About the herd.
We invest in 'knowledge based' businesses.
That is a broad phrase but to us it means IT, software, specialist business services and professional services. We particularly like businesses that help other businesses manage their day to day operations (such as accounting, payroll, HR, finance, tax, compliance etc). We know very little about shops, leisure, travel, property or manufacturing and so tend to steer clear of those areas.
We never forget that 'knowledge' always resides in people, and we never forget that it is people who make businesses. Basically, we really like 'people businesses'.
- We invest in family or entrepreneurial businesses that have already established themselves. We are not trying to build world-beaters or conquer markets, we just want to invest in and help to build, strong and profitable local businesses.
- We like to invest alongside people. That is not to say that we will not buy a business outright, but we prefer to be in partnership with a management team or founder.
- We only invest our own personal money in our investments. Managing other peoples' money is an exceedingly good way of making a living (heads I win, tails you lose), and we are lucky to have benefited from it historically. But we think our partnerships with entrepreneurs will always be stronger when we are as personally invested as they are. Because we are only investing our own money, we are never under any pressure to sell.
- We are based on a farm down a very long and bumpy lane near Horsham. Our location does to some extent limit our investment ambitions to the southern counties.
Trust is critical when selling all or part of a business - 'Who am I selling to?' and 'What are they going to do to my business?' are questions that entrepreneurs always ask. Building that trust takes time. So if you would like to chat and have some spare time please come and visit us at Cow Corner.