Sunday, October 05, 2008

Nurturing clients---when to give up!

For some time I have been working with a client to obtain funding for a business venture. It has been a struggle because he has used up his financial resources along the way.

Nonetheless I have chosen to stand by him in his quest because
  • He is honest
  • He has some experience in the industry he is trying to get into
  • The business proposition is quite attractive.
  • There's a good chance that I would obtain more work from him should he succeed

Recently in a partners' meeting someone asked me at what stage should one give up on such a client.

Initially I mumbled something about intuition but it did cause me to reflect overnight and clarify my thinking.

The conclusion I came to was ------"NEVER".

That is because the quest to raise the capital has been quite a productive journey in a number of different ways.

Firstly it has stretched my brain about sources of finance, mechanisms for structuring a deal and valuations.

Secondly in un-earthing potential sources I have identified a source which has allowed me to possibly fund a number of other client ventures.

As well a broker I met along the way became a client-----albeit a small one!

And it has also allowed me to open up conversations with other business advisors about a particular problem i was encountering with a client. This, in due course, opened up the option we are now pursuing.

You see, the journey has contributed to my learning and my networks. It may also allow me to attract further new clients in due course.

But it has been a hard road ! And I still have to field questions about my management of the project and client from management.

Has anyone else had any similar experiences?

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