3 February 2023

Fintech fortunes: get your story straight

Kat-Jackson-L
Kat-Jackson-L
Kat Jackson
Head of Client Services

Business owners may well be experiencing whiplash from the various predictions directed at them at the moment.

Business owners may well be experiencing whiplash from the various predictions directed at them at the moment.

On the one hand, numerous headlines shout daily about small businesses bearing the brunt of the (still at time of writing, incoming) 2023 recession.

On the other, those located in the capital may feel insulated, even somewhat complacent. Depending on the sector, London is widely lauded as the top global investment space for tech, the best place to be for fintech, the best place for female tech entrepreneurs. It is also the worst place in the country for small business failures* – registering double the amount of those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland just last year

*Source: City A.M. – CLICK HERE to view article

To starting and scaling business owners this may all just seem baffling. Are they batting from a position of strength, or shoring up their defenses? At a time when B2B finance business Iwoca* has found that recession is the top concern for 2 in 5 SME owners (just what tops the list for the other 3 in 5?) the disparity in assessment here is especially unhelpful.

When it comes to year ahead forecasts, everyone has an opinion, and they’re always guesswork to a greater or lesser extent. In recessionary times, factor this up another notch still. There will always be businesses which do well and others which struggle more when the economy shrinks – but any responsible owner wants to influence as far as possible for themselves to be in the first camp. One influencing factor between success and failure – beyond sheer luck – is usually how much you stand apart from competitors. 

*Source: HRnews – CLICK HERE to view article

In particular, fintech. The gold rush is on in London, but it makes standing out from the pack all the harder. This applies just as much to attracting the attention of VCs as it does to awareness in a growing customer set. Knowing and amplifying what makes a business distinctive is just as important as making sure the tech holds up and getting a business plan cracked. Ensuring that difference is consistently communicated – through owned materials, earned press and even paid media if the budget allows – just makes sure that difference in your proposition is clearly articulated over and again. 

The amplifier effect is real, and not enough successful businesses latch on to that fact early enough in their life cycles. The tech may be truly innovative. You still need to tell people, tell them again, and then tell them one last time, especially in a space where jargon and innovation collide. In a country with over 1,600 fintech businesses, a number which is set to double by 2030, making sure your proposition connects is essential. 

*Source: FT ADVISER – CLICK HERE to view article

Ultimately, no business ever lost out by becoming distinctive. Fintech may face greater challenges here than most – it is innovating, and the world it is seeking to change is often one rife with jargon, even impenetrable to those outside of the sector.

However, even when facing down a year set to toss a lot of turmoil into tech and beyond, those enterprises which can stand out will likely not be those who find themselves standing down once the economy is done with us all.
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