So, the private equity or venture capital investment deal, buy-in or exit is somewhere between part-cooked and confirmed trousered.

The question is whether the investment will realise value based on the marketing, PR or social media communications capability of the private equity or venture capital house investor, or that of the beneficiary of the investment. The business plan may look good, but is product or service awareness factored in? And is it right?

Then, of course, there's the issue of whether or not the business or individual on the other side of the meeting room table is as it or they appear. Get it wrong, and there's the potential requirement for reputation or image management.

However, that can be avoided through the simple act of profiling the potential partner, investment beneficiary, or the individuals involved. I pair up with a noted investigator - somebody with whom I've worked for nearly 20 years - to ensure all is what it seems.

It may be that profiling unearths scary history; it may be that history is worth the risk. It may be that it reveals immensely positive and uplifting background, or unexpected but hugely-resourced hidden backers, or a potential investment beneficiary with a carefully-hidden - or, on occasion, not-so-carefully hidden - track record of crash-and-burn.

However, deal successfully done, and exit or return-on-investment about to be realised, there's the opportunity to create just the right sort of buzz, hype or interest to add the odd few quid to the deal's value.

Dark arts? Yep. Absolutely.