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3 Components of Becoming an Investable Entrepreneur

Michael S Melfi

Intellectual Property Attorney at Melfi Associates
Michael S. Melfi, J.D., MBA, is an attorney with Bodman PLC who represents emerging companies and established businesses in a wide array of technology and corporate matters. He has extensive experience mentoring, counseling and securing funding for entrepreneurs, inventors, startups and small businesses and their disruptive technologies. His passion is guiding and supporting emerging companies and entrepreneurs and has authored four books aimed to help entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of often seemingly complex areas. Michael is a partner at Bodman PLC, one of the Midwest’s leading business law firms, that provides counsel to some of the region’s most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues.

Emerging companies looking to grow their business, at some point, have exclaimed: “if I only had (fill in the business need here), then I could (fill in the business opportunity here).” The issue with that statement is that once that wish has been granted, it’s highly likely it will fix one problem, but cause another. Inevitably, this vicious cycle repeats itself for those determined entrepreneurs and it’s this very cycle that causes many to eventually give up on their dreams. Successful entrepreneurs have figured out how to break the cycle and in doing so, have become more investable to do the things necessary to grow their business into something fruitful.

So, what is different about these entrepreneurs? They understand a few key concepts of being investable. They have the right attitude, the necessary skills and adequate knowledge in order to influence others around them to commit resources to their vision.

Right now, each of us has everything we need in order to be successful in our entrepreneurial journey; the question is, do we do the things necessary to achieve our visions? While there are many components to being investable, we are going to look at three important aspects.

The entrepreneurial mindset

Having the right attitude as an entrepreneur requires the right mindset. This includes being focused on a vision and having the internal motivation to continue moving in the right direction despite the obstacles and challenges you may face. Establishing those core values will assist an entrepreneur in being able to build the identity necessary to be investable. An important aspect is to be coachable and to have self-awareness practicing emotional intelligence on a regular basis. The entrepreneurial journey is an education.

An execution team

When looking to secure funding, it is important to understand the investor mindset. The investor mindset is one that looks at not only the idea, but the team behind it. Can the team execute and produce the results necessary to grow the business and create a return for the investment?

Attracting and retaining the right talent for the team is necessary in order to create the results along the way. This team must be able to demonstrate they have the skills required based on industry knowledge and target market, and where in the life cycle your emerging company is. If your strategic plan is going to require certain skill sets and talent, are you able to demonstrate that you have identified those people and already have them on the team?

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The financial story

The ability to tell an emerging company’s financial story is critical in order to be investable. To successfully tell the financial story, you need to be able to address critical questions, conduct customer discovery, understand how a dollar flows through the organization, and most importantly, know what is necessary to eventually grow or exit the business.

Being able to explain this and convey the financials in a clear and engaging way will show investors you have done your homework and have a clear plan to build your company, which is all the motivation an investor needs to invest.

Is being investable what will make all the difference? You decide.

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