Shareholders are an essential asset to a company. They are the ones that can help your business rise to new heights if they have a good reason to get on board with you. But managing these relationships can be a challenging task that is a corporate reality for many business founders.
Shareholders are, in essence, the owners of companies. While a small business can have just one shareholder, the founder, the story is different when it comes to a public company. Public companies can have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of individual and institutional shareholders, like mutual fund companies, pension funds, or hedge funds.
Now, these shareholders play a crucial role in the business’s financing, operations, governance, and control aspects. But, managing them can give business founders a tough time.
This article explains what it means to efficiently manage your shareholders and tips on how to do it!
Shareholder management explained
Capital is essential, making shareholders necessary for a company.
Shareholders are basically investors that give funding to a company in exchange for company shares.
Investment in the company also brings shareholders various rights, including:
- The right to check the books and records of the company they invest in.
- The right to vote on critical corporate matters, such as the board of directors.
- The right to get dividends based on their investment.
- The entitlement to take legal action against the company for misdeeds of its officers or directors.
Now, as the company grows and its capital needs increase as well, so does the number of shareholders.
This makes the equity in financial management in a company both crucial and challenging at times.
Shareholder management involves communicating with shareholders and keeping them updated on all ownership changes, documents, or other corporate decisions.
Tips on how to manage shareholders efficiently
Keeping shareholders informed about everything new about the company doesn’t sound that complicated. But this is only true if your business has a handful of shareholders. When you need to manage your relationships with a significant number of shareholders, this can turn into a time-consuming and overwhelming task.
Use these tips to manage shareholders efficiently:
The way you’ll manage your investors can be set right from the beginning, depending on how well you prepare to attract shareholders. More precisely, if you prepare well, you won’t struggle with disagreements caused by unrealistic expectations from your investors.
Selling your business plan well is also key to attracting the best investors out there. You may have the most innovative business idea. If you don’t sell it well, you may end up with a couple of shareholders that can prove to be very difficult to do business with. In contrast, if you present your idea perfectly, you may get an extensive list of investors to choose from, allowing you to select the ones you resonate well with.
Use a shareholder management software tool
Managing your shareholders shouldn’t take all your time and nerves. The good news is that you can stop wasting time and brainpower by managing your company investors with a shareholder management tool. Such a tool allows you to quickly onboard team members, import company data, and immediately benefit from having all the necessary information in just one place.
Build a communicative relationship
Besides using the right tool that simplifies your tasks in terms of managing shareholders, you also need to build a solid and open relationship with your investors. This way, shareholder engagement in corporate matters will indeed be beneficial and create a mutual understanding of the company objectives.
When communicating with shareholders, you also need to be honest to leave no room for surprises. Like all businesses out there, yours will have its ups and downs. But even in those bad days, communicating openly and honestly will help you build confidence from your shareholders in the long term.
Good results will always satisfy investors, but even when there are troubles, an honest answer on why is that will help your shareholders see that you’re aware of the problem and have a plan to fix it, which will encourage them to trust you.
Add a personal touch
Building trust in the business world goes beyond offering honest data and statistics about your company. Sure, your investors aren’t there to make friends. They are there to make money. Yet, they will value a personal touch added to your relationship because it will help them build trust easier.
What’s more, when you make your investors trust you as a person, not just a company founder, they are more likely to also trust you with other project ideas you may come up with. For example, suppose you have an innovative business idea that you need financing for. In that case, if you’ve done well with gaining your shareholders’ trust so far, it’s very likely to find at least one interested person to follow you to your second business as well.
Stay silent when you’re down in the dumps
Every entrepreneur ever knows the emotional ups and downs of the” entrepreneurial roller coaster.” You probably do too. Now, while going through ups and downs is normal in the business world, it may affect your relationship with your investors if you’re not careful.
More precisely, investors expect you to be clear and level-headed when presenting your ideas and thoughts. And, this can be a bit hard when you’re down in the dumps, going through a business crisis.
So, to make sure that you don’t say the wrong thing or make the wrong choice, it’s always better to stay silent and find a way for you to gain some clarity over what to do and say next. Your investors will better appreciate a clearly formulated plan for a crisis than a chaotic meeting that only makes them wonder if they made the right investment choice with your business.
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