This week, an inspirational story got me thinking about what it takes to develop a successful business, and how niche markets can provide excellent opportunities.
As every successful entrepreneur knows, if you get on the right axis of the 'supply and demand' graph, there is a decent business model waiting to happen. Finding that sweet spot is not always easy, and building the business may take a while.
I thoroughly enjoy entrepreneur stories that highlight how much tenacity and passion is required to bring a business to life; I admire their instinct to create something from the ground up, and ability to spot niche needs.
I'll freely admit I'm the last person to recognise a unicorn trend – which by the way is a serious business.
Clearly, they aren't the only ingredients in the recipe for success – developing a thriving business relies on market conditions, too. The balance of supply and demand can escalate or nosedive a business venture – a reality that anyone working in the housing industry is more than familiar with.
I am a firm believer that – in our industry – development finance is a product that is much underserved by UK finance houses and especially the high street banks. Personally, I question why this is the case, when local and national press continue to highlight the dearth of new homes in the UK for the ever-growing population. Lending money for people to build houses is a core mission for Masthaven.
Whether it's an individual looking to build a home to live in, or an experienced developer looking to complete 20 houses, I think development finance – and specific structured finance – has hit a real growth phase within this underserviced area of finance.
As the tech start-ups have taken the unicorn analogy, perhaps we should find our own. Maybe we are the chameleons, thoughtfully and carefully adapting to match the changing landscape; or perhaps foxes, nimbly navigating through busy marketplaces to set up home among other urban settlers. Setting the animal analogies aside, I'm sure that development finance will continue to evolve and thrive in 2018, whatever environment we encounter.
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