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Fostering and nurturing long term relationships with investors - how it's done?
Today’s entrepreneurs are so caught up in the nitty-gritty details of their products, services, employees and customers that they tend to ignore the people who have helped them get to where they are; their investors. Although most investors wouldn’t really want anything more than their share of the profits, it is important to remember that investors are still people and they definitely wouldn’t appreciate the fact that they’re being taken for granted.
Not to say that you should show up at your investors’ door step with a bouquet of flowers or gifts, but it is important to build and maintain cordial relationships with your investors as they are a crucial element in the success of any business. Any good business knows that no amount of money can buy the loyalty and dedication that comes from an investor who feels that he is more than just a financial contributor to you and your business. So, how does one maintain a healthy relationship with their investors?
Build your Network
No, we don’t mean that you need to go and look out for new investors. Your investors are the lifeline of your business and it’s vital that you keep building up on the existing relationship that you have with each of your investors. That being said, there’s no harm if you pick up another investor or two along the way.
Communicate As Often as You Can
Most relationships come with an expiry date, until and unless they’re continuously worked upon. Remember that there’s no such thing as over communication and an investor is more likely to remember the business that sends them monthly or weekly mails rather than the one that sends them the annual seasons’ greetings.
Keeps Strong Relationships with a Low Budget
Not all relationship building activities have to involve big events or expensive gifts as most investors would appreciate a simple reminder that your acknowledge their existence. The best way to do this is to send in routine marketing emails because they’re both fast and economical. Alternately, you could go old school and mail in personalized postcards or newsletter. These cost-effective communications won’t just show your investors that you’re thinking about them, but can also keep them updated on the various events and activities that your business has initiated.
If you reward your loyal investors, they might reward you back with additional investments, or might even refer their friends and family to invest into your business. A repeat investor is also a sign of confidence in you and your brand and is great for your business image. Loyal investors are also a great PR tool as they will do your marketing for you.
Do you have repeat investors in your business?
Encourage Honest Feedback
Now that you’re being totally open and honest with your investors, it is only fair they provide you with their honest feedback on what they think of your business’ performance, your work ethics and the way you handle your employees and customers. Encouraging honest feedback and criticism can even help you improve your business’s overall performance because you’ll know where you stand as an entrepreneur.
Have a Routine
The best way to maintain a strong relationship with your investors is to design and implement a system that enables you to connect with them on a periodic basis, without too many gaps between communications. You can do this using automated software or a formal database. Even social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have made scheduling easier.
Although email marketing might be a cheap tool to keep in touch with your investors, it can never replicate the effect of a face-to-face meeting with them. But you might not be able to personally meet all your investors individually in the grand scheme of things. In the case where you have multiple investors, you could always organize some kind of event, preferably one that appeals to your investors taste and preferences. Just make sure that you’re present at the event because many investors find such networking events overwhelming at times and it will be a big help if they see at least one familiar face at the venue.
Everyone wants to make the most out of their relationships, whether it’s with their customers, employees or investors, with the ultimate goal of expediting their business goals. Although most investors are merely silent partners when it comes to the operational side of your business, it wouldn’t hurt to pay attention to the ideas and concepts that they have in their minds. Because they have a vested interest in your business, you’d never know which investor might have a useful idea or solution to a major problem that your business is faced with.
Build Long Term Relationships with Your Investors
Although most businesses might consider it counter-intuitive to interact and engage with investors, because they’re usually just about the money, there is no reason that one shouldn’t take a keen interest in communicating with their investors and listening to what they have to say. To you they might just seem nothing more than a source of finance, but they could very mean so much more. It is this kind of engaging behavior that can carry your business on to success.