By Monday, we would begin a new phase in Fasmicro Group – supporting growing African businesses with P/E funding. It is exciting as I have worked with my Chinese business partners in JPL Financial to support public sector projects. Coming to help thriving businesses is exciting.
As we execute the process, it is important to understand that investor’s capital is not the jewel you need as a business-owner. The best investors are your customers. Yes, customers are the blood which makes the operating system of free enterprise function. No investor can replace the customer money. You must demonstrate capacity that despite any funding that comes your way, you can compete for the customers’ money. If you cannot do that, you have no business. Investors like us are not your customers and our deals are transitional. But those customers are constant sources of funding throughout the lifespan of the firm. The money from customers is the living capital.
Investors expect you to create value. Customers expect you to fix frictions in their lives. You must find ways to balance those elements. Your absolute commitment, dedication and vision must showcase for both horizons: customers are becoming fans even as value is created for investors who supplied the ingredients for the growth.
As the business grows, do not have long memory. By that I mean, celebrate success but move on to the next challenge. You need to be paranoid (fearful) in this to have relevance. You need that because we live in a world of creative destruction: the risk could be few updates or cycles away.
People, discover your customers, and go places.