What follows is a case in point for how important it is to have someone that you can rely on as a business mentor or even a professional resource like an experienced business consultant. Often if you try to "wing it", without experience, it just does not work. And a lot of time and effort can be wasted--and that can jeopardize what could be a solid and viable business opportunity.
I received the following from someone who found me in one of the business and professional forums that I participate in. Please read this and take from it the lesson that if you wait too long to get help, it may be too late. As early on in your business start-up/launch process try to find a mentor or experienced business consultant that can help you avoid problems and some of the "mine-fields' that are out there.
On 10/15/09 8:38 AM, Daniel L wrote:
I'm writing you with hopes that you may be able to guide me with some valuable advice regarding obtaining an investor for my companies. Over the past two years I've met with several "investors" whom for some reason seem not to have any integrity as business professionals and human beings.
I have worked my entire life within my industry and have put together a sound multi-business enterprise that will change the face of my industry. In the last two years I have seen others succeed in the ideas that I had developed years ago and I don't understand why I, someone with the experience, passion, skill set as well as the desire and ability to make this succeed has been pushed to the side while I watch others advance forward with that that should have been mine.
I have met with over 20 "investors" in the past two years and each one of them love my ideas, want to invest, and show a great interest, however they all seem to slowly move away from this endeavor and become uninterested. Now I just found out that the last investor I spoke to is looking to lease the space that I've been looking at for the two years for his business which is in the same field as mine. This is after I showed him the facility and he as they all have said "you're ideas, plans, ability, passion and timing is the best I've seen". So now I ask, what's really going on?
In addition, I also found out there are two companies that joined forces on the West Coast that has opened one of the same companies that I've been looking to open since 2006. Not only have they opened one training center, but they're looking to open nine more locations within six months and a total of 100 locations by 2015.
Everything shows me that my companies will not just work but will exceed everyone's expectations and these companies will not only be a grand success but also bring in an amazing amount of money which is the bottom line. At this point I must look at myself and see what I'm doing wrong as I've been following everyone's advice with no success.
To wrap this up I'd like to be able to speak to someone regarding my vision. Do you know anyone that I can speak to that will just hear me out on what I'll looking to do, give me advice on what I need to do and show me my next step. Because whatever I have been doing has not worked and I'm not only loosing my staff, and now facility, but I'm also slowly loosing my clients whom have been waiting for me to open for business.
My companies can bring in from $150K to $200 per months each (two different companies), and all I need is someone's ear. Someone serious! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
On 10/15/09 11:39 AM, I replied:
Thanks for your note and overview. I understand your frustration. One of the problems with what I call the "raising money" scenario for entrepreneurs/business owners is that there are so many what I call "deal hustlers" and "deal junkies" out there. They present them selves so that is seems they may really be "investors" but they are either someone who may know someone with money (and they hope to put the entrepreneur/business owner together with the real money, and earn some type of fee for that) or flit from deal to deal like a moth and never get a tangible deal made. In other words, they are not serious investors and may not really have the money to invest. They are a huge waste of time. And its hard for an entrepreneur/business owner to "sift the wheat from the chaff" because they sound like a real investor. Sometimes, as you've encountered, they merely want to "pick your brain" to get info/intellgence that they can use in some way for their own benefit--they never intended to invest--just pick up what info they could get from you.
I'm going to be in meetings all day tomorrow but if you like, email me directly at DMLowery@AdducentInc.com and lets coordinate a time to speak early next week (Monday or Tuesday). You can tell me about your vision for your business, its current stage of development/operations and I'll give you my feedback and what guidance I can on some things you can do and what the next steps are that you should consider or plan on. Perhaps that will be helful to you in some way.