In an economy where we are inundated by support, help, advice, tips, suggestions, How To’s, Do’s and Don’t’s, frustration is a fast-track towards losing complete hope and giving up. It seems that around every corner is someone else who has THE winning recipe that your business needs, to grow, to source and retain new clients, to make money and to save money – but when the going gets really tough, just how easy is it to find the right business support.
Here are 3 quick ways to sort the Will Do’s from the Could Do’s when it comes to business funding support.
Know whether you’re the right fit
Many business advisors will be looking for a very specific type of business to work with. They may be SMEs who are just starting out on the road towards business funding, or they may be large organisations who are well on their way to growth already. You want to be on the look out for cultural and business fit. In the case of CFPro Ventures, we enable businesses who are already demonstrating signs of growth, have an existing customer base and revenue stream in place, are being recognised in the media for all the right reason, to grow and have access to next phase business funding.
Know what the hidden costs are
If something seems to good to be true, it probably is. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and if people expected loyalty – they should have bought a labrador. Any of these ring true? As much as these over-used metaphors annoy, they have an underlying truth which rings true – especially when it comes to business support and funding. It is never as simple as, “fill in this form, and submit, and we’ll let you know when you’ve been successful”. Access to business funding is usually done through a series of interviews and discussions with clear motivation by the business owner as to how their investor’s financial input into your business will yield results for the investor. Take the time to ask questions – understand how they make their money, what their charges are. Do they take a monthly retainer, or do they take a stake in your business? Are there any upfront costs which you need to be aware of? Are there any hidden costs that lurk?
Know the credibility behind the source
The digital world is a minefield when it comes to persona credibility. The birth of social media has made so many to become thought-leaders of some topic or another – often through their own word of mouth, as opposed to others who can vouch for them. And when it comes to business support – there are many who may profess to have the skill to enable business paradise, but when it comes down to the meccano set, just how qualified are they really to be able to deliver growth success for your business, and are you willing to entrust everything into their hands?
Spotting a dubious profile is quite easy – when you know what you’re looking for. Look for valid proof of experience: Have they really done what they say they have. Have others testified to their ability to deliver success? Do they have the necessary qualifications in a particular field to be able to lead and guide you down that path? Are the words looking good – but are they all coming from their own pen? Keep a look out for case studies, testimonials, references. If they are not presented digitally, don’t be scared to ask for more detail. Do your research on the individual in the driving seat – with a simple Google search, you’ll quickly be able to ascertain whether the profile they present to you, is the one that is consistent throughout the rest of the web.
And when you feel that you’ve done your research, and you feel confident with your choice of business support – then engage in honest, transparent conversations – and always make sure that your business advisor or support team suggests business activity that is in the interest of one business only…. and that’s yours.
If you want to know more about how CFPro Ventures can help you – then we’d love to talk to you. If you’d like to get to know us first – then feel free to have a browse around our website.