7 Insightful Questions Investor Relations Must Answer
Publicly traded companies have investors. Typically lots of them, and they all care more about their investments than you may realize. That’s why every public company C-Suite team must take the responsibility to connect with its investors very seriously. Don’t you expect people you support to take you seriously? A proactive approach will usually result in better investor relations because investors trust that you have their best interest in mind when it comes to day to day operations, with an inspired focus on building shareholder value. Investors need a reason to invest. Investing is supporting; it’s backing a vision and initiative to succeed. It is important that you carefully consider your investors’ questions about the status of the company they have backed. Here are 7 insightful questions investor relations must answer.
1. What attracted you to your business?
First of all start with the basics, with the problem you are solving. Kicking off an investor presentation with a value proposition that people can understand, even empathize with, will give the audience a greater understanding of what initially drew you to this mission – which provides some necessary context as you proceed with the rest of your presentation. Investors are looking for passion, for an especially relevant drive to be the best at what you do.
2. What previous professional experience has helped your team most at what your business does?
In a similar vein, how has the team arrived at this current point in business? How has each executive’s journey positioned him or her to add value to the team’s collective goals? What skill sets are most valuable to the business and it’s future?
3. What’s something that would surprise people about your business?
Investors invest in people first, the mission second and progress last. Communicating your unique, progressive and creative view on the problem you solve is incredibly enlightening. The story behind your journey, its twists and turns, it’s ups and downs can be tremendously motivating. Allowing investors to assume any aspect of your business is different than it actually is will only set them up to trade out when they realize the truth.
Communicate your dedication to success, no matter how challenging the journey
Using a prompt like this one will empower you to introduce your unique insights into innovative ways to evolve the business, the industry. It gives you the opportunity to communicate your dedication to success, no matter how challenging the journey. It allows you to share the lesser known parts of how the business works and how your solution is truly valuable to your customers.
4. What’s one thing you wish somebody would’ve told you before getting into this business?
Sticking with that “surprise” angle, it’s worth sharing with investors what personally shocked you about the business or industry. Whether it’s the fact that your day-to-day activities are nothing like you thought they would be, or you didn’t anticipate how much of your focus is on evolving strategy, there’s bound to be some element of the business that was unexpected. Conveying how you approach challenges and what tactics your team utilizes to turn them into value building business improvements builds credibility with investors.
5. What are some of the biggest rewards of engaging in your business?
Of course the goal of your investor relations program isn’t to just uncover any surprising or negative angles on the business. You want to define the upsides, the goals and the reasons you are so committed to the company and its mission. Perhaps the growth outlook can’t be beat or more and more people are experiencing the problem you solve.
6. How would you describe what factors will empower the business to excel in your industry?
We are all familiar with the three leadership pillars every company can master. Strategy, Finance and Operations are the fundamental keys to success. But each of these pillars is a huge full-time job. No one single person can tackle both at the same time. What happens when you try? It’s plain to see in the three measures of work.
The point is to credibly define your unique positioning that builds confidence in execution.
7. What’s most important to prepare for building sustainable revenue and quality of earnings?
The bottom line is that investors are betting on the future, and no-one knows exactly what that will look like. If your business is truly a viable runner and should succeed in achieving your goals, let investors know why you think so, why your day to day is structured the way it is. Tell them the way you see the future. Tell them with credibility.
If you do this well and consistently, if you believe it, other people will too. Inbound Investor Relations is a fantastic way to actively engage with investors and prospective investors. Traditional investor relations may be convenient, but it’s extremely important to create and maintain strong, open and honest communications with your investors. They will become strong promoters of your company. They will help validate, build and maintain value.