The characteristics that make a business owner fundable are the same characteristics that breed success. Whether or not you’re looking for funding, if you want to grow a high-impact organisation that shapes or even changes your industry, contributes to the economy and changes lives, Business Partners Limited’s David Morobe believes that you should be embracing these traits.
The right attitude is the foundation of success
We see entrepreneurship as an innate quality, not because some people have a sixth sense for business, but rather because they’re willing to put in the time and effort to be exceptional business people. Business skills can be acquired. There are courses, books, even on-the-job learning and working with a business coach that any entrepreneur can invest in.
The only question is whether you’ll put in the time. That drive to continuously improve is a key factor for us. When we see it, we know our risk in investing in that business is mitigated.
You’re less risky the more you know. It’s that simple. There’s a direct correlation between commitment and success. This was an interesting lesson for us to learn. Over the years Business Partners Limited has refined the way we evaluate which businesses we invest in.
Our credit committee always looks for ways to objectively assess entrepreneurs, and we’ve implemented psychometric assessments amongst a range of other metrics that we test for. What we’ve found is that entrepreneurs who score high in commitment often have more successful businesses in the long run.
Business is all about meeting obligations
These commitments range from delivering what you promised to clients on time and within an expected range of quality, to running an organisation that looks after your employees, to making a valuable impact on the community around you.
How good are you at honouring your obligations to suppliers and debtors? As funders we’re obviously concerned with how well business owners meet their obligations, but it’s a much bigger determining factor to overall success as well, as it speaks to the individual’s work ethic and overall commitment to good business practices.
Honour and commitment
How you approach business interactions creates a map that others can follow and use to judge you. Remember that. This isn’t only important when dealing with potential funders and investors, but business partners, customers and even potential employees. You need to be authentic in how you do business.
Integrity is a given
It needs to be there. It’s important for any deal. It shows respect and is a good indicator of whether or not this will be a profitable relationship for all parties involved.
Business is often a calculated risk. Whether you’re choosing to partner with someone, trade with them or invest in them, you need to trust them. Be authentic and transparent. If this makes you uncomfortable, there might be a deeper problem you need to address.
Surround yourself with a good team
Scaling a business is about how well your company continues to operate without you there. A successful business must be a legal entity that can sustain itself. Are you able to travel overseas and to new markets to grow the business, while your managers and employees keep the business running to the same level of excellence in your absence?
Focus on building processes and systems that free you up. You need to make yourself redundant. Build it up so you can leave. That’s the trick. Focus on that; not on how hard you work. Focus on how smart the company can work — that’s the metric you want.