HOW to find an investor for your business was among the topics up for discussion on yesterday’s Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey as guest Steven Easton, co-founder and chairman of Ayrshire-based Green Home Systems spoke about his company’s ambition to achieve turnover of £20-25 million – up from its current £6m – within the next 12 to 18 months.

Green Home Systems was founded in 2014 by Mr Easton and his brother, Peter and has experienced rapid growth to become a leading energy efficiency provider.

Mr Easton told the show how the business had completed an investment round that created a partnership with Circularity Capital, a private equity company that specialises in the circular economy and sustainable investment.

Admitting that Covid hit the business “quite hard”, Mr Easton said: “We work in people’s homes so we had to down tools overnight and went from growth to zero. It took us a couple of years to get out of that but we’re back to where we were pre-Covid and we’re on a strong growth trajectory now.

The business, which provides services such as thermal insulation, smart heating systems and vehicle charging points, and works towards taking families out of fuel poverty, kicks off a new TV campaign tonight.

Discussing the firm’s decision to seek private equity, Mr Easton said: “When we started the business we wanted to create a business of scale and value. We saw an opportunity and while we wanted to grow we also wanted to develop an exit strategy so the investment has been a stepping stone along the way and allowed us to add value to the business.

“At some point you have to bring people into the fold and you have to develop a senior management team who can take the business forward under your strategy.”

Asked how he had found the process and what are his tips for securing investment, Mr Easton said that joining Entrepreneurial Scotland in order to meet people who could advise him and attend networking events helped focus his mind on how to go about it.

“You need to understand what you want and what you want out of an investment partner,” he noted. “Do your homework and have the right advisers in place. You also learn a lot about your business because you have to go through the due diligence process. Investors can open up a whole bunch of new networks.”

Agreeing with Mr Easton, show co-host Sir Tom Hunter added: “When a business is getting ready to take on investment the first questions are ‘why and what for’. You also do due diligence on the people giving you the money – it’s a two-way process.”

Asked by high-profile entrepreneur if he had benefited from networking with like-minded people, Mr Easton said he had joined Scale-up Scotland, the 18-month cohort-based leadership programme aimed at entrepreneurs and firms with the potential and desire to grow sales beyond £20-£30m.

Mr Easton joined the programme – launched by Sir Tom’s Hunter Foundation – in 2019. “We were halfway through when Covid hit,” he explained.

“It’s a very structured programme. I learned from my dad who was in business but there are a lot of things I don’t know – the unknown unknowns – and Scale-up Scotland brought us together with like-minded people with the same types of problems.”

Lord Willie Haughey admitted that much of his own ambition in business has been fuelled by mixing with like-minded people. Running a business is all down to personal interaction, be that with your peers or your customers and the number one focus of this show this year is to bring together support organisations because that is how you grow your business.”