With Oxford Innovation's Andrew Farmer
What's the top piece of finance advice you would give to someone starting a new business?
Work out how much cash you need to cover all your initial costs and investments then assume it will take 3 months longer to get paid than you thought and work it all out again!
How important is finance when you're setting up and building a new business?
Most new businesses fail because of a lack of cash. If it takes longer to find customers it will take more cash. If costs are difficult to control is will take more cash. In essence, think of cash as a timeline, more cash buys the time to get things sorted properly.
Which is more important, a great idea or robust financial systems and strategy to put it into practice? Can you have one without the other?
A great idea is always the bedrock of a new business venture and usually the motivation to give it a go. However, to realise the potential of the idea you'll need finance in place with the systems developed to manage risk and support the desired growth.
What must someone absolutely have to have to start a new business?
No way of turning back, no soft alternatives, and access to support for the gaps in their skills from skilled advisors or coaches.
What question do you get asked most frequently and how do you answer them?
"Why do good businesses fail?"
The answer is that they run out of cash, usually because the first few orders take longer to get or cost more to deliver.