Founders always have competing priorities – hiring new staff, executing on the business, managing customers – you name it. So often non-core business items slide down the priority list and get neglected. We wanted to share why investor updates should remain on your must-do list and how to do them well and fast.
There are three key reasons to do investor updates:
- It makes future raises easier. Regular updates to your investor (and prospective investor) base shows transparency, takes them on your journey and builds trust. It’s an easy way to stay in touch and show your progress. Note – it’s often worth commencing investor updates before you even raise your first capital – that way you can loop in prospective investors.
- It’s a chance to ask for help. Investor updates go to your broader network and team. As a regular update – you’re able to leverage your investors networks and skills – you’re already aligned to help your business succeed so think of this as hustling for free help.
- It helps you celebrate the wins. Being a founder means you’re running so fast it’s hard to stop and reflect on what you’ve achieved. Founders with good investor update cadence tell us it’s a great chance to reflect and helps them share their wins with the team.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to do investor updates. However, we do have three simple tips to share:
- Make it simple so it’s easy to get done – plain text is absolutely fine
- Use headings to create a format and structure
- Include good news/ bad news/ asks each time
And finally we wanted to share a template in case you’re really stuck on how to do this 😊
Your company vision – great anchor for any investor communication
- Revenue (and m/m growth)
- Customers (and m/m growth)
- Lead indicator for what finds customers e.g. website hits, companies in sales funnel
- Impact measurement score
- Burn rate
- Cash in bank
- 2-6 dot points on your good news. This could include new hires, new products, brand work etc.
- 2-6 dot points on what’s gone wrong e.g. employees leaving, product delays, bad news stories
- Some startups break this up into two sections: (1) the bad (2) the ugly
You should know
- 1-4 dot points on progress that doesn’t quite fit into highlights/ lowlights. This could be a research project or team offsite you wanted to share a picture of
- This is a chance to thank individual investors or members of your team, used well this can create a bit of competition between investors for leaning in and helping you more
- This is your chance to ask for help, examples could include – connections to new hires or interview assistance, help with special projects (eg. We’re doing a re-brand do you have expertise in this or a recommended marketing contact), connections to investors/ customers, feedback on products/ websites, surveys etc.