“The Lord is good…he protects those who take refuge in him, even in a rushing flood” – Nahum 1:7

I came across a beautiful article on balance while surfing the net, it was about the potential harmony of a dining experience. The synopsis was “Your dining experience is more than great food. It is a community experience centred on culinary expertise, fresh ingredients, healthy options and a shared sense of environmental and social responsibility. It’s also about education and helping you make informed food choices so you can achieve your personal health and wellness goals. The system of Balance, Mind, Body and Soul is a holistic or integrated approach to wellness that considers the whole person”. If the persons do well then they contribute to growth in society and our prospects to be successful would have been enhanced.

In business, we have the system of Balance, Idea/Innovation, Management of Business Systems (Shepherding which mitigates the risk of failure) and Sources of Investment Finance which is a holistic or integrated approach to business wellness that considers the whole enterprise. If the businesses do well then they contribute to economic growth and our prospects to be successful would have been enhanced.

The promoters of ideas are usually very passionate about their idea or subsequent innovation arising from the idea. The first thing they think about, if they have no money and most of them do not, is to get their hands on some money. They often get totally frustrated when the prospective investor shows little or no interest in the idea and finds one reason or another to turn the request for funds down.

The promoter must realise that the prospective investor is interested in investing money to get a return and not interested in throwing money at an enterprise that is a bottomless pit. What should a promoter do to attract the attention of a prospective investor? The answer should be to make a balanced presentation to the prospective investor.

Firstly, information is needed regarding the value proposition of the idea or innovation. Kaplan and Norton (2007) say that “Creating a value proposition is a part of business strategy. Strategy is based on a differentiated customer value proposition. Satisfying customers is the source of sustainable value creation.” Developing a value proposition for an enterprise is based on a review and analysis of the benefits, costs and value that the enterprise can deliver to its customers, prospective customers, and other constituent groups within and outside the enterprise. It is also a positioning of value, where Value = Benefits – Cost (cost includes economic risk). Also, the promoter of the enterprise has to develop a unique selling proposition, i.e. the factor or consideration presented by the enterprise as the reason that the products or services are different from and better than the corresponding products or services of the competition. If the enterprise has the DNA of an Elephant then the faster will such collective enterprises contribute to economic growth.

Secondly, information is needed on the team member(s) promoting the enterprise to determine the  attitude, characteristics and passion for the enterprise and especially to determine whether any team member(s) possesses entrepreneurial flair including learning to work with people, seeking  innovation and change and above all being able to succeed in the face of adversity.

Thirdly, information is needed on the understanding of the business systems (corporate governance, marketing, operations, HRD and investment finance) of the enterprise and the current health of these business systems. If any of these business systems is in poor health it poses a threat to the sustainability of the enterprise and corrective steps will have to be taken.

When the prospective investor is satisfied with all of the above three aspects then a business plan will be requested to indicate the conditions under which an investment is likely to yield a given return and on this basis the investor will determine if and how much he will invest in return for an equity stake in the business.

I have experienced and continue to experience promoters of an enterprise who approach me to point them in the direction of possible sources of finance. Usually all they have is an idea and a wish list of expenses which they think is needed for the business to succeed and they are in search of a source of investment finance.

My response now is to introduce them to the 25 cells of the ManOBiz Matrix™ and to give them homework to assess the standing of their prospective enterprises. How many of these cells are “red” (which could mean more work needed before launching the business) or “green” (which could mean – all systems go at least until there is a change in the business environment). Business success is not an insurmountable task if the businesses are well shepherded and if you remember that God is good even in a rushing flood.

As the Daily Word last week points out: “As I rest in God, I replenish my soul…I pause from all that is calling for my attention and create a holy space within. As I move more consciously and breathe more deeply, I refuel my energy and replenish my soul—I rest in God. Just as the space between musical notes creates balance and harmony, so, too, does a moment of peace bring harmony to my soul. I rejoice in the right balance between doing and being. When I am ready to return to my tasks, I fulfill my obligations with efficiency and enthusiasm”.