Did you raise an early stage investment? Congrats! Getting funded is not an easy job, but when you have raised your early stage investment, the real work begins. It’s one thing to show your plan and make the investors believe in your startup. It’s something completely different to achieve millstones and continue generate income. The pressure form the investor is big.
Here are four tips for managing the investor’s expectations before you create cause for concern:
Communicate early, often and to everyone
It’s important to engage the investors. If you want to engage with your investors you have to be consistent and honest, especially with an early stage investment. If you are undergoing a colossal failure your investors should be the first to know. The biggest failure in building a relationship with your investors is not sharing everything that might affect them. An investor never wants to be surprised, but if you hit a wall, they would much rather hear the news from you.
Structure board meetings before you have a board.
One way to structure communication formally and in a way that investors will appreciate is to schedule monthly board meetings. Invite all current investors to join this meeting. Ensure that any items discussed during the meeting are followed upon in as timely a fashion as possible. Show your investors that you know how to work with them, value their time, and heed their direction.
Engage your investors for assistance.
By engaging your investors for operational assistance, you build stronger champions for your vision. You can empower them to better advocate on your behalf with the outside world. If they invested in your company, they have likely found personal and/or professional success themselves. They appreciate using their credibility to propel your company forward.
Know when to say “no.”
Saying “no” is difficult, especially to your investors. Your investors come from all walks of life and have varying motivations for involving themselves with your company. Often, you will receive guidance that does not agree with your business model, other valued opinions, or common sense. It’s important to voice your opinion to ensure that the direction you ultimately take is good for you company.
Trust and honesty is important. Make sure you communicate in a professional way and often enough. Use your experience and the experience of your investors to take your startup to a scale-up.
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