There are factors that investors focus on when looking at an investment candidate, but two factors will make them get very interested. These are: can this be a big business, and do they have the leadership team to get them there? Here are the first steps to focus your vision:
- Think big from the beginning and show you have the team to build your vision.
- Know where you are today and have a plan to get to where you want to go.
- Be agile. Show the investor that you can pivot your plan if the environment changes.
- Continually evaluate your operations and infrastructure with the mindset that we can always do it better.
- When you reach a goal, be ready with new and bigger goals.
When starting with a big vision, break it down into action steps and phases with a timeline that shows continual progress. This allows investors to determine how much to invest now and how much will be needed to sustain growth. Show how you build value for yourself and them along the way.
Know your current capabilities and be able to show accomplishments made with your current team and infrastructure. Show that you have celebrated small victories and are hungry for bigger victories. Recognize what you need for your next steps and what funding you need to get there. Show them that your team can execute the plan and are hungry for more.
Being agile is not a feeling, it’s a required skill in a rapidly changing 21st century. Disruption and change are the norm so expecting a smooth upward growth curve is a dream, not a plan. Show how you have adapted to get where you are now and why you pivoted. This breeds confidence in you and your team but show some humility so investors know you are willing to listen to them.
Have the mindset that you can always do things better and believe in continuous improvement. This shows that you can pivot through watching your environment and are not stuck with last year’s thinking. Watch your target market for new trends and ask customers what they would like next. Be ready to show customers your vision and what you can do for them. Use customer information to plan your next infrastructure to provide better service at a lower cost.
Here is an example: two college guys talked their parents into second mortgaging their homes to provide $200,000 for them to buy a laundromat near their college. Their plan was to partner with the dry cleaner next door and acquire the shoe repair shop on the other side of the laundromat. They wanted the repair shop space for a sports bar. They planned to knock down walls, so the bar, laundromat and cleaners would be a contiguous space where residents could hang out while doing laundry. This is how the “Suds” chain got started and now there are 11 locations. Once they could show the cashflow from the laundromat increasing with the cleaner’s partnership, they attracted $500,000 in capital to build out the bar and start advertising. Not bad for a couple of guys that needed clean clothes and beer!
C Squared Solutions offer fractional CFOs and COOs for growing businesses. We have successful track records in helping owners build businesses and build business plans that get funded. Give us a call and let’s discuss your big idea.