There’s a good reason for that. Most people who deal with financial matters like routine. They set up processes to learn about a business, to check out that business, to set up a relationship with it, and then begin to have transactions to help the business grow. If the business acts in a way that disrupts the process, it is quickly seen as an anomaly and the question shifts to what is the problem with this opportunity.
Contract officers operate somewhat in the same fashion when considering a bid. While they like innovative solutions and competitive differentiators that will help grow the business, they also like demonstrated performance and companies that can follow directions.
This level of order also extends to how lenders sense the maturity of a business when approached for money. When a business owner says, “we don’t give out any financial information, it’s proprietary,” there’s no need for any further discussion. This business owner obviously has never experienced trying to raise outside capital to grow the company. The same is true with non-disclosure agreements (NDA), which lenders are loath to sign because it puts them in a legal framework they don’t need to be in. A lender is not in the business of stealing intellectual property or knowledge of models or concepts. Most lenders depend on their reputation to continue to find new business. On the other hand, lenders will not agree to have your attorney re-write their loan agreements – that have probably been in use and enforced for years.
It’s somewhat true that lenders and contract officers are not looking for why they should work with you. With so many other companies knocking on the door, they are really looking for the first opportunity to shelve your folder so they can quickly move on to a better one. So don’t stand out and don’t make it easy for lenders to dismiss your needs due to your desire to be different.
Every flavor of business starts with vanilla. So remember that while your company might be the next great flavor to your customers, potential financiers are always drawn to the mature, no-frills flavor underneath it all.