By Genevieve George ,an EO Sydney member and CEO/founder of Oneshift
Securing a US$5 million deal with staffing and facility management firm, Programmed, felt like the ultimate accomplishment after devoting so much time and energy into attracting an investor. This was a huge breakthrough for a small startup company like OneShift. The team and myself were very excited about the long and prosperous future that would surely lie ahead. But after the well-deserved celebrations came to an end, I was left wondering what steps need to be taken next.
I suddenly realized that finding the investor was actually the easier part of the equation. Once the initial investment is through, all the power is turned over to us, the founders, to do with the money as we please, leaving the financiers mostly out of the loop. Investors, for their part, generally prefer to keep involvement in the day-to-day operations of the startup to a minimum.
Regardless of the fact, I must emphasize the importance of considering investors when making decisions about the startup business and including them wherever possible. OneShift has enjoyed great success following the partnership with Programmed thanks to a few simple guidelines we’ve set in place to help us manage the relationship with our partners. I’d like to share the following tips with other entrepreneurs and small business owners who aren’t sure about how to operate after securing the investment.
Keep lines of communication open
Share the good news and don’t hide the bad. Sounds simple but keeping investors in the know about the goings on of business is essential. Especially when it comes to the bigger decisions.
Meet your deadlines
Nobody likes being kept in the dark. Not family and friends, and certainly not banks and VC investors. When investors expect financial statements or records by a certain time, make sure you deliver before the deadline.
Ask for guidance
They’ve been through it all before and can always offer a wealth of advice to help with the company’s development.
Always be available for them.
Whether they want to discuss something over the phone or set up a meeting with us, we need to show that they’re a top priority to the business and that we appreciate them by answering their questions and listening to their recommendations.
Deliver appropriate updates
Our investors may not be interested in the day-to-day activities of the business so, when reporting to them, we try to keep the focus on the big picture to include updates on key factors in the business.
Categories: Best Practices FINANCES general
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A “CEO Report” of 1-2 pages maximium, circulated to the Board every two weeks, is an easy to deliver, functional tool that shares the pulse of the business over time and makes actual Board meetings more productive, given everyone’s acumulated level of awareness. I practice this and can recommend it a great tool to deliver on your points above.
Transparency withbopen mindedness are the watch word that sustains the trust required to wait patiently for the return on investment.