Let’s talk about crafting the perfect investor update. And more importantly, how to get them to respond.
I’ve written a few times about the need to build relationships with investors to maximize our chances for funding. And the best way to build that relationship, oftentimes the only way, is through a monthly progress update we email to current and potential investors, advisors, and any other influential individual kind enough to skim it before it hits their trash box.
Every startup is different, and there is no single template for an investor update email. But I’ve learned that there are a few rules that you have to follow to get them to read it.
Put Yourself In the Investor’s Shoes
This is a must-follow rule for any communication, but especially true with the investor update. As entrepreneurs, we need to flip the mental switch from “what do I want to say” to “what do they need to know.”
Think about it this way. Are you spending 10% of your time and money working on your startup? Probably not — unless you’re stealth, and if so, good for you, keep rocking. But more than likely, you’re giving this thing everything you’ve got.
What we entrepreneurs tend to overlook is that the same is true of the investors we’re trying to pitch. They’re not playing with mad money. They’re all in — and the future of their firm, their career, and their livelihood depends upon the success of their investments. Yes, they take risks. But those are calculated risks.
So we need to give them the facts to start making those calculations. That said, here are a few attributes of your startup that don’t go into those calculations:
- How big the return will be at exit. They’ll do their own math. They love math.
- The growth of the brand. Brands aren’t investable until they’ve already generated sick amounts of money.
- Customer experience. It’s nice to touch on glowing reviews from important customers, but an investable company should have nothing but glowing reviews from all customers. This is just filler.
- Potential. Everyone has potential.