Edited excerpt from Why communicate more with your existing investors (and how to do it efficiently) by Armandi Biondi:
There are two key benefits to sending your investors a monthly recap: a) you’ll give them a broad-enough but meaningful-enough perspective on what’s happening, b) you’ll give yourself a forcing function to generate relevant results in a reasonable amount of time. Here’s how:
- Short & sweet always win.
- Be numbers-oriented. How did your key metrics perform compared to the last month figure and the overall total? Where do you expect to go a month and a quarter from now? Those are the only things that matter.
- Think actionable. Write about what you did and how it generated impact on the company, and what you’re going to focus on in the next 4 weeks.
- Design matters. Use bullet points, divide the topics by area (I use five: product/tech, sales/clients, funds/corporate, press/pr, team/hr), leave some space, order things by priority.
- Attach some multimedia content. Examples: the screenshot of the Monthly Numbers on your real-time dashboard, mockups of the UI upgrade, videos of the team at the latest relevant event. Let them be part of the excitement.
- Include cash position and burn-rate. How much money is in the bank, how much did you burn this month, how long are you covered for?
- Trigger their attention. Use the subject “IMPORTANT > Monthly Investors Recap”: it will stand out. And open your email with two lines of “TL;DR” underlining the three most important things you want them to know and remember.
- Ask for what you need right away. Consider them a resource to tap into. Put it on top and write “The single most important thing that we need is…”.
(1) In Seeking Alpha, every team leader and “metric owner” writes a monthly report.
(2) We fulfilled much of the advice here with a standard template. The Seeking Alpha manager’s monthly report is a Google doc shared with the whole company. It must not exceed one page. It contains four sections: (i) Key Metrics (ii) Candidly, How Successful Was I This Month? (iii) Top Things To Figure Out (iv) Goals For Next Month.
(3) When Seeking Alpha was a fresh startup, I sent a monthly report to investors. After a while I only shared our quarterly board packet. Question: How frequently should companies update their investors, and does that depend on the stage?