Raising Cain If You Are Able
I’m taking a bit of license with the famous story from the Bible (Cain and Abel). It’s of biblical proportions for business that you need to raise money to be able to survive and grow. dictionary.com suggests cain represents rent, especially a percentage of a farm crop (which sounds a little like giving up equity in a company for money) and causing a disturbance or disruption—which raising money is from every business I’ve talked with.
Just within this week, I’ve either been involved with people and companies trying to raise money or read in numerous newsfeeds I get about companies raising funds or positioning themselves to get preferred rates for money. Here are some examples of companies trying to raise money or build value which eventually translates into raising money.
- Kickstarter for fashionable women’s leggings with pockets
- Cutting costs to improve profits at Tesla for previous and future investors
- IPO by Avatar having raised money from Private Equity just 2 years ago
- Valued then at over $1 billion with 2017 revenue of over $200 million and a loss of $64 million.
- Acquisition of MIT startup Empirical Systems by Tableau
- VC Fund creation by Sequoia Capital raising funds from investors to invest in other companies
- Angel Investment by Kieretsu Capital in StormSensor
- Capital Market Days presentations by Daimler Trucks
- Membership Capital Campaign at a country club
- Non-Profit Matching Funds at United Way in my area.
- Sales presentation to existing or prospective customer
That’s enough examples to make you think the purpose of business is to raise money rather than deliver a product/service that meets some emotional or physical need of a customer.
Obviously raising funds is for everyone. It’s all about the money. Last night, at the table next to me with several successful men in business (fancy restaurant in fancy town), I accidentally overheard one say, “Want to hear my first rule of construction? “The first rule of construction is, regardless of what they say, it’s always about the money.” He mentioned he had a second rule. I wish I had overheard that.
To raise money from a customer, an investor, a bank, or by selling a company in whole or in part, you have to establish value to the person providing the funds. Value is in the eye of the money holder. I’ll bet many of you check the price of some stock that you own. That price is the value of a tiny, tiny, tiny portion of the company. Some of you meet with a financial advisor or wealth planner quarterly and check the value of your portfolio from stocks to insurance to annuities. For those of you that own a business, how often do you assess the value of the company you own?
Profits are only one factor that money holders look at when putting a value on your business. There are at least, 8 value builders they consider, weigh, and balance in putting a dollar number on your business. To learn more, check out this 97-second video and take this 13-15 minute survey. I’ll be happy to spend an hour or two with you to help you understand where you are and suggest how you can improve.