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The path to Total System of Ownership (TSO) to raising capital (1), By Ngozi Bell

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One of the first secrets of success in an enterprise lies in how much of it you own. While there is a balance on ownership that is sometimes necessary to success, this paper will focus specifically on how to take some of the costly operational actions back into your hands and give your company the foundation it needs for success. Additionally, the concepts discussed here are particular to those who want to raise money and need outside capital to survive. 

Note that as I always say, the best capital, is human capital – where you save expenses by leveraging your expertise, then sales revenue from your products and services, the next is access to grants that help infuse outside capital without costing you and then everything else!

Now there are businesses that need an infusion of capital to survive, for those companies, capital is the oxygen, without it, no matter how good the idea, nothing ignites! Yet raising private capital should be within a strategy that grants you long term success and that is what I am going to be discussing the rest of this paper.

The Bottom Line – Building Assets Creates Leverage

At the heart of any capital campaign or fund raising must be an adjacent plan to scale your company for success. This means paying for things that give much more than temporary success. Companies that grow and dominate typically develop a system or platform with an upfront cost, with a strategy that costs them little to nothing for the rest of the life of the business. They will make improvements, adjustments and manipulate it to maximise their gain. They can do this because they created it with the built-in flexibility that their use cases require. These are attributes they can monetise over and over. These businesses understand that long-term success comes from building their assets which creates leverage, leverage creates momentum and momentum empowers influence. Using efficiency and cost effectiveness attributes, they can scale their platforms to meet myriad needs!

Raising Capital should not be devoid of long-term success strategies

The prevailing activity and expectation is that businesses looking for investors are at the mercy of the tools available to them. This usually results in a typical process that almost delineates the structural disciplines of building a long-term business, from a short-term desire to shuffle to the next step. 

In general, a good way to start is to consider that even in the fund-raising stage, a company with strong fundamentals and long-term capabilities is in the making. The question to be asked then is: what systems and processes should be implemented into the business to eliminate the overhead, thereby reducing carried cost and ultimately ensure that the work involved with fund raising results simultaneously in more assets and more money for the company? With this fundamental as the foundation, there are some concrete steps a fund raising company can take to engage, attract and interact with investors.

Every interaction with Investors carry future “dividends”.

As a startup or company trying to raise capital, you can decide that every interaction with potential investors will add to your knowledge database for present and future capital raises regardless of short-term outcomes with that interaction. This is the core to setting up a strategy with “dividends”.

First Step – Seek the right partnership: Today capital raising requires several technology tools to facilitate. Access to those tools come at high costs, and sometimes are unavoidable to access the large swathes of investor base you will need for a successful capital raise. 

Look for a system that is built to map out the investment focus of the investors, the need of clients, the efficient use of time and money. Systems that meet these criteria take a long time to build, however, their effectiveness is astronomically higher for companies seeking capital. They efficiently connect companies to investors and their engines become sharper and more insightful as they engage their clients. They learn their customers and thereby the best way to improve their goal to acquire capital. Their systems and processes have dramatically lowered the overhead and is implemented to improve cost, allowing them to offer the client a considerably lower price to use. Our company, MiranetLLC.com uses such a platform to support clients. Regardless, of who a startup choses, having this mindset that every interaction with investors should carry future dividends and finding a team that supports that, as a first step is a game changer from the get go.

Second Step – Have a litmus test: As you seek and choose a partner, be sure that the systems and processes they have in their business are there to dramatically lower their overhead. As they will also have the intended consequence and opportunity to dramatically lower your own overhead and offer you services at a fraction of what some of the standard vendors would. Your service provider transforms  to more than a vendor and becomes an efficient helper to your company– this is where a business deal translates as an enabling resource for success. Businesses that can do this are able to help a lot of their clients through an efficiency of scale model and thrive well.

For companies that lean on this strategy, everything they do is aimed at contributing to improvement in service deployment, every dollar earned becomes an investment to the business. Creating an environment that is a cycle of quality and continuous improvement. This is what we at MiranetLLC focus on.

You founded it, or you lead it – so you are its best advocate 

Just as importantly, the opportunity to help clients take the same approach becomes extremely viable – A lot of clients using standard broker platforms, come to the realise that while they have many of the standard tools needed for their capital raise, the inputs and impacts are short term and not intentioned to build their business assets and to a large extent, they are putting their faith and future in the hands of others to facilitate the funding of their company. 

In essence, because of the role technology can play in facilitating the process and therefore the technology does a lot of the “talking”, what it works out and the way it engages on the client will determine what it returns from the investors and how long that work or engagement endures. In many cases, clients in this model are relying on “someone else” to pitch their company better than themselves, which rarely happens. The simple reason is that you are the best advocate of your company and can deliver its best pitch. Technology should enable you do that!

Additionally, neither where the clients building the productive relationships with the investors that would be leverageable endlessly, versus playing what amounts to a short-term game. At the onset, it worked because the basics were present, but in the long-term they pay brokers more money to access a platform that is not intended to build their company than they would pay by building their own assets 

Like I said at the beginning, most successful companies build their own assets.

You need your own systems to raise capital

Emphatically, you need your own systems to raise capital from investors successfully, yes you need to tap into partner systems to leverage and extract value that accelerates and enhances your workflow and creates operational and strategic advantages to your goals. But you fundamentally should own your stuff. In the next few sections, I will run through how a client can act on engaging services that translate to Total System of Ownership (TSO).

Managing to T. S. O. 

TARGET – The first thing you need is to get access to a database of investors that invest in your area – you can search the web for lists available free through some nonprofit organisations, or purchase some lists – Your choice for a good partner company should have a compiled database of many investors (over1K is okay, 10K is good, 100K is excellent) both domestic and international – with diverse investment focus in anything from startups who need small initial funding as low as $50K to larger companies needing hundreds of thousands of dollars to those raising hundreds of millions of dollars. This is important because it creates an investment well with enough depth and breadth that you can always come to again and again.

– A good partner’s database should contain a diverse set of investor types including HNI, PE, FOF, Hedge Funds, VC, Angels, Wealth managers, Family Offices, Endowments, Pension Funds, Insurance Companies and other accredited investors. They should come from many continents to match their clients. This means that working with a partner that has access to investors from North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America means they will be experienced in supporting clients from those regions as well. It also ensures a premium on the longevity of the support you gain from them. If your product or service is very targeted or niche, then finding a partner that has a database that is skewed to that region would work as well but might be limiting to growth into other markets. 

We will stop here for this article on another installment discuss additional steps –the S.O.

About Ngozi Bell

Inspiration, Hard Work, Innovation. These three foundational elements anchor Ngozi’s core belief that manifesting the extraordinary is always within reach. Inspired by her mother A.C.Obikwere, a scientist and author, she learned the privilege of living at the edge of important encounters and dedicating herself to robust and perpetual learning. Ngozi’s background is a combination of Physics, Engineering, Venture Capital/Private Equity, regulations, and business where she has managed over $1B in cumulative revenue. Ngozi is a speaker, storyteller, and writer on a diverse set of topics including AI, iDLT, ML, Signal Processing, iOT, women, entrepreneurship and more. She contributes regularly to VOA, has been a TEDx speaker and is published on tech and non-tech platforms. She is a champion of STEM, women, youth, art and the Africa we must engage. Ngozi is an adjunct professor of Physics and management with work

experience in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and North America. She is a founder of a number of a number of enterprises and host of the podcast Stem, Stocks and Stews (https://anchor.fm/stemstocksstews-podcast).

Https://www.LinkedIn.com/in/ngozibell/
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