As an entrepreneur, our investors can be of great help in recruiting, finalizing important sales, making key introductions, or thinking about certain strategic issues for the company.
Having more than 60 investors at folk, I naturally wondered how to make the most of them.
An excellent way to involve them is to use frequent updates ("Investor Updates"). At folk, we send them monthly, and we have found that this practice has many advantages.
In this article, I share the reasons as well as the lessons we have learned.
Objective 1: Stay “top of mind” for our investors
By sending regular reports, we ensure that our investors and business angels are aware of the progress we are making, our current issues, the topics that interest us, and those that concern us. This is how they think of us when an opportunity arises (see, for example, the email below received by one of our business angels).
The reality is that without frequent points of contact, often having an "other" job than that of a business angel and meeting dozens of companies per week, they do not have our requests in mind.
Objective 2: Send investor updates to ask for help when needed
We include very clear requests in each of our updates intended for investors. Investors want to be helpful, as long as it doesn't require too much effort. However, without clearly expressing these requests, it can be difficult. Here is an example of the requests we include in our updates intended for investors:
It is also an opportunity to publicly thank each investor within the Investor Update that all other investors receive.
Objective 3: Take regular perspective
Restricting oneself to a short, structured, and easy-to-understand format intended to give an overview of the company's progress is an excellent exercise. This allows you to clarify your thoughts, reconsider the company's priorities, the key performance indicators to focus on and constantly refine how to express the strategy.
What works for us in terms of writing
Using an investor update template helps maintain consistency from month to month. This makes it easier for investors to understand the company's progress and ensures a unique structure for addressing important topics.
In particular, I have been greatly inspired by entrepreneurs who publicly share their investor updates such as Ankur Nagpal or Jean-Charles Samuelian.
Here are some elements that I try to keep in mind and on which I have received very good feedback from my investors:
Be concise: ensure that essential information can be quickly relayed, starting with key metrics.
Use the same metrics: this allows you to track changes from month to month. No metric itself is mandatory, but certain data points are considered "classic" (runway, cash in bank, revenue). No need to inundate your audience with an endless list.
Be transparent: being clear and honest about aspects of the company that are going better or worse helps establish long-term trust.
Personalize messages: At Folk, we have sixty different business angels. We keep an up-to-date list on Folk to make sure we send the investor update to everyone. I recommend using a solution like Folk to be able to send these emails in bulk but still adding a personal touch, being able to track opens and clicks, etc.