Fiona Hudson-Kelly – Tripling the Value of Business by Financial Information

Follow the accounting podcast channels

Julie Wilkinson  00:03

Hi, I’m Judy Wilkinson, and I’m a chartered management accountant. And I’m excited to be launching the build and exit podcast. This podcast is for business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their business portfolio by acquisition or at some point in the future, when to exit their business. We’re going to bring real life stories and experiences of people who have grown by acquisition, who have exited their businesses, and other areas of business such as funding and cash flows. So there’ll be lots of opportunity to learn different areas of business and how you can in the end, transition your business from a lifestyle to an asset to look forward to seeing you soon. Hi, welcome to the builder’s exit Podcast. I’m Judy will concern and I’m the owner and founder of focus and accounting solutions. I started the podcast off the back of the work we do at Wilkinsons, because we help entrepreneurs, investors and business owners with Exit Planning and acquisition strategies. And I realised there was quite a gap in the market of entrepreneurs isn’t actually understanding financial statements and financial information. So obviously impacts valuations and due diligence, etc. So I’m really pleased excited to have Fiona Hudson Kelly today as our guest. Hi. Hi, Fiona. Hi, Julie,

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  01:16

thank you for having me today.

 

Julie Wilkinson  01:18

Thanks for coming in. I actually think you’re just really inspiring, especially as a woman, so a bit of a background and Fiona, she’s actually owned three companies has actually lost a company, which she thinks boils down to probably she’s honest, not really understanding the financials at the time, but has successfully sold two companies. One she sold for $8 million. And the other well, let’s just say as a life changing amount. What is interesting, she’s an angel investor now has done around 750,000 in 23, oversee for companies. So I definitely think for people looking for funding looking to plan their business. And obviously cell view is gonna be a massive help, because there’s obviously lots of experience that she can bring to the table. So hopefully, I’ve done that Justice Fiona, to hand over to you love to hand over to hear a little bit more about you.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  02:14

Yeah, so I guess I’m a poor kid made good. came from a fairly impoverished, impoverished background, left school at 16 are very disengaged with education could not see the relevance of it at all, having come from a family of two highly high academic achievers, but fairly dysfunctional as people. And I got an apprenticeship at Rolls Royce at the age of 16 commercial apprenticeship and it was life changing for me. And I realised what I could do with learning and development. And I’ve been an avid lifelong learner, doing a master’s degree at the age of 50. Now signed up for my PhD in 2024, and many things in in between. So education was a real big thing for me, I started my first business and I had my second son didn’t return back to work because there wasn’t very any flexibility. And my second business was an IT training business. And I had that for 16 years, and I employed over 20 people feel that I did make a classic mistake, really Julie, in not understanding the numbers. So we would have, for example, year end accounts, not monthly accounts. And we would wait for the accountant to produce those accounts. So we were always looking in the rearview mirror, didn’t really understand the difference between revenue and profits didn’t really understand where the profit was coming from in terms of which product lines which customers, etc. And that was a harsh lesson because I lost my house, I had personal guarantees to the rent on the buildings, lost my house, I was a single mom with four young children at the time, including a small baby, moved us into rented accommodation and started again in my in my second business. My second business this time, I decided to use other people’s money, certainly learn a lot more about about the mechanics of accounting of finance, which I’m happy to share. Julie, if that’s relevant at some point during this conversation of what I did learn and how I learned and I bought in a lot of venture capital funding. So when I sold that business or sold that business for $8 million, 5 million pounds, I owned less than 5% of that business at the end. So my third business I decided to I started when I was 5010 years ago, I decided not to use other people’s money and I bootstrapped it. So I would go out all over the country delivering strategic workshops marketing works. opps picking up the checks from that getting my son to take them to the bank so that we could start to outsource the development overseas to get to create a product. And that product was hugely successful. And I sold that business two years ago, for many 10s of millions of pounds. And we had a very tight business, we had 53 people, a great leadership team, and I was able to walk away from that business with a full cash exit.

 

Julie Wilkinson  05:32

Wow. I mean, that’s a lot of experiences into three businesses. And what do you think the difference was? How did you feel differently depending on when you did the second business with all the venture capitalist money versus when you sort of did it, I suppose a bit more independently on the last business?

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  05:52

I guess it was, I was curious, because I hadn’t taken any funding in the first business because it wasn’t available, there was no such thing it was just as the internet was coming along. So there’s no such thing as Dragon’s Den angel investors, equity, finance, it just was not heard of. So I was curious to understand what that experience was like, I was on a programme at Warwick business school. So I was identified as a high flyer in this business. And this is the second business. And during that process, we had venture capitalist come in and talk to us and it’s the first time I understood what VCs were what venture capitalists were, it’s first time are really understand about what a CapEx table table was haven’t been a sole owner of the business previously. So I was curious to know that journey, and it’s pretty brutal. I’m not gonna lie. It was pretty brutal, but it was I learned so much and understanding the the financial statements and the mechanics of finance was absolutely critical to a secure in that, that venture capital funding. And I went on to win a huge competition called the million pound investment challenge. In the, in the Midlands, to secure a million pounds worth of funding, we didn’t get all of the million pounds, but we got a good chunk of it. And it set us on a trajectory really where we were chasing investment more than we were chasing revenue. And it felt as though we were having a lot of people with in leadership and management roles without really having a lot that was being done. And that probably does a disservice to that business, because I’d say that business successfully exited. But for me personally, the I got a nice car out

 

Julie Wilkinson  07:43

here. But I think I mean, you’ve done a lot. And maybe you don’t really realise because you’re quite calm. And you’re saying I did this, but you know, to lose your house and things on the first businesses to come back to build these businesses, whether you got out of it or not. How I suppose if we step away from the finance or that, I mean, how did you manage that mentally? What what has been because I think that’s quite important. How do you manage challenges? Because? Sounds like you’ve got a lot of them.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  08:12

Yeah, thank you, Julie, I have had lots, I think it was only really when I sold my last business. And it’s like, I never had to worry about money again. And I’ve fulfilled many of my dreams that I’d set out as a young girl to do that, I probably realised how hard it was. You know, it’s kind of like when you go through it, you have to be resilient, especially when you’ve got a young family. I’ve got school fees that I had to pay, I’ve got four children dependent on me, emotionally, financially, and in every other way, practically, so I wasn’t able to indulge and how I was feeling and, and and dwell on it for too long. I really had to be resilient and pick myself up and just get on with things. And it was only at the end of it all. When I look back and think wow, that was that was a pretty rocky road. That was a heck of a roller coaster. How did I keep myself going during, during during those those times, I think have got a really good connection of close friends and family. And I think my kids like my kids now my son’s 14 next year. You know, they’ve been my whole north star for everything that I’ve done, but they’re also my best friends and my best allies.

 

Julie Wilkinson  09:32

asked you. Yeah, no, sounds amazing. And, you know, we’ve talked a bit about this offline. One of the things we want to get out of this podcast today really is financial information and the importance of it. Obviously I bang on about it pretty much in every post people we get sick of it. But it’s good to hear you know, and we’ve taught that you actually think you tripled the value of your business by truly understanding your financial information. I mean, I’ll just give a bit of a You have what I see. So because I see a lot, I mean, we’ve obviously about 100 balance sheets a month, typically, we get told, or my accounts, brilliant, they sort everything out, and they understand their accounts. What I actually think that translates to is, I get a good tax saving. And I do understand my profit number because our experience is, if we ever challenge any numbers on the balance sheet or search, there isn’t really a reply there is they don’t really understand it. And so that’s the bit that I see is a gap is really the balance sheet. And people really understanding the difference between profit and cash.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  10:36

And ship duty, Julie as well, between the p&l and the balance sheet, like we say, they they challenge on the balance sheet, they struggle, but actually it’s directly related to the p&l of what you the movement of what you might choose to take out of the p&l and put on as an intangible asset on your balance sheet. And just understanding those mechanics, I think is rare. And so important.

 

Julie Wilkinson  10:59

So what part what part of it made your business worth so much more when you understand what what do you think it was? What How did you do it?

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  11:08

Yeah, I think having a good accounting practices, and not just management accounts in the rearview mirror for quite some time. So it was actually in our culture, we knew our numbers. So we know, you know, as 5 million pounds, 5 million pounds revenue, 4 million pound costs. And we’re back to our 1.8 1.9 EBIT from that but we knew those numbers. And we knew exactly in terms of our costs, if we didn’t hit our sales projections, we knew which costs we could trim. So we understood the difference between overheads and don’t end direct costs, we understood the difference between variable costs and what milestones then we had to trim. So that that’s the starting point is, you know, whoever comes to look at you, they’re going to look under the hood intensely for the last three years, and the following two years. So having a good understanding of your numbers, and being able to stand up in front of them and your leadership team and explain those numbers, historical numbers, current numbers and projections just gives you that credibility. You know, you’re going to you’re not going to have your local accountant that comes in to do due diligence, you’re going to have we had Ernst and Ernst and Young accountants, we had a tea will give

 

Julie Wilkinson  12:23

the accounting.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  12:25

Yeah, well, I’ve tried having you do late. You know, so So there’s, there’s no, there’s no place to hide. So what, what that was a starting point of increasing value and hitting the numbers. You know, the next starting point of increasing the value was understanding the mechanics of accounting, how to account for income and costs in the period that is it needs accounting for so that you could really have clean statements to defend against valuations based on deferred income, for example. So deferred income is you might invoice 30k, you might put that in 30k, through your book, but actually that might be 12 months worth of work that you’re doing or exposed to do is making sure that you haven’t accounted for that 30k. When you’ve invoiced and got paid for it, you’ve accounted for the period that you’re doing the work, if you haven’t done that have a jolly good reason why you haven’t put that in as deferred income. And so that again, it’s it’s credible, things like understanding what you can move from your p&l to your balance sheet as an intangible asset helps increase the value of the business. But you’ve got to be able to justify and understand what accounting rules you’re using and why you’re moving them to the intangible values and what depreciation rules you’re then going to apply. And it was all like, when I set out, this was like a foreign language, the jargon, I found it really, really, really difficult to do. So I’d always made sure I got a finance manager in place to do it. And it was only really with the third business that I thought I had to bootstrap. I thought I need to learn this stuff. So I did my MBA at the age of 50. We had a finance module in the MBA, it was an examination. So and there was a lot in there that I didn’t understand. I had extra lessons from my accountant and his company. While I was doing that to doing those tutorials, I’ve got an exam. I then went on to in halfway through the business then went on to become a chartered director of the Institute of directors. So I did the finance for non finance managers programme, again, didn’t really understand word of it. I went away on a residential course to learn it had to do that course twice because it was so alien to me. Helped when I had more lessons for my accountant because this time I was able to use my accounts to understand some of this, the this terminology. And when I thought it was never going to click into place, I think it’s like, you know, when you first learn to drive a car, you never think you’re gonna get all the gears and the mirrors and everything. And then you do and it just becomes second nature. It was like a light bulb went on. Once I understood it on my own company accounts, not just case studies that we’d had at the MBA, once I understood it on my own company accounts, it was like a lightbulb moment. And I’m not an accountant. I’m not a finance manager. But I’m good enough to understand whether a business is doing well or not doing well. I’m good enough to download abbreviated accounts off a competitor’s from the company website to understand how well a competitor is doing. And I would just urge everyone, you know, whatever age and however long you’ve been in business, to learn this stuff.

 

Julie Wilkinson  16:04

Yeah. Well, I definitely see it. I mean, what I personally, I mean, because I think it’s the reality is a lot of people might not have time to go and do the full course. And I don’t think this everybody needs to have do a course. But I think the problem is, is what’s what information they’re getting, or what I see. Because I would say typically, you don’t need 100 page report. You know, when you get the amount of accounts, it’s what information is coming alongside that because interestingly, when I set up well concerns, one of the reasons I set the company up was because I did a survey, and I asked 20 businesses, what did their accountant do for them, and 100% and only smaller accounts once a year. And that was between about businesses around 50,000 turnover, I think I went to about 20 million, I asked like randomly, but then I asked accountants like what they offered. And I was told nobody value management accounts, you couldn’t sell it, they didn’t understand it. And I think the problem is the experience in the accounting industry, because that’s why I started it because obviously I’d have 20 years in finance working for corporate and I’m a chartered management accountant by trade. So I can see we have a skills gap. And I think what you learn from corporate because sometimes it can be a bit overkill in corporate, but what you learn from it is actually as long as you get useful information. So management accounts with true numbers, like you say, using accrual accounting, making sure things are put in the right place. But more importantly, like the wording, so like, for instance, if we were going to work with a seller, we’d say get your management accountants, but then create, well, what I would call a bit of a set of sellers pack. So you’d initially call it a board pack, I suppose the event to that would expand probably into your sellers pack. And that has to have the key information like it has to have the journey of the company, you know, the results, like the risk management strategies, the corporate governance strategies and things like that about and how you will mitigate it. And if you have all those things, and it can be explained to the owner, then they basically, you know, get a lot of information that they need.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  18:06

Yeah, and to me, it’s, it’s, I would say that financial skill, and marketing skills are the two skills that every startup founder should have. And if you haven’t got the time to learn these, what else are you doing? Why aren’t Why aren’t you making the time to learn these? You know, if I, if I can do them, I’m quite severely dyslexic, and find the numbers difficult. If I can do it, anybody can do it. And I wish I’d done it years ago. And it it doesn’t just make a difference in terms of understanding the management packs that you supply, which is you say, Julie, what you can do for a customer, which is fantastic. That’s fantastic service. Because you’ll only look in the rearview mirror, the point of understanding about the financial health of your business, is the chin Abels you to make those strategic decisions, which product line to stop which customers no longer to service, which market opportunities to pursue, you know, without having that understanding. How can you make those strategic decisions?

 

Julie Wilkinson  19:19

Yeah, and management accounts aren’t always enough. I know for me, I mean, I could sit and give hundreds of examples. But I remember I worked with a company that in the end put about 2% on their bottom line or forecasted to inch percent, purely because they took when they were offline on their back end. So they’ll kind of do it a bit offline and brought it into real reporting. So they can actually track the metrics. Because, like examples I’ve seen is where people like to have all their product lines into one sales code, for instance. So it’s how you’re using the information as well, because like, you can have one sales code or you could have every product line on a separate sales code. And then But then how do you apportion your cost across those products? line. So you can actually see all service lines, what’s making money. Because I’ve seen it in service and products were actually often things that make it a loss. But it’s hidden within the overall numbers because other things are overriding the loss and the loss making. And they don’t have the cost set or good, good enough, like, you know, we might call activity based costing where you like split your activities across your product lines that don’t have good enough reporting on that to actually why.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  20:27

Why do you think that is? Julie? Do they think that they’re too small? Or is it too hard? Or? Because you’re?

 

Julie Wilkinson  20:36

Well, I think, if I’m honest, there is a lack of knowledge in the accounting industry being provided by accountants on this thing, which I’m not blaming them, but I, what my experience of the research I did is a lot of accounting firms are quite siloed in the experience. So you know, they’ve always worked on Bookkeeping and Tax is, it’s a different skill. You know, I had 20 years in corporate, I worked with every supply chain director for all of the commercials in my corporate world. And there’s certain things you can’t teach, you could do qualification to learn tax rules, you can’t always teach, you know, the experience. So I think there’s probably a gap. So people don’t know how to do it, because unless it’s a service, I mean, I don’t really believe business owners themselves would probably even if you learnt it, how some of it is quite complicated to actually implement because sometimes the system itself doesn’t actually report it, you have to do some offline or use different systems that integrate, you know, so as an example, you know, if you’ve got two companies and you’re paying an insurance premium from one, because you get a group thing, the system doesn’t automatically split that insurance to apportion it across the right entity, though there isn’t a system that will do that, unless somebody told it to do it. So then who does it who has those conversations, and that that’s what I think is people don’t invest in the right finance support, to actually do the right accounting in the first place. Or they don’t know to because they’re not advised to.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  22:06

Yeah, whereas you could actually probably have a less expensive resource by having, you know, a bookkeeper to do some of that important reconciliatory work for you cleaning up, you can have an external accountant that can have a really good role within in the company, providing the founders got the basics. And, you know, I’m not, as I said earlier, not a finance manager, no way, not an accountant, not a tax advisor, but understanding enough to make sense of the information that I’m being provided. Yeah, I make sensible decisions. I’d love to light yourself during I know you do a lot of business work, I’d love to see more founders getting educated by people like yourself that can explain things in laypersons terms, just because you understand all of this complexity, they don’t need to understand all of that. And like you said, many accountants might be able to do a really good job but can’t explain it. I mean, I was fortunate my accountants way it gets the whiteboard out and explained it all to me and his team do but not that often able to do that. Oh, man, I think that’s where you ready fill that gap, Julie?

 

Julie Wilkinson  23:20

Yeah, and I think people just need to invest. I mean, I would say if anyone’s over half a million, they should be thinking, because there’s an a bookkeeper, and there’s an accountant. But there’s a lot of roles in between, you know, like a finance manager or CFO be sitting in between those two things, it would be a different role. I think people are investing in enough ongoing support, because really, you probably do want someone that’s in someone financial involved in your monthly meetings, like you want someone to be helping you look at the information, understand it and strategically use it to make decisions going forward. You know, that’s what finance teams are there for? I don’t think businesses invest enough. I don’t know whether it’s because they don’t think about it, they’re too busy to think about it, or they don’t want to spend the money, I don’t know. But they also make mistakes where they just think right or hire a CFO does or lefty however, you know, the terminology is because that’s great. But the reality is a CFO can’t really do a lot of that a junior team. Because if you’re paying a CFO to process transactions, so you need a mix, you need a mix of skills that can do the right things for you.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  24:20

Yeah, and we never had a CFO, we had a really good finance manager was pretty self sufficient, and payroll and the books, we had a really good external accountant that used to come to our board meetings, but I understood enough. I understood enough at this stage, not to need a finance manager and I didn’t do any finance. I just read them and interpreted and questioned and used the information that was presented with

 

Julie Wilkinson  24:50

Yeah, I mean, but it sounds like your external cam was really good. And probably behind the scenes. He was playing a part of a role that CFO might, it might not have been that role, but What you explained you did for you probably is similar to maybe what a more senior financial adviser would do in a company. Maybe he just didn’t have maybe he just didn’t have the actual role. But maybe he was supporting you behind the scenes.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  25:13

Oh, I’m sure I said, when we were going through due diligence process, we had to realign all and management accounts to our statutory accounts and the Crown account for things like holiday liabilities, etc. So we had to have a much bigger set of accounts, and he stepped in and provided all those templates. Yeah.

 

Julie Wilkinson  25:30

So yeah, so he kind of did certain roles that probably the finance team would do anyway. Yeah.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  25:38

Same for marketing. You know, I asked somebody yesterday, who I won’t name that was looking for some investment of what the cost of acquisition was. and the average subscription was 30 pounds over three months, the cost of acquisition, he bought his first 500, organically didn’t have a clue. And I just said, stop, stop developing, you know, yes, you’re going to raise a couple of 100 Ks on crowdfunding, because it’s relatively easy to do so. But just just stop and prove that hypothesis that for 30 pounds subscription, you can actually do it for cost of acquisition is still going to make some profit. And I think they’re the questions is knowing it’s unsure understand the basics of the financial statements and mechanics. It’s understanding then how to write ask the right questions.

 

Julie Wilkinson  26:28

Yeah, yeah, man, I’ve seen that I’ve actually had people say to me, Oh, my marketing doesn’t work. I don’t expect but I just carry on do with it. And I’m like, Why? Why would you carry on spending? I mean, we do all this report as we have it in our own firm. So we are weekly cash flows that Look out 12 weeks ahead, we have KPI reports that look at our lead generation, our client conversion, you know, sort of our longer term cost of acquisition, we have profit per customer. So we obviously were developing our reporting. So we’re still a relatively new business, but that’s what we’re bringing it in. So we can see what is the profit per customer. And this is, these are the types of things that we would help people implement is what I would call more KPI reporting, because actually, that’s for management accounts are okay, but they don’t really mean anything without any context behind it, because at the end day management counts are just numbers unless you have the story behind those numbers there isn’t there, you can’t really make any decisions from it. So that’s what I find anyway. So we have all those reports within our business. And it’s interesting, because obviously, we buy accounting firms, we’ve bought an accounting firm. And I would say, and most of the accounting firms that I have seen don’t have management accounts themselves. Really, so Oh, yeah. I’ve seen loads of them. They don’t have a.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  27:47

So it’s really interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Why do you think that is? Maybe it’s so doing stuff for?

 

Julie Wilkinson  27:54

Yeah, I don’t know. I just think. I don’t think a lot of yeah, maybe some of these aren’t actually offering management accounts. But what’s interesting is you get a lot of people get told, Oh, I do management accounts. But one time I saw us because we see a lot of like, obviously accountants, and that’s through selling because we see a lot of sellers and acquirers. And interestingly, when we see management accounts, so somebody said to us, oh, they were doing the bookkeeping, but they didn’t have management accounts. This is the accountant. And we’re like, Oh, it’s okay, those if you’re doing the bookkeeping, we can at least learn run the profit and loss and balance sheet from the system. And they said, Oh, no, because we don’t do management accounts, we just post it anywhere, as sort of our year end. So I’m like, That isn’t what I would say that to me. The posted are the transactions isn’t management accounts, the posting of the transactions is bookkeeping. The management accounts is then reporting on that information. So therefore, you know, there’s differences in opinions on what then what management accounts is because I don’t really believe management accounts, is just get running your p&l and balance sheet is the context of the reconciliations behind it.

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  29:02

Yeah, and I think what happens when you go through due diligence is at this point, you’re normally in an exclusive offer. So you’ve normally got a number. And the idea is from the buyers perspective, to get that number down from the sellers perspective, to keep that number that they’ve agreed was close to. And I think the confidence in the buyer, when they’re dealing with the shareholders, as the majority executive directors are to running a business as well, and hearing that they understand these numbers, and these numbers are clean and it’s a well run business. But that’s finance operations or HR HR and finance are the two the two sweet spots in IP when we were bought when we went through due diligence, it just gives some that confidence. And it keeps keeps your valuation I can make a huge difference on your valuation and Also your exit strategy for the for the owners.

 

Julie Wilkinson  30:04

Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen balance sheets dropped by over 50% Because of inaccurate transactions, hundreds and 1000s, even millions, millions of numbers just sitting there and reconciled. But in terms of like intangibles, I’ve seen that as well, especially in tech, have the r&d company. So often the r&d companies, especially on a site sale, are looking to do their adjusted EBIT, da, so you know, just their profits for the r&d aspects. And they, so we got asked to do some work, which they thought was about 1.5. Bill. So you’re probably looking at about four middle evaluation where you sort of times by four, but what happened was because I didn’t have any management accounts, and there are two statutory accounts, the valuation on the actually in the stat accounts, the account has already put it to the balance sheet and capitalised the r&d. So actually, those numbers that 1.5, it wasn’t even in the p&l, so there that change there, but that lowered their valuation by nearly 4 million. And just from not knowing, not even knowing not even having to understand how to move it or how to account not even knowing that was in there. I think that’s what you what you’re talking about, isn’t it like making sure that you’re understanding? Yeah, so

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  31:18

yeah. And I think, you know, for many owners that whose vision is to start a company, build a company, and then get the value, the wealth from that company in return for the hard work and risk they’ve put in over those seven to 10 years, you know, it can be very disappointing. I would imagine if you get to the end, and that valuation adjusts in the way that you’ve just described, all because you haven’t bothered to make the time to understand these things,

 

Julie Wilkinson  31:53

or to learn it. So I mean, we are coming towards the end of the podcast is been really interesting. But I’m just curious to talk about this angel investment that you do now. Because I think it’ll be it’ll be useful for people. So obviously, you’re investing in other businesses. So to give people a bit of a tip, if they’re looking for investment, what would you? What would you recommend? What would you recommend that businesses do? Whether it’d be startup or non startup, you know, just want investment? And what would your tips be people differently?

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  32:27

I think, I think go and talk to angel investors informally, if you can to start with so that you understand how they how they value a business, and different people look for different things. I have my checklist, I feel like I’m a Deborah made, and I have my checklist of boxes that have to be ticked first, which is different from somebody else. But if you can just go and have a friendly chat, you’ll start to get some ideas of how an investor values your business compared to how you might find your business and what they’re looking for. So that’s that, to me, is where I would go and that’s what I did when I was at Warwick University Business School is I actually talked to the investors they happen to really like what we were doing and then invested and one of the challenges etc. But initially, I just went and knocked on the door and had an informal chat. What sort of businesses to invest for what would you look for? What are often the negatives in a business? What helps valuations what helps what turns valuations down, and there’s just loads of networks, especially, you know, in the main cities in the UK, the UK ecosystem for angel investing is really vibrant. There’s so many different networks as platforms, like cedars, crowd cube, entrepreneurs Collective is a really good UK organisation, there’s been business angel networks that have events, even local Chambers of Commerce will have kind of like, pitching events where you can pitch to potential investors, the less formal you can do it, and the more you can do this, the better you’ll get at it. And I’ve talked a little bit Can I mentioned my book? Yeah. Nice books that I’ve written called how to grow and sell and start up a nice heard I’ve sectioned it into three areas, the startup stage, the scale up stage and the exit stage. And there’s lots of contributions in here from other entrepreneurs that have successfully exited their businesses also for many millions of pounds and they’re little stories in there. And you know, have a have a look at that and have a look at it from especially in the exits chapter. Have a look at what is due diligence. What are investors looking for sure, nowhere near that if you’re at the start of that journey, Julian you’re you’re looking to get some seed funding to get going. But it gives you an idea of what it is that they’re looking for you to where it is that they’re looking for you to go, how are they going to get their money back? What are they looking for? Yeah, brilliant coming full circle back to the accounts. So where’s the book coming back to Amazon?

 

Julie Wilkinson  35:07

So it’s audio, is it audio as well as paperback or just paperback?

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  35:12

No, it’s Kindle and paperback. We’re going to do an audio. But the publishing company, the right book company, offered to do the audio with a different narrator. And I said, No, I want to narrate it myself. And I’m actually going travelling now for a year and 10 months. I’m going to be volunteering in Africa and Nepal shortly, so I will. It’s something I’ll do when I come back.

 

Julie Wilkinson  35:36

Oh, well, I’ve just climbed Kilimanjaro. Yeah,

 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly  35:39

I did that my son.

 

Julie Wilkinson  35:42

So it’s very good. Oh, well, thanks so much, Fiona. It’s been really good. And yeah, I just want to say thanks to all our listeners, we’ve actually just nearly hit 2000 downloads, we already I’ve been going 14 weeks, and we’re doing quite well. So if anyone’s got any, I suppose episode topics they might like to hear about, you know, just drop me a DM on, you know, subscribe to YouTube or drop me a message on LinkedIn. But yeah, do hit the subscribe because it helps more people find the channel. And we’ll see you again soon. So once again, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to our podcast. I hope you found it useful. If you think there’s anyone else in your network that might benefit from our podcast and please share it with them, either just click the link and send it to them or send it in a Facebook group or other social media channel. Don’t forget to subscribe so other podcasts that come to you directly as of when we launch them. So I’m really looking forward to seeing you next time. We’ve got some really exciting things coming up. And we’ll see you again soon