The relationship between a business founder and an investor is very much like a married couple. It is designed for the long term, and there will be ups and downs, and both of you will need to stick together through thick and thin.
As a businessperson, you know that relationships are prized and important, especially for your investors. When there are tensions and constant disagreements, you can only expect that the company might collapse. Always remember that investors do not just provide the funding. They can also offer wisdom that might help you propel your business forward. As such, you must have a strong relationship with them.
Here are some things you might want to bear in mind:
Have open communication
Knowing that investors always want updates on what’s going on with your company, you need to initiate open and honest communication. Be open, as if you’re a son confiding to a father or a loyal customer sharing a secret with an event bartender – just not on a personal level, of course! If you think some things can pose a problem for your operations, you can consult your investors. Doing this establishes not only trust but also fosters a collaborative environment that is good for the business.
Be transparent when it comes to records
Part of communication-related obligations is the sending of different updates and records that promote transparency. Send reports on your financial standing, prototypes, new talent installations, and high-profile promotions. Doing this will help you solicit responses from your investors and receive practical advice from them. Good or excellent updates can even result in rewards that will benefit the entire company. If you want to make this a constant thing, you can come up with an email newsletter dedicated to them or work with a corporate communication manager who will act as a middle ground.
Work with a mediator
Speaking of a middle ground, you might want to hire a professional business mediator to overcome differences between cultures and languages. This will be very much helpful when your investors are foreigners who are so much used to very different business practices. In many cases, mediating teams are composed of a stakeholder relationship manager, a corporate lawyer, and a corporate communications specialist. They can be a third party or an in-house team.
Regardless of all the differences in values and business philosophies, one thing should remain constant: respect. A solid-rock relationship will always be built on this. Respect their opinion. Respect their advice. And respect their time. Focusing on this value will surely help you gain excellent yields in the end.
Remember, you are working towards the same goals
Maintaining good communication with your investors is one of the keys to having a successful business. While you are in the process, you are also developing essential stakeholder relationship skills and the art of making compromises that are beneficial for all the parties involved, which are essential for expanding your business. If you need more advice, seek the help of an expert.