Evaluating the attributes of an Entrepreneur

Whilst wandering through the attributes of the Entrepreneur, one can be forgiven for being bombarded with lists of skillsets, strengths and traits without ever seeing at first glance any weaknesses at all. The word entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business. Hardly surprising then not to see words such as weak, feeble and puny when discussing this particular breed.

As a fund manager evaluating businesses whether they be start up in nature or of a later stage, one has to balance these positive properties which generally apply, with the significant proportion of businesses which have to close, due to a lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis, a lack of market demand or a combination of all of these.

Therefore, when faced with the entrepreneur, the opportunity and all of the noise which purports to exploit the very same, we have to challenge every aspect of the proposal to satisfy ourselves that the investment decision, should it be taken, has good grounding and leads to a profitable outcome in the future. The person responsible for delivering that outcome is not the fund manager or the banks, it is the entrepreneur.

Every entrepreneurial business plan must include an in-depth analysis of the key individuals. These people are the hands into which the investment is entrusted to develop and flourish. This is taken into consideration long before the other elements of the proposal such as the market into which the product will sell, and crucially, the financial operation of the business.

Many plans will include this information and much more beyond, but in contrast, many entrepreneurs omit these pivotal elements when becoming over excited about their ideas and inventions.

So, in order to garner the interest of the fund manager, go out of your way to demonstrate the skills of the team; have they done anything like this before? Carry out some product due diligence in order to become satisfied that there will be a customer in the marketplace who has a need for it, is it a single or a multiple market?

Nail your proposal by covering off the financial aspects of the business in their entirety. Hire a seasoned finance professional who can be utilised not just in the financial management of the company, but hugely importantly, assist the business owners in capital fund raising, the pivotal point as to being at the entrepreneurial coalface!

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