For a business leader or politician their first 100 days in charge can often make or break their career.

The trend dates back to US President Franklin D Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1933, when he passed 77 laws during his first 100 days in office to revive the flagging US economy out of the Great Depression.

The 100-day test is now acknowledged as an accurate barometer of how a politician, business leader or even football manager is doing in their new role.

The first 100 days after an investment are equally important, especially when private equity is involved.

Having a set timeline allows the investor and the investee company to see if they’re on track with the information memorandum (IM) shared during the investment due diligence process.

Earlier this year Manchester-based business intelligence platform Red Flag Alert received a £3.5m private equity investment from PE firm Foresight Group.

Red Flag Alert provides real-time information on over 15 million UK businesses to enable better business decisions.

At the time of the investment, West enthused: “From the beginning of our conversations with Foresight, they understood Red Flag Alert’s mission and our value in the industry. We are proud to work alongside them to grow our market share and continue our journey.”

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Fiona Hatch, senior investment manager at Foresight, was equally optimistic: “With our investment and support, the team will be in a great position to benefit from the potential market opportunities,” she said.

Fast forward 100 days and how’s it gone?

West said the biggest tangible change has been in greater focus.

“Having our new investors onboard (Foresight) has helped the business focus on what is important outside of tech and revenue such as management information, a formal structure to monthly board meetings and managing the capital that we now have at our disposal,” he explained.

The results have been there for all to see.

“It’s been a record-breaking Q1 in terms of new business, client retention and demand generation,” said West.

Red Flag Alert has also undergone a subtle rebrand.

“This is to allow us to meet our growth ambitions and vision of becoming the UK’s leader in business data intelligence for predicting growth, global compliance risk and insolvency by 2025,” he said.

Red Flag Alert employs around 50 people and West said a lot of the first 100 days have focused on getting the right culture and values in place needed to match the company’s growth plans.

The company has also made a number of key hires, including a marketing automation expert, and is now on the lookout for a director of data, enterprise database engineer and developer.

As part of the Foresight investment, former group managing director of GB Group – John Lord – joined the board as non-executive chair.

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West said his relationship with Lord has been crucial.

“He’s been a great person to keep me focused and accountable,” he explained.

“Sharing information quickly and staying in contact with your investment director is key for transparency and managing expectation.

“He was a wealth of experience in KYB (Know Your Business), KYC (Know Your Customer) and business data.

“We have also used the last 100 days to renew our ISOs 27001 & 9001 certifications.”

Would West recommend private equity investment to other ambitious businesses looking to scale?

“100 per cent, but don’t rush into it,” he replied. “Build a lean business and push to get past £1m ARR before looking for investment.

“It’s vital that you find the right partner but also have revenue and a go-to-market strategy behind you to ensure you stay in full control of your business when finalising any deal.”

After passing the 100-day milestone, West said all eyes had already turned to the next 100 days.

“Over the next 100 days we are focusing on driving a new culture and values to ensure we have the right environment to match our growth plans,” he explained.

“We are also investing into improving our customer onboarding and the first 90 days of the customer journey. We are also investing into key marketing events to improve brand awareness across the accounting and finance and credit risk management sector.”

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