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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 08, 2017

Business Matters: Pit Bull on Your Team

Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

For several years, I was involved in venture capital, helping start-ups raise funds to get their businesses off the ground. I heard the explanations of dozens of people looking for funding, and at times sat before venture groups looking to fund ideas I brought to the table. Over the years, one thing became very evident, which was directly confirmed by numerous investors with resources to share. The number one thing they looked for in any entity seeking their support was clear: there had to be a “pit bull” on the team or they would not get past first base.

Tenacity was key to every funding source I ever spoke with. I am not talking about bankers who loan dollars (we’ll save that for a future writing); these are bonafide venture capitalists looking for the next great concept to help explode onto the scene. To be perfectly clear, if you do not have someone who will do anything (that’s legal, ethical, and moral) to see this endeavor through, stop now. I have seen great ideas die on the vine because the funding source did not believe there was at least one “pit bull” that would stick to it until they attained results.

The money is out there if you have the right combination of drive, concept, market understanding, and “skin in the game.” Perhaps the second most important part of getting off the ground is your own investment. Let’s presume the concept is solid (and exciting) and you have proved that there is a market for your product. This alone may not get you where you need to be to take full advantage of the opportunity. Many deals have died or, possibly worse, were exploited by others because the originator did not have what it took to protect, produce, and deliver the product.

A few thoughts to keep in mind if you have something original you would like to see develop into a profitable venture:

1) Is it original? Did you truly research to see if anyone else has already developed a similar offering?

2) Have you done your homework? Do you have a plan that includes a clear marketing strategy and numbers to back up your idea of success?

3) Do you have the right team? Have you assembled all the players it takes to get you to the desired goals? Think about areas of expertise and either learn or find the skills needed for a complete group to achieve your expectations. Consider areas including sales/marketing, engineering, production, and finance.

4) Are you or do you have someone who will be tenacious and, no matter what, will stick with this project until you cross the goal line? This is most important (as stated above) and cannot be overemphasized.

To make something great happen, you must “want to, need to, have to.”

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~ John Quincy Adams