How to do Investor Updates

 

You may not be contractually obliged to give your investors regular updates, but you should do it anyway.

 

“Hands down, your investor update is the best we get”.
— ScreenCloud Investor

I’m not saying that to brag, but to show that a bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to keeping your investors in the loop. And before we get into it, let me tell you a little secret….

Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to produce regular updates about your business for the people who have invested in your company:

  1. It’s the right thing to do. They have taken a punt on you. Ok, it’s not an altruistic gesture on their part, but still… the least you can do is tell them how it’s all going.
  2. No news is bad news. Or at least that’s how it could be perceived. You’ve given someone a load of cash and they go quiet on you… what are you supposed to think? Has something bad happened? Have they gone bust? Have they blown the lot on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas?
  3. When the sh*t does hit the fan. And it will. And you find you need their help: either just some advice, or some more money, or an agreement to waive their pre-emption rights in order for you to bring on a new investor, or a host of other things that may arise, guess who they’re going to be inclined to help out? The founders who took their money and sent them a Christmas e-card once, or the founders who made an effort each month to keep them updated on what they were up to?
Jason Lemkin Tweet, extolling the benefits of investor updates

You need to keep your investors in the loop, but you don’t want to spend hours and hours doing it, or spending $$$s on producing something. Yes, they will be hugely appreciative that you’re updating them, but they also want to see you are spending your time and money growing the business.

Here’s what we do.

  1. Create a simple easy-to-edit template in something like Mailchimp. Our investor update goes to investors, potential investors and trusted friends — so we just have a list of about 50 people that sits in Mailchimp. We split the update into sections such as Data & Metrics, Finance, Product, Sales, Marketing, Highlights and Lowlights then, apart from the intro paragraph, we stick to bullet points with as little waffle as possible.
  2. We also do a video. Me and my co-founder, Mark, record it on a phone in one take and upload it to Vimeo and then link direct to that via the update. It’s very important to do it one take. Even if you make a mistake, just keep going. This isn’t supposed to be a polished piece of media for public consumption. Keep it real and keep it human.
  3. Be honest. Don’t try and BS your investors. If you’ve had a bad month, tell them you’ve had a bad month and you’re pissed off about it, but here’s what you’re planning to do to fix it. If you have an ask, go ahead and ask.
  4. Send it out at the same time every month. Without fail. Call it the “<name of the month> Investor Update”, that way you’ll be forced to do it every month. If you let it slide… if you sometimes do it and sometime don’t, you’ll look unreliable and investors might think something bad has happened.
  5. Recycle what you already have. Chances are you already produce a board report, or a presentation that you give to your team, or a set of management accounts at the very least. So just take what you’ve prepared for that and repurpose it for your Investor Update: that way you’ll keep the time you spend on it to a minimum.

And believe me, your investors will thank you for it. We’ve had so many positive reactions to our updates. Set it up once, make a habit of doing it regularly without fail and it will soon become second nature.

 

 

Source: medium.com



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