Why did we leave PLUS?

Over the past few weeks I have been asked on many occasions why did our business leave PLUS, the honest answer is because it was a win – lose relationship – us being the losers. The hassle that goes with a public quoted company and the associated paper pushing turned out to be an absolute nightmare. I would seriously suggest to any entrepreneur to seriously look at all options before they go down this route. In my own opinion it’s just a gravy train for the professional services sector that in my own experience add very little value.

If you are going to go down the AIM/PLUS route check out what the appetite is for your type of business amongst investors before you part with any cash, research throughly advisers, negotiate fees, research the investment community – ask for some guarantees. Before you know it you will be being charged £300 an hour. The reality also is that whilst some of the professional service companies say they are interested in SME’s – they are not – you suddenly become fee fodder and a fee filler for over paid FCA types. Maybe I am too trusting – however if someone says they can achieve something then I have no reason to think otherwise.

I should have realised it was the wrong move when one of the senior partners of a so-called adviser spent the whole of a meeting on his mobile – totally disconnected from what was going on , disinterested and disengaged. I think he felt that it was a privilege for me to be in his company. Is that the way to treat a small business owner with a mortgage and three kids ! Well £200K later I have finally told the story! What the process did deliver was a better understanding of who the good guys are in the corporate finance and accounting world – I am happy to share the names of these people with anyone interested.

So what is my message and rant – SME’s be careful of sharp talking professional advisers – who will fleece you! My message to professional advisers – show some humility – be professional and give some advice

2 Responses to Why did we leave PLUS?

  1. Geoff Balfour says:

    Hi John, I’ve heard this before. Small businesses get suckered into it becaus they think they are “honoured” to be “playing with the big boys”…so called. They like the idea of having Plc because its more “exclusive” like travelling business class. On the practical side it gives easier oncoing access to funds, and easier is better… but as you said…at what cost and what is the cost/benefit analysis. It still leaves the question, how to get major ongoing funding if and when needed butthe question then is do you need it. I’m advising almost all my clients who think “living on overdraft is good” or “I must get funding”… to live within their means unless there is a compelling capital need. Any established Small to medium sized businessbusiness with average/good net profits 10% – 15%, and good High Growth, 20% – 25% per annum, can easily fund growth from cash flow and only needs funding for capital investmant or a major one off activity. You see I can rant as well! Best wishes for a good weeeknd Geoff. PS. First day of the new footie season for us lower league minions good luck to all suporters outside the premiership

    • johnleachwp says:

      Good practical advice in here – whilst the world talks about LEP’s and other new quango’s the SME entrepreneurs still need help and support! Running a business in times of uncertainty is a horrible place to be personally and mentally – when is the new Government and the banks going to wake up and get that much needed support into the SME community – whilst the bankers are nose bagging and their fat bonus’s – many entrepreneurs are stuggling to take their family on holiday this summer – wake up please – cheers mate have a good weekend John

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