Coming Back Up For Air

Ben Williamson
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Coming Back Up For Air

Nims Purja is a Nepalese mountain climber who, in 2019, smashed mountaineering world records by climbing all 14 "eight-thousander" mountains (mountains higher than 8,000km) in six months and six days. To put that into context, most mountaineers require two months to climb Mount Everest; Nims summitted three mountains, including Everest, within 48 hours 😲.

How does he do it? A large part of it comes down to oxygen. Nims' Vo2 max (aka the maximum amount of oxygen his body can utilise whilst exercising) is ridiculously high. To put it simply, he can suck down oxygen like I suck down a large popcorn before the film even starts.

The oxygen of business is capital
They say that sales are the lifeblood of a business, and if that's the case, then capital is the oxygen in that lifeblood. Just as having more oxygen enables Nims to move faster, if a company wants to grow faster then it needs more capital.

In the past few months, the market has been suffocating from a lack of capital. In June, equity capital raising activity was down 60% YoY amid interest rate fears. But it’s August and things are starting to look like they're back! Weekly placement activity is 6.75x higher than June lows, M&A is picking up, and the Oz Minerals outcome shows that deals at decent premiums are being rejected.

With quarterlies and reporting season commencing, this breath of fresh air is happening at an opportune time. Should investors and the media respond to results with an optimistic mindset, then the momentum of these past few weeks could continue to build.

But how can we ride the momentum?
The times, they are a-changin’, and with that change, the opportunity to change your communications strategy to a more optimistic tone is presented. The shock of these past few months may still be echoing around your brain, but new market conditions require new thinking.

It’s true that nobody knows what the future holds. But just like how Nims climbs with an oxygen tank, investing in momentum now will enable you to go faster regardless of the conditions. So, how can you capitalise on this change in sentiment and build momentum?

  1. Move with the market
  2. The past few months have seen investors respond best to messages of consolidation and conservatism. With a change in sentiment, however, the opportunity to remind investors of the unrealised potential of your company will likely resonate. Similarly, referring to the upswing in sentiment can help perpetuate positive momentum.
  3. Position yourself as the messenger of hope
  4. Hope is contagious and, when successfully channelled, it can spread throughout a shareholder base with the same fervour as a football fanbase celebrating a win. Similarly, hopelessness can spread with equal contagion, so be sure to stay optimistic!
  5. Make it clear what "winning" looks like
  6. Giving your shareholders a clear understanding of how your company will win gives them an easy way to judge your strategy and performance.
  7. Share your metrics
    If your shareholders know (a) what “winning” looks like and (b) how you measure success, then you can construct a shared narrative that aligns business objectives with investor expectations. Metrics provide a touchstone for investors to know that you’re focused, amplifies your positive news, and enables you to frame your negative news with the context they deserve.

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