We have just finished a very successful two-day retreat in Tirol with our investors. Yes, you read that right! Our investors enjoy hanging out with us on a regular basis, so we can discuss and brainstorm together. Topic of the retreat this time? How our company should evolve and grow! We also presented our machine learning, development and sales updates.
I often hear about how my fellow startup CEOs barely see or hear from their investors. They seem to only materialize during board meetings that are routinely scheduled like clockwork. Most of the time, the communication is being kept at a bare minimum. A lot of investors I know would only receive faceless monthly reports. Some go further and log in to their company’s Hubspot, Salesforce or Investory accounts to check on how their interest is performing. In my opinion, this is still barely scratching the surface.
Bi-weekly calls should be the next step to take. Pick up the phone and tell your investors what has happened since the last board meeting. Share your plans and concerns ahead while they are still fresh, or in the making. The best approach is to get in your car or on a flight, then spend 1-2 hours in meeting vis-à-vis over lunch or drinks.
You’ll be surprised how much more you can tell in person than over an email report or a phone call. There are many things that are easier said in an informal setting. Contemplating on what you should write in an email, on the other hand, takes more of your precious time as a CEO than putting the time aside for a personal meeting. The big picture comes to this: board meetings will no longer be the crucifix of the CEO but instead, a mere formality and its dynamic much more predictable.
Not only do our investors support us when times are up or down, they also facilitate necessary industry connections, advise on legal, finances, and assist with our company’s search for important positions we need to fill in. Not only that, they also connect us with external investors for further financing rounds!
As a team, we feel motivated and inspired to do the best we can, given this trust and guidance. What unites us with our investors is that we all want to achieve the same – we want this company to be successful to be able to help millions of people, our clients, to grow their businesses with Nanos technology.