A lot of factors influence the success of a merger and acquisition (M&A), but most analyses focus on the economic aspects of the deal. Granted, the financial piece comprises a large portion of the equation and dictates the manner in which the whole transaction unfolds. However, there are still people responsible for calculating and managing those numbers, and thus the knowledge, skills, and expertise of those individuals also have a significant effect. Of course, business acumen can only take one so far in life, as understanding people and having social intelligence are also extremely important. Real and continued success in the business world is dependent, in large part, on the leadership team that steers the ship, not just the dollars generated. Leadership obviously encompasses a lot of different things, but there are certain areas in which leaders must excel to get a complicated M&A deal done. Here are the leadership principles that will foster success:
If your company has made it past seed funding and a series A round and is at the point that a series B fundraising round is looking necessary and appropriate, this is quite a big step. Both the stakes and expectations increase with every round of funding, so companies need to ensure they are really ready to make this leap. While seed funders are essentially focused on vision and series A funders on optimism, series B is about strong confidence in the company's progress and trajectory. Of course, this makes this round particularly difficult since many companies are teetering between not quite an early stage startup but not quite a full-fledged enterprise either. As a result, pitching prospective investors during this phase requires some serious analysis and preparation. The series B pitch deck can't contain lofty assertions or idealistic assumptions. At this juncture, facts and figures must dominate the deck, demonstrating the certainty that the leaders have in the direction they are steering the venture and instilling investor confidence. Here is how to put together a pitch deck that covers the most critical points:
Data theft is alive and well, and for companies that fail to institute an appropriate document retention and management strategy, becoming a victim is all too likely. Even though technology is becoming more sophisticated every year, the cost of many solutions is actually declining due to fierce competition and the basic economic principles of supply and demand. As a result, there is really no excuse for any company, large or small, to neglect this facet of running a business. In simplest terms, if companies don't want private data misappropriated, then they shouldn't expose it in the first place. All it takes to achieve this is some planning, research, and a reasonable investment in the right technology. Here are the five key steps to take:
Fundraising is generally unavoidable for startups and small businesses. This is particularly true in certain sectors where access to capital and equipment is crucial, such as life sciences and technology. Of course, these are industries that tend to be driven by intellectual property (IP) as well, so there is always quite a bit at stake when companies are in pursuit of a cash infusion and required to divulge company information to garner interest and dollars. It is likely impossible to avoid sharing all of a company's IP during fundraising rounds, as prospective investors need to have some sense of where their investment is going. But, companies can take steps before, during, and subsequent to any fundraising round to ensure that their IP remains secure.
After getting a verbal commitment from investors that they will invest in your business, they will want to run a background check on you and your partners. They will want to inspect all aspects of your business and get a fully understanding of what they are getting into before signing the contract.