I have too many a time sat down with founders and heard them complain about small investments. They carry on and on about how they need $100,000 to break down the barriers and how $10,000 is nothing compared to what they actually need. They look down on people wanting to invest $5000 or $10,000 in their business to help them grow. For me this is ludicrous and I totally perceive a $10,000 investment managed in the right way as a stepping stone in the right direction. I usually direct the conversation between the founder and myself in the following way.
Founder: Doesn’t it just irritate you when people want to invest in your company and you start getting excited…merely to be hit in the face with a small four or five figure amount?
Me: No, it doesn’t. It irritates me when people don’t see the real value of money and an investment.
Founder: What do you mean Jacques? I know what an investment entitles and do very well with appreciating the value of money.
Me: I’m not talking about the dictionary definition of an investment, I’m talking about the realistic definition. A person had to believe in you and your company in order to invest with you. Whether it’s $3000, $5000 or $10,000 it’s money that you didn’t have before. It’s money that you didn’t have to do anything to acquire. It’s money that will help further the growth of your business. Whether this money only helps you push up your sales by 1%, it will still show a ROI in the long run. You shouldn’t take money for granted. Every bit helps.
Founder: $10,000 just won’t cut it for me. We need $100,000 to further our growth and that is what I’m going for, nothing less. I might as well just bury this idea if I can’t garner the full investment.
Me: So you didn’t get that $100,000 investment you were looking for, but guess what? You’re 10% on your way there. That plan that you pitched could be set in motion and yes it will only be possible to execute 10% of the way, but it’s something. It’s helping you move forward and not backwards. If one investor could believe in you and your company, others could too. Perhaps they just didn’t see the vision clearly enough to invest just yet, but by moving forward and pushing on, they will see your drive and your passion amidst the fact that you were turned down. This will probably open up more doors for you which will bring forward more investors.
Founder: Errmm. You’re probably right. I just need to wrap my head around this. Money is valuable in today’s day and age. Every bit of it counts and whether it’s a $1000, $10,000 or $1 Million investment, they all count towards the same thing…The success of my company. I can’t believe how short sighted I am.
Me: You’re starting to see the bigger picture now. Now, in your head, think about it for a second. What is of need in your company now, what are you thinking about daily, what is the first part of this plan that you pitched…Break it down and then tell me how this investment is going to help you.
Founder: This $10,000 investment can help us upgrade four computers in our office, upgrade our server and cover rent for a month or two. That will take some pressure off of us right now. Thanks Jacques for guiding me in the right direction. We are already 10% on the way to reaching our goal of $100,000.
Me: Always a pleasure. I’m glad I could help.