typical within fast growing businesses that the focus is on building the business, its client base and sales pipeline, managing the workforce and day-to-day operations.

However, for a successful transaction or funding round at a future point in time it's essential to ensure legally that everything is correct.

This may include having a shareholder agreement, ensuring leases and employment contracts are formalised and up to date, and having appropriate policies and procedures that survive scrutiny from a potential investor’s or funder’s review.

We've encountered businesses at critical stages of their growth journey who are unprepared for the scrutiny of due diligence, which can derail any potential deal or acquisition, hindering development. Put simply, it's about having your house in order well in advance of any significant business event.

Raising or realising

For fast growing businesses, acquisition might be a key strategy for accelerating expansion. Or you may wish to seek funding to invest in stock or expand internationally. Alternatively, you may be realising the value of your business through an exit.

In all of these circumstances, understanding your options and the current state of the market is crucial.

Executing these strategies successfully demands careful preparation partnered with relevant awareness of the market.

Maintaining a close relationship with professional corporate advisors - with financiers, accountants, corporate finance advisors and lawyers - is paramount.

These professionals not only act as your eyes and ears in the market but also understand your ambitions and can guide you through both the fundraising and transaction process.

Staying informed and connected can make all the difference when the right opportunity arises.

Exploring innovative funding options

The funding landscape continues to evolve, with alternative lenders offering agility and a greater willingness to adapt, challenging some of the traditional funding routes.

Additionally, funds specifically targeted at supporting Yorkshire-based businesses, such as the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, provide tailored opportunities for growth.

These developments are opening new funding opportunities for Yorkshire businesses.

Any significant business transaction, from raising debt to seeking investment, requires a thorough examination of your business.

Ensuring that potential partners have clear projections, encounter no surprises and understand that your business is well-prepared, is essential for success.

Your business represents a significant investment of time, effort and resources. It's crucial to maximise its value, whether that's through funding arrangements or by preparing for an eventual exit.

As Yorkshire's economy continues to evolve, so do the opportunities for its fastest growing businesses.

By staying informed, prepared and engaged with the right advisors, businesses can navigate the complexities of funding and transactions to secure their future success. 

If you’d like to talk about your own business objectives and aspirations, please get in touch with Jonathan Pollard and the team at Ward Hadaway [email protected] for a no obligation conversation.

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