(Expansión) – The last two and a half years have left an overwhelming number of lessons for all entrepreneurs in Mexico and the world. Regardless of the industry they are in or the size of their businesses, the pandemic has made at least three things clear.
First, that at any moment the context can change drastically; second, that only those who are willing to constantly combine ingenuity with technological development and innovation will have some kind of competitive advantage; and finally, that even in the midst of a crisis you can grow.
After difficult years due to COVID-19, in which a company has forged character and habits in the midst of gigantic obstacles, 2022 seems to give no economic respite to entrepreneurs looking to consolidate their business models.
The current levels of inflation -which for several months have exceeded 8%- make growth projections and medium- and long-term strategic planning be recalculated. But in the midst of a complicated situation, the most important thing is not to lower your guard and redouble – not efforts, but intelligence – that leads you to ‘fall in love’ with your investors so that they continue betting on your projects.
The best bidder
Among entrepreneurs (and people in general) the term ‘shark’ has a very clear definition: investor. Swimming with sharks implies entering their territory, pivoting ideas and leaving with morale unharmed and financing assured.
To survive the sharks you have to make them fall in love, and this is the same or more difficult than making customers fall in love, but they obey the same premise: for both investors and clients, their money is worth it, and it is worth so much that they look for the highest bidder.
But in the midst of a year as difficult as 2022, how do you get financing? Or, what is the same, what are investors currently looking for? If we believe the numbers, the answers to these questions are not very promising. There is less and less money flowing to startups, especially in the Latin American region, which has seen a considerable venture capital boom in recent years, even during the pandemic.
But the uncertainty presented by the current context makes the sharks swim with their wallets well protected and they are more incredulous or demanding. This can represent a limitation, but also an opportunity for entrepreneurs to assess the value of their companies and be able to communicate it clearly, be it with investors, clients and other business partners, because if you do not know how important your companies are, others will not guess. Tell them how your project can change their lives and show them that this is real.
The high-impact venture has positioned itself as one of the favorites and one of the most promising to continue receiving financing. The answer is that its social impact is so great and they have been able to communicate it so well that they manage to swim with sharks and stay afloat.
Innovation, divine treasure
But then what exactly are investors looking for? To a certain extent, what they have always sought: innovation. Innovation is and will continue to be the most valued quality in the field of entrepreneurship, it is what separates companies that are at the peak of success and those that inevitably close their doors.
For a company to make sharks fall in love (even in the midst of inflation) it must be a very different project, in which the entrepreneur behind it is willing to give everything, and in which innovation and development are at your command. of the day Recession or no recession, an investor is not going to let such an opportunity go.
Particularly, if that venture also offers basic strength elements that fill the eye of any investor: impeccable administration, efficient operation, transparency in money management, to mention just a few key elements.
At the end of the day, the most successful entrepreneur, and the one who can swim and fall in love with sharks, is the one who is willing to learn from every moment of his process, the one who falls and gets up as many times as necessary. The best entrepreneurship lessons are in the least expected places and contexts. To survive in the face of this inflation or any other crisis, you have to dare to do what others can only imagine: you have to jump into the sea, swim with sharks and overcome your fears. Who knows, in one of those, that shark that terrifies you so much can become the ally that keeps you afloat.
Editor’s note: Luis Arandia is an entrepreneur, innovator and life-changer. Write to his email [email protected] The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.