Is your small business ‘Investor-Ready’?

I am inspired by the energy, passion and commitment of business owners.

I meet many who are looking to take their business to the next level.

They want more, but they are not quite sure how to get there.

Many are seeking investors in the belief it will help them get there, or at least chart the course to make navigation easier.

Before you decide you need an investor, ask yourself the following questions:

- Is the business ‘investor-ready’?

- Does it have enough customers, revenue or forward sales orders to determine a fair value?

- Are there more things you can or should do before you approach an investor?

- Do you really want an investor in the business? If so, why and for what purpose?

- Are you flexible enough to adapt to a new ownership and reporting structure?

- Are you ready to ‘give up your baby’ in favour of growing it?

- Does the business actually require investment, or is there something else it needs more?

- What do your require from the investor? Cash? Networks? Expertise? All of the above?

- Do you have a clear plan as to how the investor’s money will be applied and what returns it is likely to produce?

- Have you optimised the business revenues, marketing, processes, etc. to maximise the sale price?

- Are you the right person to take the business to the next level, or would it need an experienced manager so you can focus on what you do best?

- Will securing investment deliver your expected outcome of lifestyle, money, time, etc.?

This list of questions is not comprehensive, but hopefully will assist you in deciding if now is the right time to think about investors.

Contributor:

Michael Field, Director at Michael Field Pty Ltd.

Social Media – hard to get good help?

It’s hard to ignore the explosion of social media and its impact on business. For example, LinkedIn Australia now has >2million members with a new member joining every second.

Many businesses are grappling with questions such as:

  • How can we capitalise on the growth and connect with key business decision makers?
  • How do we navigate the digital landscape, map a business growth strategy and effectively manage risk?
  • How do we build an effective digital strategy, manage implementation and measure results?

With the myriad of platforms and devices we use to stay connected, it can be difficult to know which ones we should invest our time in, particularly when it comes to business.

How do you decide which will yield the best business results? What strategies will you put in place to build your business and professional brand?

It’s no longer a question of whether to involve yourself and your business in social media or not. The question is ‘how are you going to differentiate yourself and your business?’

Another important question to consider is ‘where do you go to get quality advice?’

To be fair, there are many excellent practitioners currently advising on social media. Equally though, there are many people whose only qualification is they have a Facebook page or Twitter account – making them an expert.

It reminds me of the lead-up to the year 2000 with Y2K experts offering advice and expertise. Similarly today we have the ‘social media expert’- willing to advise businesses on how to get the most out of social media.

If you are considering appointing a social media expert, ask to see proof of where they have built a business, and how the growth in the business is directly attributable to the social media efforts and activities.

It’s a tough call, but it’s a question worth asking.

Contributor:

Michael Field, Director at Michael Field Pty Ltd.