Top 10 Tips: Attracting international investment

James Waterhouse, chief executive at Deal Connections
James Waterhouse, chief executive at Deal Connections
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James Waterhouse, chief executive at Deal Connections, gives tips on sourcing international investment.

1.There has never been a better time for UK businesses to look overseas for investment.

As one of the world’s most attractive destinations for international investors, the biggest challenge facing UK businesses is letting investors know you are there.

2. Know where to find your buyer. Gain an understanding of the current trends in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Look at online marketplaces that help investors in the US, China, India, across Europe and the UK to monitor the UK M&A market.  

3. It’s obvious, but prepare well and be organised right from the outset. The process will inevitably take longer than you think. Conduct a full review of your company at the outset.

4. Don’t underplay your value. You reached outside the UK for a reason but the deal will be harder to land - make it count.

5. Be sensitive to cultural differences to ensure a smooth sales process. There are massive cultural nuances in the way each country interacts in business, with many cultures not challenging what they don’t understand.

6. It’s all too easy for a remote team to decide it’s all just too hard and walk away from a perfectly viable deal. You have to be totally focussed on every decision maker in the process – validating or challenging their understanding and making sure you are able to herd them, if not in exactly the same direction, at least from turning back and running away.

7. Listen to what the buyer is really telling you. Consider adjusting your sales plan to ensure your processes, time-frames and expectations are in line.

8. Be cognisant of this in your dealings with them and make sure how you think they feel, is actually how they feel.

9. Get people in the same room at the earliest possible point in the deal cycle.

The sooner you decide if everyone can work together, and how they interact with each other, the sooner you will be able to formulate an effective engagement and communication plan that will get the deal over the line.

10. While the sales process is highly important, don’t lose sight of your business operations. Remain focused on your company’s performance.