An essential part of entrepreneurship is integrity, especially with your investors. Keep your investors up-to-date with your company by sending them weekly summaries of your business progress. StartFast Managing Director Chuck Stormon recently related the following tips in a seminar at the The Syracuse Tech Garden.
1) Include any requests at the top of the email. You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so if you need help fixing a problem, it’s completely acceptable to ask your investors for advice or suggestions.
2) Be consistent. Send your weekly email on the same day each week. Also, use the same heading for each email.
3) Your email is for only your investors. It likely contains confidential information that would be inappropriate to discuss with others.
4) BCC the recipients. You are not starting a chat forum, you’re sending a confidential email to multiple recipients, and their identities are confidential, too.
5) Mention three best highlights of the week. These can be positive sales results, new developments, improved service, etc.
6) Mention three lowlights of the week. This may be uncomfortable, but it maintains transparency with your investors. If there was a problem you solved, also mention that it was fixed. If the problem is unresolved, be honest about that.
7) Know what to keep to yourself. What things should you not be transparent with your investors about? Anything personal, like martial strife or emotional instability. Your investors are not your therapists.
8) Include metrics from the past week. Focus on a measurable metric. For most businesses, there’s one metric that really matters, and that’s the one you’re spending most of your time driving. Report that to your investors.
9) Remind everyone that the email is confidential. You may think you don’t need to remind your investors of this every week, but it’s important for your recipients to see it in writing.
Remember, weekly emails are a great way to keep your investors in the loop. While the purpose of the email is primarily to keep in touch with your investors, it’s OK to include prospective investors and advisors as well. In addition to keeping these important players appraised, these emails help keep you accountable to your responsibilities and goals.