One of the bad habits I’m prone to falling into is failing to grow my network of capital providers.
For any given deal, if we’re not deploying a discretionary fund, it’s easiest to reach out to the 3-4 families with whom we do the most business and get one of them to write the check.
You can see why, right? They trust us, we trust them, and we’ve already got the documents worked out. So it’s really just about explaining the specific deal and hammering out a few key economic terms.
The problem, from our perspective, is that doing the easy thing does not grow our capital base, which is essential if we’re going to grow into the company we envision.
So, I have been making a point of researching and cold emailing prospective equity partners over the past few months.
It’s not the most pleasant part of my job. The response rate is pretty low and, even when I end up speaking with a relevant decision-maker, I’m in the role of a supplicant, when, if they could see our operation and track record, we would be on at least equal footing.
But, somewhat surprisingly, it does work. The key, it turns out, is not trying to sell too much on the phone. Instead, I aim to get the decision-maker to come to our office and then take a tour of some of our projects.
Once they take the tour and meet the team, things start getting serious pretty quickly.