Sue Chambers has been an Investment Manager at MSIF since 2013.
What sort of businesses are you working with at the moment?
An innovative clothing product, an interior design company and a sports training business.
Which businesses have you recently backed and what did they need funding for?
An apprenticeship training company – for working capital to manage impending changes to the system. MSIF funds have also helped a company buy a second restaurant.
Are you seeing any particular trends at the moment eg. sectors?
I am seeing a number of training companies as they prepare their finances to take on board new government directives. Also, restaurant businesses continue to thrive across the North West.
What advice would you give to a business seeking funding to help speed up the investment process?
A business should try to utilise as much support as possible when producing a comprehensive Business Plan and financial forecasts. Most delays occur going back and forth for further information.
How did the businesses you are working with get introduced to you?
One was introduced by HSBC, one by Access to Finance and one is an existing client of MSIF.
How do you think Brexit will affect local businesses if at all? And if you do think it could affect them, what strategies would you put in place to try to prevent it?
It is expected that imports will become more expensive, immediately following Britain’s exit from the EU. I would advise businesses to plan ahead for this – whether that is a review of existing costs, considering alternative suppliers or negotiating with existing suppliers, or ensuring that they have sufficient working capital behind them to absorb the affects.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a business?
Whether you are borrowing or not, complete a business plan and a cash flow as a minimum. It is not an exact science but it will help to highlight any issues that may arise before launching and will focus a business owner on how much income is required each month to cover costs.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of expanding a business?
Again a plan is essential no matter how long the business may have been trading. It will help them to plan ahead with regard to any new capital equipment, human resource and working capital requirement.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to sell a business?
They should speak to their accountant / a commercial selling agent to ensure the asking price is a fair one. This should avoid them either holding out for an unrealistic sale price or conversely undervaluing their business.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy meeting new people and the variety of the businesses that I deal with. My last job was in commercial property lending and propositions tended to be very similar.
What networking events have you recently attended?
I recently attended a networking event at Chester Zoo. As well as a tour of the park, after it had closed to the public, there was a barbecue, which allowed me to meet a number of new contacts in the commercial sector. MSIF also recently hosted a networking event for the launch of our new Finance Hub which has been set up to support local SME’s.
Where would you recommend for a nice business breakfast/lunch/dinner?
Breakfast – Oh Me Oh My!
Lunch – Pasta Cosa or Pinch
Dinner – Grilla or Mowgli
Who was your last business lunch with?
HSBC recently hosted a ladies lunch at Anfield in Wijnaldum’s box.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I am a mum of four so I am an unpaid taxi driver in my spare time. I also enjoy a good night out with the girls!
What’s your poison?
I have recently started drinking gin and tonic in an attempt to rid myself of the beer belly.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination and why?
My favourite destination is Sa Coma in Mallorca. It is frequented mostly by Spaniards so there always seems to be a festival or some other celebration going on every night.