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Venture capital for small business growth

Venture Capital For Small Business Growth

In past years, attracting venture capital interest might have been considered to be a relatively unchallenging feat by most successful entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a sound business model and a good growth strategy, it seemed fairly straightforward to obtain the financial investment and support which was needed to boost the business to the next level. However, recent months have certainly changed the face of venture capitalism, and it is important to fully understand the most effective means of approaching investors in the light of the economic downturn.

There are many small business owners who have shied away from the concept of venture capital in recent times, for three main reasons. The first reason tends to be a general uncertainty as far as the economy is concerned. With global financial institutions and national banks collapsing in ruins as a direct result of risky or foolhardy investments, how is it possible to find a good, solid investor? The last thing any business needs is an investor promising the finance and then failing to deliver.

The second concern that entrepreneurs tended to have lately is that the investment itself is unlikely to be easy to obtain. Investors are clearly much more cautious when approaching potential business investments. This has tended to encourage small business owners to make assumptions about their own business model which may or may not be true. Specifically, one assumption is that their business is not likely to win the interest of investors, and therefore there is little point in trying.

The third issue facing business owners is the long term viability of their own business. Are their plans and hopes more than simple misguided dreams? If they have any doubts or worries about the future strength of their business, then clearly investors will see that lack of enthusiasm and pass them by. Any self doubts should be dealt with thoroughly before any capital is sought.

Venture capital as a concept has been around for at least a couple of hundred years, but it is only in the last couple of decades that private venture capital investors have sought to invest in smaller businesses. There are some venture capitalists around today who have a heritage much greater than a decade or two. For this reason there’s little point in a small business trying to secure funding from an investor who has generations of experience in venture capital.

Ultimately, however, potential investment will rest on a couple of aspects: the long term viability and profitability of the business model. For this reason it is essential for any business seeking venture capital to make sure that the core viability of their business is sound and has growth potential.

This makes sense, because in a world where businesses cannot take anything for granted, regardless of their size or heritage, it is essential that they are not deluding themselves into thinking that they have a profitable business in the making. Any good investor will have the experience and understanding to ask questions which pierce any flowery presentations and establish exactly how viable the business is, how profitable it will be, and what evidence and market research has been provided which does corroborate these facts.

It is facts, not fluff, in which the investors will be interested, and for exactly the same reason, so should the business seeking funding. To gain interest, today more than at any other time, it is essential for businesses to look critically in the nuts and bolts of their company, the potential, the market research and facts which can support their long term plans and predictions. Once they have achieved this then they are closer to gaining the interest of a venture capitalist or private investor.

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