Whether you manage a small business in your local town or a publicly traded corporation, one of the most difficult aspects of running a company is improving relations with investors. Even if you are an expert at managing everything that goes on within your company, it can be challenging to maintain and grow relations with those outside of your company in the financial community at large. Want to know how to better manage those relations? Here is an overview of the 2013 webinar regarding investor relations (IR) analytics and how they can be used to improve all investor relations.
What Can Investor Relations Analytics Help You Do?
The purpose of putting IR analytics to use can be summarized as follows:
- To increase your confidence in using analytics to make better decisions about your investor relations
- To help you better understand and explain your company’s unique investment characteristics to potential investors
- Increase investor knowledge and understanding about your company
- To build credibility with investors and the financial community as a whole regardless of what the economy is currently doing.
Using analytics will pave the way for positive financial results. By using the data you have, you will be able to create strategies that are aligned with an investor’s goals and their ideas for future growth. Further, you will be able to make better-informed decisions and have a concrete measurement for understanding where you are in achieving those goals. You will also be able to create and develop plans that have measurable results. Finally, putting data to use for your investor relations will allow you to plan for unexpected events, change when necessary, and react to any threats or problems within your market.
An Intro to IR Analytics
By harnessing the power of IR analytics, you will be able to articulate information about your investments or the benefits of investing in your company. Analytics provide measurable results and will allow you to express your ability to compete, sales growth trends, productivity, earnings growth, balance sheet information, and other controls. Investors want to invest in companies they know will succeed and provide a return on their investment; analytics will greatly improve your relationship with investors by offering them concrete information they can use to quickly understand the benefits your company offers. Further, this will help you internally, as it will allow you to continue to make company-wide decisions based on raw data and information, not guesswork.
Strategies for Implementing Change
So what can you do to improve communication and relations both internally and with potential investors? How can you take data and use it to make better decisions? The process begins with changing how you operate.
Accurate financial reporting is at the heart of predicting future financial results. And in order to accurately report all data and information, you are going to need a dedicated document management service like eFileCabinet to streamline the document process. Using a program like Excel can make collecting, inputting, reporting, and editing financial information time-consuming and will inevitably lead to inaccuracies. But with a dedicated software suite and support staff on-hand, you will have everything you need, when you need it, for analyzing important investment information.
With the DMS system in place, you should then focus on establishing consistent practices of corporate communication and product announcements. Every department must communicate what they are doing and what is going on. A lack of communication between departments means a lack of complete information, and that means investors won’t have the full picture about what your company is doing and why future investments will be beneficial. Make certain to clarify roles and responsibilities between individuals and departments as well as creating a flow of information in the approval process for new ideas or changes.
Communication is absolutely necessary for any sound investment decision. Part of creating an environment of excellent communication goes beyond individuals being open, honest, and transparent when discussing their work. There are technical and data-specific decisions you can make that will improve the flow of information between individuals and departments. Here are a few methods for improving communication:
- Keep telephone logs that will reveal a discernible pattern of questions or items of confusion. This information can then be used to preemptively clarify or educate potential investors without forcing them to ask numerous questions.
- Maintain a fact sheet or fact book that. Doing so will keep information about specific investments grouped together for potential investors.
- Keep scripts of conference calls for both archiving and answering potential questions.
- Use a discussion document when having a meeting with investors to help guide the conversation and ensure it stays on track. This will help prevent questions that are off-point or time-wasters.
If you wish to create and maintain quality relations with investors, building your credibility is a must. How do you build credibility? To begin with, use analytics and concrete information to answer questions or when you are providing facts and figures. An investor wants to know exactly what to expect when working with you; only raw data can provide the answers they want.
When discussing goals with investors, be sure to set realistic expectations and set them within reasonable time frames. Harnessing the power of analytics will allow you to set expectations based on absolutes, not your company’s hopes and wishes. Further, provide proof points and updates regularly. No investor wants to be left in the dark after making a deal. Your analytics data will make it easy to offer them the updates they request. Finally, incorporate investment messages in all of your communications. Limiting information is a sure way to destroy your company’s credibility.
Making the Most of Investments
Improving investor relations is one of the most important things you can do for your company. It doesn’t matter if your company is being traded publicly or you are seeking local investors for your small business; better relations mean better business. By taking advantage of IR analytics you can provide concrete information to potential investors. You can better assess risks, anticipate changes in the market, communicate honest information to investors, and monitor your company’s performance on a regular basis. Whether you are looking to find your first investor or are looking to change your company’s investment directions, analytics and communication will make it all possible.