Name, title & company name?
Richard Baggarley, Head of Finance, The Sandpit.
In a few words, tell us what your business does?
We are an alternative to venture capital. We analyse where there are gaps in a company, provide operational resource to plug those holes and provide a platform for growth. This is in place of providing direct finance.
When did you know that you wanted to get involved with a start-up/small business and what made you finally take the plunge?
I was looking for a change of career and wanted to be in a dynamic and fast moving environment. Start-ups seemed to be where all the creativity was happening.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love the variety. The role touches on many different elements of finance, which means I not only have to have a strong eye for detail, but also a commercial perspective.
And the most challenging?
The variety makes things quite tricky. There are many different companies that sit within The Sandpit so I often find myself constantly moving from one company to another and working with different stakeholders.
Why did you choose KPMG Small Business Accounting?
KPMG as a firm seemed to be very robust and professional, but what we liked about the service was despite it being targeted towards small businesses the element of professionalism was not lost. Also the fact that we’re small and relying heavily on investment, I believe having a name like KPMG helps to give investors confidence in us.
How have KPMG Small Business Accounting and your dedicated KPMG accountant helped you?
We have daily contact with our dedicated accountant and they have never let us drop the ball. They are always on hand to offer advice and their knowledge and training on the cloud accounting software has been really valuable.
What are two industry specific challenges your business is facing?
Raising investment is always particularly difficult in the start-up space and there is so much competition. In the digital industry, there are a lot of very good ideas, and early stage companies, which means the risk of failure is very high. The great thing about that however is that gives us a pool of potential clients to work with and help improve their chances of success.
What one thing do you think the Government could do to help small businesses?
We have found the government to be very supportive of businesses like ours. With everything from R&D tax credits, reduced corporation tax rates and SEIS/EIS, I’d struggle to think of how they could do better. I think this is why technology is such a thriving industry.
If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be?
Always ensure there is a market for your product or service and tightly manage cashflow. Cash is the runway to success for your business so controlling what is going in and out is what any small business owner should focus on.
What’s next for your business?
The Sandpit is still very small, so we’re continually evolving and learning. We’re going through a restructure to improve the business model and will also be looking to increase the number of verticals we look after to grow our offering.
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