Nigel Steljes, Managing Director of Avocor, explains how a smart financing approach allowed his business to grow at speed.
Nigel Steljes, Managing Director, Avocor
I am Nigel Steljes, I have been in the audio visual industry for 30 years and I set up Avocor in June 2016.
We make interactive flat panel displays, something like a large iPad that sits on a wall in a meeting room or a classroom.
There is a huge push now towards bringing the technology levels up in meeting rooms and Avocor meets that solution perfectly.
I spent the last 30 years running a distribution business and had been very successful and it came a time where I really needed to start to do that for myself and my key team. We had always had very good ideas about what products should do and should look like and we were frustrated time and time again when manufacturers wouldn’t listen to us and so we felt at the end of the day the only thing was to actually go out and build our own brand with our own ideas.
When setting up the business we cast around to a number of partners and Close Brothers were by far the most positive, responsive. We ended up engaging with them really seriously at an early stage and the whole relationship felt right.
When a company grows rapidly the need to manage cash is vital and by working with an invoice financing partner you get that cash at the point of sale rather than at the point of the payment of the debt, which is vital for you to then reinvest and continue to drive the growth.
When you go to a more general high street bank they offer an enormous array of products and services. I am not sure if they are as focused and dedicated to delivering a service and the support as a more specialist partnership like we have with Close Brothers. We are working with genuine people and a company that seems to care about what we're about.
We certainly plan to continue to work with Close Brothers and we are just on the point of establishing a new business. We will definitely be talking to them, at the top of the list of our partners for that new business and hopefully expanding our relationship with them further and broader to other services that they can provide us.
I suppose my thing is to make money and have fun. That was my ethos many many years ago. I think sometimes you lose sight of that but at the end of the day that is what business should be about and I think we forget that.