When investing in a business, especially one that’s just getting off the ground…patience really is a virtue. A big part of my role as a Business Angel, aside from investment I help to nurture new businesses and then when they are ready, take a step back and watch while they flourish. However, as with anything that requires investment – whether it’s time or money – there comes a point when you need to get a return.
That’s why it’s not just the business that you should invest in, but also the people behind it. They are the driving force, and ultimately it’s their energy, time and dedication that will determine how quickly the business becomes a success. Make sure that you have KPIs in place, whether it’s a short or long-term investment. If a business is on course to meet its target, it will provide you with a good indication of whether your return is likely to happen when it was initially forecast.
It’s important that you keep the lines of communication open and flag when you have any concerns. It’s equally important that your investment partner understands that you’re not simply a bottomless pot of cash (but it’s up to you to make them aware of that in a diplomatic way).
Patience has the potential to serve you well – but it’s about striking the right balance that works for what you need from the investment. The patience of a Business Angel is in some ways quite unique because of the sensitive nature of financial investments…but when it comes to realising a return, there is absolutely no room for the patience of a saint!
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