From start-up to success | Three questions to ask when starting a new business

By Ben Davies 

How do you move a business from start-up to success? That’s what we’re exploring over a series of posts. Our hope? To encourage more entrepreneurs to share their experience and support each other. 

We’ve got some brilliant guests lined up to share their insights. But first up, we’re looking at how we started Hexa Finance – as two co-founders, during lockdown. We’re proud of how much we’ve grown in that time. And these are the three questions we asked ourselves before we started.  

Are we crazy? 

There’s no getting away from it. Starting a business is exciting, but scary. And we did it in lockdown, when the entire world was plunged into uncertainty. We mention this because the economy is in difficult times again, albeit for different reasons.  

Does this mean you shouldn’t start a business during a downturn? No, absolutely not. Downturns are not pleasant, but they can present opportunities too. Timing matters, but of course it depends on your sector.  

We could see a path for Hexa Finance in spite of the pandemic. There was a lot of funding required by businesses due to economic uncertainty, but businesses were struggling to know where to turn . In that environment, a business finance start-up seemed possible. It was about time too. We had built up excellent experience in our careers, and we just had to go for it. 

What’s our vision? 

Every business starts with big ideas and dreams. What really helps is tying these together into a coherent vision. This is about what you do, but also how and why.  

We were absolutely determined to help small businesses thrive and grow. This in turn meant making business finance relatable. So much of what we do is based on that simple ideal.  

This keeps us on track, but also influenced more practical matters: the structure of the business, the software we use, our targets. This is what keeps us efficient, which in turn frees us up to offer better support.  

Our advice here? Where you need it, use good-quality outside support if you can. This may be with anything from marketing to accountancy and legal advice. These services can help you operate in a way that supports your vision.  

What about finance? 

Every business needs capital. Not exactly a ground-breaking observation, but it’s worth spelling it out. Lots of promising businesses struggle due to a lack of capital – whether it’s short-term cashflow issues, or a lack of capital for timely long-term investment.  

We started Hexa as a small team based at home. That was partly enforced by lockdown. But also, it gave us a chance to build the foundations without the expense of offices. We took on office space when our team and customer base expanded.  

This is a small example of how and when to invest. It all depends on a well-thought-out business plan, and an understanding of finance. We’d always recommend taking advice, and we’re proud to have helped so many businesses approach these difficult questions.  

Starting a business will always throw up surprises. But you can still plan for the challenges you’ll face. A solid financial structure and a defined vision are always a great place to start.  

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