Relationships are incredibly important in the world of startups, yet too many aspiring entrepreneurs neglect to stay in touch with those who've helped them the most. Making new connections is always useful, but maintaining existing connections can be just as valuable, if not more so.
In this syndicated blog post, New York Founder Institute Director Kevin Siskar describes why and how founders should keep in touch with investors, and gives you the foundation you need to properly keep them up to date on your company's progress.
The single most powerful tool we have as humans is the ability to communicate. So it makes sense that this is one of the skillsets that all great founders need to master. Sending monthly investor updates is one of the best ways for a founder to maintain their existing connections and strengthen their new ones.
Long-term relationships are built with friends, family, and colleagues by staying close and in touch over long periods of time. It is so important that you still keep in contact with the people you want to stay close too, even when you think you don't have value to add or need something in the exact moment. One of Founder Institute New York’s Mentors, Matt Rodak talked about the importance of sending monthly updates while building his company, Fund That Flip on an Ambition Today episode recently.
Benefits of Frequent Investor Updates
While this may seem overly simple at first glance, I assure you that many people take basic communication for granted and avoid the little bit of work it involves each month. For those that do send monthly updates, there are several non-obvious benefits aside from your company's business updates.
Being Top Of Mind:
Even if you don't get a response, it keeps you on top of people's mind. That next meeting your investor has, they might bring you up while you are fresh on their mind.
Creating Stronger Relationships:
Mark Suster has famously been quoted as saying people "Invest in Lines, Not Dots". Keeping in touch is how you build a long-term and enduring relationship. It's been that way since the caveman days and hasn't changed. It's human psychology.
Assuring Company & Personal Health:
Most of the time that investors don't hear from a founder they assume their company is dead or well on its way. Or worse, they just forget about you entirely. You just fade away from their memories, replaced by fresher memories of other founders. Before the internet, this was a given. In the world of social media though, we take this for granted as many feel that "online presence" is enough. I assure you, that unless you are Mark Cuban, it is not.
Gaining Insights & Reflection:
The process is insightful. Taking a moment to send someone an update on your life or business forces you to take a moment and reflect on the progress you have made in the last 30 days. In our busy lives, it is critical to make that time. As an additional bonus, you will be more productive and make better-informed decisions in the coming month as well.
So what should you include in your updates? You can find plenty of examples and how-to articles that already exist when you google “Monthly Investor Update." I am going to include links to many of my personal favorites below! There are many different styles of investor updates, but most involve the same essentials.
Dear Kevin, I hope you had a excellent August! For us it has been a mixed month, but we’re happy to report these developments.
Cash: Money in Bank and Monthly Expenses
Useful Graph, Image, or Screenshot
CEO, ACME Corporation
Examples & Templates
There are so many great examples and templates from some really amazing investors and founders.
So at the end of this month take even just one hour. You should keep your update short and to the point. Think about what you have accomplished in the last month and what you need help achieving in the next month. Think about the people in your life that mentor and guide you. Hopefully, you already have them on a mailing list. And then send your update. You will be AMAZED at the compounding effects you will receive from putting it out there!