Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The dance begins...

While writing my previous blog, I got the inspiration to go about looking for an investor in a different way...
I had immediately after posting this last blog started to look for an investor whom might possibly be interested in investing in an Agricultural business.

I did some work on my business plan and honestly though it is not quite to my liking yet... I have started to sent out some query e-mails and I have received the most beautiful and friendly answers back... Not one yet positive, but so encouraging. So I have taken a few days of from my blogging to refine my business plan and really think through all the options and plans. I would not like to be in a position of eventually getting an interested party and then through negligence on my side I am making a booboo.
This off course can easily happen as going into a new side of my business I can make mistakes and although I am a firm believe in the fact that as long as something can be done to correct a problem it is not yet a mistake.. It is only when arrogance and stupidity makes you ignore a problem that it becomes a mistake of note.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Could it be...?

Could it be that the business angels out there in the world are only interested in certain types of business'?
The type that really does not need the money? The type who already has such a credit history to show that they do indeed exist?
So here I am... business is steadily growing but could be three, if not thirty times bigger, than it is at the moment. This is what frustrates me so much! How can I convince an investor of any kind, of the viability of my business, if they are not even interested in asking about it...?
Off course, this is not a business in technology... or electronics or real estate. Although, if I am honest... I would like to buy a farm... to pack my own fruit, in my own brand and to also export that. Maybe my problem is that I am not dreaming big enough? Should I go look for a fruit farm and buy that? Will my chances of getting finance increase if I do that?  Is this the way that my business should grow... have I been blindly looking in one direction, when there might be a  solution in a completely different  direction.
Might it be that by accident I have stumbled on to another option in my quest find a business angel? I will definitely look into this ... no later than today.
My mind is now racing at a hundred miles per hour... but with this new idea, new doubts are already forming in my mind. The thought of going through everything just to be disappointed, when no one is interested makes my heart heavy.
Do people and more specifically investors out there, in their sphere realize that no inventions can be made if there is no food? So farming is not the flashiest of flashy business, but it is the cornerstone on which  the world is build. People can not eat electronic chips.. they need the potato variety to survive.
Could it be that there is someone out there with a little bit of a sense of adventure? I will let you know...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

My quest for a business angel...

So on my quest to find a business angel, I have encountered a lot of not so angelic people...
I started the business with nothing but an idea and off course a big, gaping hole, I could see in the market... unfortunately for me, my bank manager could not see the hole, as well as I could... but then, until this day I maintain, that the only hole he could see, was the one at the end of the tunnel, he was looking through.. His hole was called "retirement" and he had no intention of allowing me to influence him in anyway from looking at just the end goal to his career of being a bank manager... Off course, back then, he was  a very important person in rural South Africa....Since then, all authority has been taken away from local banks in small communities and they have become nothing more than brick piggy banks. The only business being conducted in the smaller branches of the banks these days are the putting away of savings and withdrawing  money... off course, the latter will be considerably less as bank charges takes a big bite out of your money... (this is just a little pet peeve, I have)
So there I was... good idea.. blind bank manager!  I had no intention of him stopping me... so I struck out on the road money... really but the will to make it work!
Being an avid reader, I have often encountered stories or biography about people starting out from nothing and becoming a huge success with billions in the bank...!  If they could do it, so could I! In hindsight I can honestly say, I must have been too stupid to be scared, or too arrogant ... but I have taken this on and now fourteen years later I am still on the quest for my millions..
Convincing people to trust me has always been easy for me... I like to think this is because I am trustworthy, but I think fourteen years ago, in a small, small town, it was mainly the fact that they all knew me and that they had nobody else to do their marketing. I was their angel in the marketing sphere after the deregulation of the marketing councils that until then, have ruled with an iron fist, the marketing of produce in South Africa. It has to be added that in stepping up to the podium, I also took all the risk that they (the farmers) suddenly  had encountered in  the new landscape of marketing their own product... and it is always better to have someone  else to blame if something went wrong!
So I started...stupid but verrryyy forward... and it worked... beyond my wildest dreams, my business grew. It grew so well, it soon left it's cash flow struggling to breath in the dust it created, on it's avid leap forward... and thus began my quest for an angel... of the business kind.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Do you exist?

Ever had the feeling you are standing alone on the edge of a ravine? You can put your hands up to your mouth and call... "Are you out there?"  and after a few moments the ecco comes back ... "are you out there?... are you out there? ... are you out there?..... are you out there?" Getting more feint and distant with every return... This is exactly the way I feel  when I am looking at investors (angel or otherwise).
In  fourteen years of running my own business, I have yet to succeed to convince an investor that my business is a  risk worth taking on...
At first I thought..." the business is too young it wil get better when you are more established"... and I struggled and survived a year... then two... then three... now fourteen and still  I am that lonely person standing at the side of the ravine... calling!!!
After a while I started to feel  the problem was personal: I am too female in an agricultural business... Agriculture is a male driven business. I am too white... in a country where they are trying to uplift the previously disadvantage... I live in the wrong country... people are scared of Africa  or South Africa is not a country where the world feel that entrepeneurs really needs help.... but you know what?... this is not my fault.... I have slowly come to realise that the so called investors (angel or other) out there on the internet or business papers.... they do not really exist.
In my humble opinion they are more fairies than angels... just so much immagination!!
The main reason I am starting this blog is so that other entrepeneurs, like me, would know that they are not the only person standing at the edge of the world calling... no... if you care to look around and listen to the ecco you will see that there are a lot of others... and the voice coming back empty to you might be someone else's... the call is just the same.
It might be that no one else even read this... but for me it is a way of getting rid of this growing frustration  that is fed by feeling alone in the business world...
So, I will blog about  my frustrations... if you do stumble on to this and care to make a comment ... I would really like to hear from you... that way I can really find out if I am alone on the edge of the ravine..
Have a blessed day... hope to hear from you soon.