You Have An Investor, Great! Now What?

You just landed an investor for your company.  Applaud yourself.  So many people struggle searching for someone, sometimes anyone, to believe in them and their dream enough to help finance it.  And you did it.  Whether your pitch was flawless, the business plan was impeccable or the investor believed in your vision, you nailed it.  You’ve just secured the capital to make the business dream a reality.  Now, I don’t want to pump the brakes on your early celebration and make you shelve that bottle of bubbly, but there are a few things you’re going to have to get in order to continue to boost confidence in your investor and in his/her decision.

Get Board.  Find at least 4 people not including your self to establish a board of directors.  I say 4 because you’re going to want an odd number of people (not too many people to start with, but not too little either) when it comes to voting and decision making.  Your investor can be on the board as well, but that is something the two of you are going sit and talk about and decide how that will work (voting vs. non-voting rights).

Disclose Nothing. Make sure everyone who is working with your company signs a non-disclosure agreement.  Everyone including, board members, regular employees, interns and independent contractors/ freelancers.  This helps protects much of the intellectual property during your start-up and launching phases.  And to be quite honest, it’ll probably come in handy more once the company is up and running.  But you want to make sure everyone understands  that the processes, strategies and decisions are important as not to be shared outside the company and especially not with the competition.

Plan Again.  Yes, you already created and worked the business plan.  After all, that’s probably the first thing the investor wanted to see be fore saying yea or nay to investing.  But there’s no harm in going back over it.   In fact, it’s encouraged.  As things come up or are introduced, you want to make the business is prepared and aware for as much coming its way.  So find that business plan and see what you can add, delete or re-vamp.

Role Play.  Everyone involved in your company needs to serve of purpose or they’re an unnecessary expense.  Find a role for them that fits the needs of the company and matches their skill sets.  You want to have the best team of people possible as you humanly can.  And you want people who believe in your dream business just as much as you do.  Slackers and suckers need not apply.

Make A Statement.  Every company needs to have a mission statement.  Or else it’ll fumble around doing whatever without any real guidance.   And you can’t travel for too long without knowing where you’re going and not crashing.  A mission will help you define the company’s target market, level of service, customer expectations, product quality and purpose in the community.  State your mission.

Securing the investment is one battle conquered for your business.  But there is still much more to do and what lies ahead.  Go ahead and celebrate the victories but do not take your eyes off the prize.  Investments come in many shapes, sizes and opportunities, keep an eye out for them.



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