raising capital

By Brendan Anderson

Stop working IN your business.  Work ON your business instead.

As both an entrepreneur and investor over the past 20 years, I’ve come to realize that the reason most businesses fail to achieve the desired levels of success is not because of the product, price, promotion, or even the initiative or passion of the business owner, but rather a failure to produce detailed and timely financial statements, goals (or a plan), and key performance metrics that align to the plan to reach “success.”  Through my experiences, I believe that if a business owner focuses on five fundamental pillars, unlimited potential is unleashed.  The business will have a foundation for scale, and the business owner will begin to free up his or her time to finally start working ON their business, instead of IN it.  They will have the freedom to focus on the big picture and dream about what their business could be if they had unlimited time and unlimited capital.

1) Great Financials

Having detailed and reliable financials is the #1 pillar all businesses owners should embrace.  Great financials allow for transparency into your business.  Where are you making money?  What does your cash flow look like?  Accurate financials provide the data and metrics on which to make sound business decisions.  You will have a clear picture as to where your business currently is and what you will need to do to take it to the next level.  I cannot overstate enough the importance of this fundamental pillar.  If you don’t know where you are today, how do you ever get to where you want to be?

2) Plan

Dare to dream.  Now that you have the data to see where you currently are, what is the next step to get you to where want to go?  Begin with the end in mind.  While the plan to getting there may change from time to time (and expect it to), having a plan and sticking to it is essential.  If you don’t know where you are going, how do you get there?

3) People

While cliché, people really are your biggest and best asset.  Think big.  People you might not be able to attract today are much more interested and intrigued when a compelling vision can be articulated.  With great financials and a detailed plan in place the ideal team is possible.

4) Transparency

With total transparency, your entire team knows where you are and where you want to go.  Seeing the big picture and status to getting there creates alignment.  It helps paint the picture of how every employee is supporting the end goal.  With detailed and accurate financials in place, key metrics can be tracked and communicated through daily dashboards, weekly and monthly calls and quarterly strategic meetings.  A company cannot thrive if everyone is on a different page.

5) Accountability

As with transparency, holding everyone accountable helps to create alignment and understanding of how what each individual is doing supports the overall vision.  Holding people accountable, including yourself, ensures that the dream team created is the “right” team.

By implementing practices and processes around these five pillars, as the leader of the organization, you will be truly amazed at the opportunities that present themselves.

Stay focused and have the Passion For Possibilities!

Brendan Anderson (@bdanderson44) is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Evolution Capital Partners.