Update Your Shareholders to Stay Front of Mind

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One of the more interesting parts of my job is I get to meet with a lot of people. Potential investors, suppliers, angels, institutional investors, corporate parters etc.  And a question I get all the time is “what is my favourite startup” in our portfolio.  Of course, I love all my children equally, but I usually answer the question based on the relevance of the current engagement.  No point pitching a retail loyalty startup to a company only interested in Agriculture.

The important thing here is I usually only get the time to pitch one idea to each person, and therefore I want to ensure I pitch the right one – we’ve had 90 come through BlueChilli.  And it’s usually the one I have the greatest confidence or understanding on what’s going on.  So this is why regular small updates to shareholders are so important.

A quick weekly check-in is awesome, but at the very least during the early stages of a company’s development, a brief monthly update is mandatory.  Many VC funds mandate this (ours has a formal quarterly update as a condition for investment).  The more frequent the update, the more likely your startup is “front of mind” for your investor. And the more likely it’s your idea that they pitch.

We’re actually building a tool at BlueChilli called RapidReport which gives startup founders a quick way to keep investors in the loop, it’s in public beta but you can check it out here: www.rapidreport.io

Another great tip for founders is to give your shareholders t-shirts, as Alan writes about here.