...The answers run the gamut, some funny some quite sad and filled with horror stories and many about lost money paying for empty promises. Needless to say, there are remedies most of which begin with utilizing the most valuable intangible asset, the shareholders, also known as stakeholders, stockholders, investors, believers and support. Shareholders bought in to the company, have held their position and make up the single most important element in the success of management and the board of directors.
So many CEOs have misinterpreted the meaning of market awareness and investor visibility to mean spending huge budgets to gain new investors and new shareholders. I once asked a CEO if he sent his press releases to his existing shareholders. I was floored by his response. "Why should I? They are already shareholders?" I got up from falling on the floor to give him my response: "shareholders have 3 choices, buy, sell, and hold. As shareholders they have already bought in once, and most are hopefully holding. Most are not paying super close attention maybe checking the stock price at most once a day or once a week. By including these supporting shareholders in your outreach, you stimulate an existing support group to buy more, hold longer, and tell friends. Shareholders are proud of smart decisions and love to share their success stories and contrarily not their failures."
Capitalizing on intangible assets is equal to discovery of new money. I am not recommending abandonment of the constant search for new investors, but just reminding the cadre of CEOs out there that the lifeblood of every public company are the shareholders you already have. Work at least as hard to keep them as you cultivate new interest.
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