Yesterday, Gemma Coles, Mubaloo’s Joint-Managing Director presented at the ‘Masterclass in Investment Readiness’ event, as one of the headline speakers. The event, hosted by Creative United & Bristol Media at the Watershed on the harbourside, delivered key guidance on investment readiness and strategy for growth.

Alongside Gemma, a range of industry experts and creative entrepreneurs were invited to speak on panel discussions and participate in workshops. The talks focused on ways to expand the growth of businesses and further enhance creativity through forecasting, strategy and funding.

Rebecca Steer, founder of Steer and Co, a specialist legal hub, providing legal advice and business direction to the media and technology industry, ran a breakout session with Gemma on ‘The contractual considerations that support growth within a business’. The discussion concentrated on contractual relationships for businesses looking to ‘step up’, in addition to forward planning for new ‘start-ups’.

In the second part of the breakout session, Gemma reflected on the ever changing enterprise mobility space and the challenges Mubaloo has faced as we’ve grown and moved into new markets. The session aimed to encourage businesses to make the ‘step up’ and provide some reflections to make legal considerations less daunting.

The session was focused on five themes:

Ready for change
• Re-discovering your business
Before planning change, it’s vital to step back and really get to grips with what you do and how you do it. Mubaloo has recently updated its delivery process and introduced new analysis of utilisation. This has highlighted what we’re good at, as well as areas for improvement.

• Think big with master service agreements
This allows you to agree upon the central legal principles, but enables flexibility across specific statements of work. Terms should incentivise growth.

New markets, new models
• A healthy mix
Businesses should look to optimise their core market and service offering, whilst also enabling focus on new models that could grow and help to evolve the business. In the last year, Mubaloo has seen a significant increase in consulting work, user testing & POCs, alongside our core app delivery model.

• Test and learn
Be sure to establish metrics that rationalise the changes that you’re making as a business. Within contracts, if you’re unable to be specific when defining new models, it’s important to ensure that your client is happy with an agile R&D approach, where the end goal may not be defined upfront.

Where does the value lie?
• Know your margins
Our process and utilisation work at Mubaloo has given us a clearer commercial view of the metrics behind our core offering, giving us confidence when negotiating with clients and making changes to the core model. Clients respect us for knowing the true value of our service.

• Protect your IP
Be specific within the statement of work and recognise that different offerings demand different approaches. For one client, you may have a mix of fixed price agreements, alongside a software license model.

Accept & embrace risk
• Risk enables change
In our space, it’s risky to stand still. Mubaloo thoroughly advocate the fail fast mentality and actively look to explore the known unknowns. To do something bigger, or in a different way, will usually involve a level of risk.

• Bring the risk forward
Much of Mubaloo’s recent process work has addressed the common risks faced as a business, where earlier identification is showing significant impact on costs and timings for both the client and Mubaloo. A contract, that recognises risk and outlines ways to manage this, will always help to protect the relationship, when those unknowns emerge.

Partner potential
• A two way relationship
A potential partner may have a bigger legal team, but this doesn’t mean you should always accept their terms. Remember, partnerships are two way relationships, where both parties contribute value and accept responsibility.

• Small but unique
Don’t be daunted by scale. If you’re small and a giant wants to talk partnerships, then chances are you offer something pretty valuable and unique, so make sure you protect it.

Whilst the learning on the expansion of businesses is out there, the opportunity for one-to-one sessions with leading business advisors is rare. Mubaloo has continued to change over the past seven years, as we have seen shifts in the market and in technology. We are honoured that Gemma could be part of this masterclass and we hope that the attendees left feeling confident and positive about the future of their businesses.

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