Meet the MD: John Davies of Just Cash Flow

Meet the MD: John Davies of Just Cash Flow

John Davies, managing director of Just Cash Flow, talks all things leadership and management with BQ as part of our weekly Meet the MD column...

What does your role include?

My role is varied to say the least, with every day being remarkably different from the next.

I have a passion for knowing and interpreting the numbers. It is my job to know what is going on in our market, identify the opportunities and ensure we can be adaptable enough to respond.

A lot of my time is spent networking and you should never underestimate the benefits this brings. You would be amazed at what you learn and the business opportunities that suddenly present themselves.

What is it the company does?

Just Cashflow helps businesses to invest and grow. We started in 2012 after identifying a clear opportunity to help SMEs by providing a real banking alternative to the existing incumbents, helping to bridge the funding gap that has restricted the progress of UK businesses.

We do this by using FinTech to help us provide businesses with seamless, simple and uncomplicated finance facilities (just like a traditional bank overdraft) that they can access how and when they want. 

For example, we recently launched our BusinessPlus Prepaid MasterCard® Card which provides card access to business finance for use at point of sale; and a mobile app enabling transactions on the move – two notable firsts for a European alternative lender.

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

Over 30 years ago I was a very successful salesman. From there I moved on to running my own business and quickly realised there was a world of difference between being a salesman and being a business owner – I learnt some valuable lessons. 

At the age of 26, I sold my business to Bowater PLC and was retained as a divisional CEO. Whilst there, I faced a steep learning curve and was taught the importance of cashflow – it’s the lifeblood of a company. This has shaped my approach to business ever since. 

What do you believe makes a great leader?
The best leaders are those that know how to inspire their colleagues, business partners and customers. It’s the best way to earn trust and respect.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Predicting what will happen next. In the world of finance, we love forecasts, but in this rapidly developing world, you need to be adaptable and flexible. If you aren’t leveraging new technologies, a competitor will be so it is crucial we’re open to new ways of working, and proactively seeking ways to improve and evolve our offering.

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Fortunately I love what I do, so I don’t see it as particularly stressful! However, in my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my family, sitting down with a nice bottle of red wine and, as a Welshmen, watching the rugby never goes amiss!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a young boy from a small town in Wales, I was driven and determined to make something of myself and to have a better life than my parents. I guess I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur.

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I get frustrated when people fail to be accountable for their actions. If you’ve made a mistake, hold your hand up and admit it – skirting around the issue doesn’t do anyone any favours.

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Being the partner of UK SMEs that want to invest and grow, by providing them with a full range of business banking services.

Additionally, I expect to be well established in a range of European countries where businesses need exactly the same type of support and innovation.

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

First of all read all the biographies of successful entrepreneurs and understand their journeys so you can learn from the hurdles they overcame.

Then make sure to network as much as you can. You learn from new connections and will be surprised at the business opportunities they will present. As they say – “you don’t know what you don’t know”.