So you’ve managed to secure external investment in your business, congratulations – but now what? How do you actually utilise this investment? Which doors do you use this new financial backing to open?
Get to know your customers better
Obviously to get to the stage where someone deems your business investable you will have a decent idea of who your customers are and what they want. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get to know them better, and your new capital gives you the means to do this. Take the time to allocate budget for running focus groups, so that you can understand your market on a more in-depth level – what is it exactly that your potential customers want? The better you know your customers the more targeted your marketing campaigns will be.
Firstly, any business that has managed to attract and secure external investment will have a solid base and will have shown that it is capable of taking advantage of opportunities within its market. With more investment you can increase your marketing to a level that previously wasn’t affordable.
If you’re looking to grow quickly following your investment then I would recommend using agencies. Marketing agencies already have the staff and the know-how that you can instantly tap into; whereas recruiting your own in-house department is going to take time.
It is important not to tie yourself into long contracts with your external suppliers. We started each of our agencies off on an initial three-month contract – your suppliers should buy into your business and where it’s going. Plus, by having initial short-term contracts you protect your investment from being whittled away by relationships that don’t work out.
Your business is only as good as the people working for it, so for it to grow, it means you need to grow your team – generally both in numbers and quality. Securing investment means that you can be more competitive on salaries for senior hires. Look at where your business is lacking experience, and which departments are crucial to the business growing and that should indicate where you need to hire. Ultimately you should build your team around your sales forecasts.
Arguably, the most important element to growing your business following investment is timing and the right partners. The onus is on you the business owner to decide this, and if you don’t feel that either of these are right, then don’t be afraid to say no. Good luck!
By Mark Readings, CEO and co-founder of House Network