Though Asia and the Orient are considered to be West of North America, they long ago acquired the descriptive term, The Far East. Without going into a lot of deep research, my guess is that since England, in it’s colonial expansion centuries ago, had many ships sailing to those areas, the concept of Far East made sense. They got there by sailing around the tip of South Africa, proceeding east from there. And by sail, that must have indeed seemed a very far voyage eastward.
INVESTMENTS WESTWARD, NEW SOURCE OF PROJECT FUNDING
China is currently very big in the daily news and likely to remain so. Its huge population, rapid economic growth and burgeoning military presence all claim a lot of media attention. Much of that media is specifically investment oriented and billions of dollars are being invested there. That situation is going to expand in the future.
But what about investments reversing direction?
POTENTIAL GOLD MINE FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Hong Kong, for instance, has been a major financial center for over 100 years. And since China has regained control of it from the British in 1999, its influence in the Far East has grown still further. And lately, with the onset of the EU and other countries destroying any form of bank secrecy, more billions of dollars have been heading for Hong Kong and other Far East financial centers. As well, Asian millionaires and billionaires, which is a fast-growing segment, are choosing to place many of their investments “offshore" (outside of China) for tax reasons, much as their Western counterparts have been doing for the last generation or two.
Virtually every Canadian and US entrpreneur is already delivering his business plans to Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists located in those two countries. And only about one in 10,000 of those submissions is likely to be funded. Doesn’t it make entrepreneurial sense to look elsewhere, even if also submitting to those sources? Don’t creative entrepreneurs keep their eyes open for unusual opportunities to benefit their projects?
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND FINANCIAL CONSULTANTS
If you’re a serious entrepreneur with a great package, a question you must ask yourself is: What do I know about finding funding? If you’re honest with yourself, the answer will probably be: “Next to nothng. " Or: “Not any more than most other entrepreneurs out there. " With that sort of reality check, shouldn’t you also be looking for some help?
There are many financial services and consultants to be found on the net. Beware, however, since many of them will make the most fantastic promises, assure you that they can get you the funding. They will also ask you for up front monies. If you happen into any of those, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.
Unless you’re asking them to do you some specific service, such as rewriting your executive summary or business plan, do NOT pay out a any fees.
However, if you feel they are very good and want to meet with them for further due diligence on their knowledge and contacts, you will be responsible for their travel and living expenses during the trip, including a per diem allowance to cover food and transportation cost. If they’re really good at what they do, it’s money well spent.
GOT ASIAN CONTACTS?
If you are seeking Asian investors, you will need to find consultants who have those specific connections. Doing business with Asians is very different than doing the same business with Canadians, Asians or Europeans. A good consultant will be able to guide you in precisely what you need to know. Procedures, attitudes, culture, all of these are important. How you present yourself may be critical.
A TALE OF STUPIDITY AND ARROGANCE
Capital Funds Group works with just such an Asian investment group. One client asked to meet with them and offered a good quality Executive Summary. Beyond that, they failed to ask a single question about the investors, assuring us that “we’ve done over a hundred presentations. " Though I’d suggested he come in a day earlier to locate himself in relation to the meeting hotel, he had ignored that advice and arrived late the evening before and had no chance to identify where he was in relation to the meeting hotel.
As a result, on the day of the meeting, he
1. Showed up 45 minutes late
2. Was wearing mismatched pants and slacks, badly in need of a pressing
3. Wore an open throated shirt with no tie
4. And defended all this vigourously, saying that he’d have had no problem if the meeting had been in the Silicon Valley.
I tried, without success, to get through to him that the Asian culture is very different, that his lateness upset a very tight schedule on which the funder worked and that lateness, his dress and his attitude were an insult to the investor.
Needless to say, he was not offered an investment. . . and blamed me!
If you’re seeking funding for a major project, you’ll have to expand your ideas of where those monies might be found. The Far East is the new contender. Contact us to find out more.
Mr. Barnes is President & General Manager of Capital Funds Group Ltd. , a Canadian based world wide consulting firm specializing in Putting Companies and Money Together. They also work with non-US companies to take them public rapidly and inexpensively, then getting them funded. Visit our Web Site Email Him