Being an entrepreneur requires solving numerous distinct problems simultaneously.
This can quickly overwhelm the entrepreneur and the leadership team of the start-up.
At such junctions, the team should not hesitate to turn to investors for advice & support. Seasoned investors have much more to offer than just money and the entrepreneurs must make more use of their investors.
Like every parent has a favourite child, similarly investors have favourite portfolio companies. However, favouritism has little to do with support to others.
The key to getting more from the investors is communication.
Communicate with investors:
Consistency in communications is necessary.
This enables the investors to create a map of the company’s journey and supported by numbers, it enables investors to view the performance, lag, and potential objectively.
Objective view tenders advise and are followed by support which could create a large
impact on the business performance.
In an informal Twitter poll (Source) revealed:
Experienced investors have likely run into these issues many times over and can provide advice and support across domains of business like:
Hiring (especially for senior position and key managerial persons)
Marketing, Sales & Partnerships
Many entrepreneurs wonder if asking for help is a signal of weakness!!
Conversely, investors want the leaders of their portfolio companies to be more transparent about challenges they are facing and seek help.
Entrepreneurs must drop their shields and ask for advice from the investors. They have already sold the investors on the business and have their money, now the two are on the same team and chasing a mutually shared mission – “To succeed”.
“Good entrepreneurs are learning machines, so they are always asking for advice and guidance from multiple sources of expertise, including their investors. In fact, the best founders are outstanding at squeezing every bit of insights, advice and contacts from their network of investors and advisors.”
- Jeff Bussgang, General Partner, Flybridge Capital