Unfortunately, the struggle and pain are all that many people have ever known.
Breaking the cycle of struggle and pain
The main reason businesses continue to struggle with the future is because there is always pressure to remain involved with operations. There is always a conflict between getting Investor Ready versus ‘doing’. Cash flow pressure, sales and performance pressure, people problems, politics and conflict, answering the telephone and other operational pressures. People are always busy, busy, and busy, with no commitment to putting things in order to really drive the business and attract the right investors, partners and other resources.
I hear many business people say “that’s great, but I am too small to worry about it all, anyway I don’t have the time”. Well, I guess that you don’t think like that or, you would not be reading this article.
Experience has taught us, without a business being Investor Ready, it will probably not be well managed on a day to day basis and any business advice or help will have little chance of being implemented effectively.
“Some days you just have to create your own calm waters by taking action to make the struggle go away”. Peter Sergeant
Potential finance providers, investors and partners, including you and your family, should be looking for the business to be Investor Ready if they are to expect a successful investment that will take care of many of your struggles.
It is about having your business in good shape and being able to sell yourselves as a business, which can deliver. Removing your struggle will assist you in raising the necessary capital needed.
There is no universal way of raising capital, but there are common principles involved and being Investor Ready, is an important one of them.
Always be ready to leap forward, don’t just sit there and die
Removing the struggle starts with you, the business owner, understanding a number of key things that are perhaps causing all the struggle:
- What do you want from the business and where is it going?
- What does your family want to see as outcomes from the business?
- What are the risks associated with the business?
- Are you action orientated, or do you continue to wish and hope things will improve?
- How will you structure the business in order to maximise the opportunities?
- What are your sales and marketing strategies?
- What is your market segmentation?
- How effective are your distribution channels?
- What you want from a strategic partner or an investor if they become involved
- How will you present the business to investors and others?
- How much are you prepared to give away, in terms of equity?
- Are your content and content marketing of good quality?
- What is the intellectual property worth and is it protected?
- How will you get your own investment back and over what period?
- What are the anticipated financial returns from the business?
- Where can you obtain access to investors and other finance providers?
- What changes will a new investor coming into your business make?
- What are your product strategies, how are you going to develop new products?
- What are the demographics and psychographics of the market you wish to serve?
- What is the ease of entry of competitors into the market?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What are your plans for the growth of the business?
- What are the export opportunities that could be available to you?
- Are you eligible for subsidies, or grants from government bodies?
- Do you understand that investors and partners will want to see an exit strategy?
- What are your probable exit strategies, to sell, to hand over to other family members, or perhaps a management buyout?
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You are not alone, many people have a long list of unanswered questions. However, if you want to reduce the struggle you should prioritise your questions and have them answered as soon as possible.
Remember if you are going to eat and elephant, you do it one mouthful at a time.