Managing your investor relationships is an important skill. Here are some tips and strategies that you can use to handle your investor relationships.
Map Out All of Your Stakeholders
A helpful business-planning exercise is mapping out constituencies. Your constituencies include your employees, customers, suppliers, bank, investors, and community. Each of these groups make up your stakeholders. All interact with the business, and each has a role and relationship that define your interactions.
Once you have your constituencies mapped out, you can start to define how they operate.
What Does Each Constituent Supply, and What Do They Buy?
The next step of this mapping process is to think about what each constituent gives and receives from the relationship. For example, employees give you time and labor in exchange for compensation. Suppliers give raw materials or services in return for your patronage as a customer as well as monetary compensation. Investors give you money in exchange for a return on their investment.
You can start the mapping process by defining the basics above, and then dig a little deeper. Consider both physical and emotional investments—and rewards—that result from these relationships. Your goal is to find out what is most important to your investors regarding their investment in your business.
This exercise can lead to a deeper understanding of what the real benefits are for your investors.
Treat Investors the Way They Want to Be Treated
You may have investors who are experts in your industry and can offer valuable insights regarding the day-to-day functioning of your business. There are also investors who prefer to be silent partners and only want to see a specific rate of return on your business. The trick is finding a good fit between what you want and what the investor wants to give and get in return.
Investing in the Growth of Your Business Is a Team Effort
Finding capital for your business isn’t always about dollars and cents. Building and growing a business is a team effort. One of your jobs as a leader is to be sure that investors, employees, suppliers and the community each understand why they are important, what their role is and how each impacts the ultimate success of your business.