-It was the 2010 when you, Dr. Marco Cavadini, founded Business Up. Could you perform an assessment of these 8 years?
“The overall balance is positive. We confirm our vision: healthy companies should be able to generate, in the medium term, value for their shareholders, collaborators and the territory where they operate.” Business Up is a solid and well positioned nice-company, and the results are proving we’re right. After 8 years we are even more convinced that in many companies, especially the ones with a long lasting tradition, there is a high-unexploited potential of growth and development. Working with these companies we have reinforced both our value proposition, that now embraces organizational and operational aspects too, however linked to a strategic objective. With SMEs we must always work with a great concreteness. On the other hand, we have also verified how change’s processes are time and resource consuming, and although some solutions are the “best future for all” they should be brought to the company in the right way. Moreover, we proved that it’s crucial to work immediately on corporate governance, in particular by strengthening the role of the Board of Directors, too often not structured and organized to play its important role as a guide for the company. This is a central point for us.”
– Your mission has always been: «We select companies with a growth potential, guided by entrepreneurs motivated to obtain the best for their own business and for themselves». In the current situation, characterized by a large instability and uncertainty, how do you operate and which criteria do you use in the selection process?
“The economic crisis hasn’t changed our selection process. Our Business Check Up turned out to be a truly valuable tool for us, but even for the entrepreneur to get him aware about the potential development perspectives. All the companies that have performed a Business Check Up have been truly satisfied”.
– Which are the stages of your «analysis» or, better, the path SMEs start with you?
“As we said, everything starts from the Business Check Up, a 360-degree analysis that lasts one month (3-4 meeting with the company), and it allows both sides to decide whether if there are the conditions for a future development. If the case is yes, we go on with a development plan, usually deployed in the first year in the «company’s core business» reinforcement, the Board of Directors strengthening and a detailed-study of future growth options. At the end of the consolidation phase, we work to develop new opportunities. Our development projects are focused on medium-term (5 years) objectives aligned with the company’s vision”.
– Who are the target SMEs you work with?
“We have an excellent feedback from the companies which faced a generational handover. In this case the new ownership is often motivated to take the lead in a different, more structured and managerial way in order to reach an higher level of quality. We also take action when the generational handover is far, but the ownership wants to ensure everything is planned before that moment, holding a company at its maximum value and manageable also by someone not linked with the family. A key aspect for us is the ownership commitment, measured in the amount of time and resources they would invest”.
– Let’s talk about the team. In order to face the daily challenges, does Business Up rely on diversified competences? Who is inside Business Up?
“Business Up is a boutique with three Senior Partners : Alberto De Lorenzi, Stefano Cavadini and I. Each one of us has an extensive managerial experience both in the SMEs development and in new project (start-up). We take action on high-level supporting the companies’ general direction and taking part in the Board of Direction. Two Business Developers with several years of experience and an assistant support us. Following the companies through the different stages, our «core team» keeps the overall vision of the project, but it’s sustained by a consolidated network of cross-functional partners: human resources, marketing and communication, cost accounting, IT… just to name a few”.
– And does Business Up develop itself?
“Of course yes! After 8 years, besides the continuous improvement of our core business and our incubation projects, we are setting up new business ideas leading us to a new growth stage…but this will be the topic of our next interview!”