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Case Studies Summary

As business owners, it's important that we understand our business inside-out - it is our livelihood after all.  Many of us dream of the day of being our own boss, calling our own shots and running things the way we believe they should be run.  But, the biggest problem we face is not from competitors, thieves or naysayers.  The biggest problem we run into is ourselves.  Sometimes we need help but we don't realize we need it, don't know who to ask, feels no one knows our business like we know it or just don't trust anyone to treat our business like we believe it deserves to be treated.  This is both good and bad.  In the first case study, the leader had already made up his mind that funding would done his way - although he readily admitted that he did not understand the funding side of the business.  In the second case study, their leadership was more open to any advice that could help them get the funding they needed but was also reluctant to listen completely.

The manufacturer made the cardinal mistake of focusing only on what they wanted to get out of the deal instead of focusing on how the investor could benefit.  After we made certain changes to their approach and explained why those changes were necessary in the business plan, they went behind our backs and changed things to suit their needs before sending it to the investors.  They were dealt a crushing blow when the decision maker changed his mind and relayed that revisions needed to be made before speaking again - which never happened.  As if that wasn't bad enough, another call with a different investor started with, "I'm prepared to give you the money you need but I have more questions."  Unfortunately, the CEO couldn't answer those questions.  Sad to say, both investors were no longer interested in the project.

However, things were a little different with the energy company.  Although they had received different advice from many other people, they were open to our suggestions and were willing to implement them.  Sometimes they would call or e-mail to ask for advice and make it a priority to carry them out.  Even though we had our share of disagreements, they still took our recommendation for one small change in how we should approach investors and it lead to a life-changing experience.  The way we set things up and prepared them for the call created the type of synergy that developed into a JV partnership with one of our investors who is flushed with cash.  

In conclusion, we know how to get entrepreneurs funded if they are willing to listen.  However, if they are hard to work with, we rather walk away from their business and move on to someone else.