Have a business? Create an Investor Update list

Written by Sol Orwell

If you run a business, I highly recommend you start up an Investor Update list.

You don’t even need investors (we have none).

I use it as an accountability tool – every month, it forces me to think about what’s happening with the company. And over time, you can see how things have evolved.

Furthermore, having a list of people interested in your company is excellent optionality – even if you have no desire to sell today, how knows what happens tomorrow?

Maybe some financial emergency happens. Maybe you get burnt out. Maybe you want to cash out a little bit (like my buddy Nathan did):

Furthermore, you build a more robust network by talking about what is going on. 

And finally, it’s also an opportunity for you to ask for help explicitly.

All upside, minimal downside.


The format I use:

  • Highlights
    • Big announcements
    • KPIs? / Milestones Achieved / Metrics (traffic, etc?)
  • Lowlights
    • Troubles
    • Problems/ concerns
  • Lessons Learned
  • Team Updates / Hires
  • Asks & How you can help
  • Social media love

Pretty simple.

I do recommend you write in your voice – no need to be necessarily formal – imagine as if you’re talking to a friend of yours.

Growing the list

Examine is in a bit of an interesting situation because every couple of weeks we get at least one legitimate investor/VC/PE contacting us about potentially investing or even buying out the company.

We just add them to the Investor Update’s list.

Also due to all my events (#cookielife, Afghan fundraiser, dinners), I know a fair amount of successful people, and quite a few are on the list too.

Really the goal is to get people you respect and have a relationship with (and could help) on the list; don’t bother with rich or famous names unless you know them.

Get it going

I used to stay in touch with my LinkedIn contacts (but they changed the export function so it stopped working), but I still use Gmass to send out the emails.

I usually knock it out in a few hours – one round to build out the outline, and then round two on another day to see if I missed anything.

Don’t overcomplicate it – you don’t need snazzy graphics, you just need to update people as to what is going on with your company.

I do suggest you be honest – you’re not trying to impress, you’re trying to think through the process of running your business.

Serious about being an entrepreneur?

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