The Fast 50 Festival of Growth: How to fund your business’ growth

Cropped image of Rebekah McFadyen at the Deloitte Fast 50 Festival of Growth

BNZ are proud partners of the Deloitte Fast 50; the annual list that recognises and celebrates the country’s fastest growing companies. On November 13th, over 250 Kiwi business-people and Fast 50 finalists gathered for this year’s Festival of Growth. BNZ Commercial Partner Rebekah McFadyen spoke at the event, sharing her wealth of knowledge as part of the line-up of the Funding Growth panel. Read on for Rebekah’s insights into funding your business’ growth.

Every year, Deloitte interviews each of the Fast 50 applicants and analyses their responses, seeking out common challenges, successes, and trends. 2019’s interviews were packed with insights, including the fact that a whopping 45% of businesses were planning to need funds to further their businesses. This shows just how top-of-mind growth is for businesses today, and it’s why we put together the Funding Growth panel – featuring a line-up of panellists with a range of different perspectives. Here’s a taste of what I shared about funding business growth, from the perspective of the team here at BNZ.

There are three main types of funding the bank can help with

BNZ most commonly offers business funding in the form of working capital, term debt, or asset finance. Alongside Bank funding, we also help a lot of our customers with their transactional & FX solutions. Unlike private equity or venture capital, bank funding allows you to grow your business without reducing your control/ownership in the company, so in that respect debt can be cheaper (especially at the moment!), so it’s always worth reaching out to the bank in the first instance. That said, depending on your business’ needs and your growth forecast, bank funding may not always be the best way forward. Angel investors, private equity, crowd-funding, or venture capital could all be an option. And if you need help financing research and development, there are some fantastic government funding options available.

BNZ also helps businesses make the connection between capital and capability

At BNZ, we think of ourselves as not just providers of capital, but arrangers of capital, too.  We have connections with high-net worth individuals and various Private Equity Firms. This means if for some reason we can’t provide funding, we can likely put you in touch with someone who may be able to. The Deloitte Fast 50 is also a great opportunity for businesses to network and make new connections. It’s also not the only partnership we have to help support growing New Zealand businesses. We recently launched the Vodafone Xone Partner Series. Created in partnership with Vodafone, it’s a business accelerator programme designed to help businesses get to the next level of global growth.

If you’re looking for business funding it pays to come prepared

Just like any investor, the bank will have a range of questions that they’ll be looking for clear and confident answers to. I regularly ask clients about all aspects of their business and the key people behind it, covering off cashflow, financial reporting, cost of customer acquisition, churn, diversification, and strategic growth plans. Most important of all, we bank the people behind the business and therefore look at the strengths and character of the business-owner themselves – including their industry background and management experience.

When seeking funding for your business getting the right advice is critical

Needing emergency funding at the last minute is never an ideal outcome, which is why I always encourage business-owners to keep an open dialogue with their bank. We see ourselves as being in a proactive relationship with our clients, because the more open a customer is, and the more involved we are in the process, the more insight we can offer. So, let us know your plans ahead of time, and we can help make sure you’re prepared. If you’re seeking out ways to fund your business’ future growth, be open and be prepared. If you’d like to learn more about your options, the BNZ team is always here to talk. Even if bank funding isn’t the right way forward for you, we can use our network to help connect you with the right opportunity. And together, we can work to give your business the funding it needs to reach its full potential.

Photo of Rebekah: Gino Demeer from Cactus Photography.

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The information in this article is provided for general purposes only, and is a summary based on selective information which may not be complete for your purpose.  To the extent that any information or recommendations in this article constitute financial advice, they do not take into account your financial situation or goals and is not intended as personalised financial advice. While BNZ has made every effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, you should not rely on this information to make any financial decision without first having sought advice specific to your circumstances from an authorised financial adviser. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any loss or damage whatsoever which may directly or indirectly result from any advice, opinion, information, representation or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, contained in this article.