Things Millennials Should Know Before Taking Their Startup Public

This guest post was written by Holly Whitman.

If you’re of the new generation of millennials, then you’re probably already used to doing things your own way. While this is fine when it comes to developing creative branding, conceptualizing new ideas and even implementing your ideas, there are still a number of things you’ll want to consider before bringing your first company into the public. Although some of these techniques may represent a more traditional means than what you’re used to, keeping these five tips in mind will help to ensure a successful IPO:

1. Get Your Timing Right

When it comes to most things in life, timing is everything. This is especially true when it comes to presenting your IPO. Markets that are below average, either due to seasonal trends or other factors, may not facilitate as much interest and attention as a strong market. Moreover, the actions of your competitors and even your peers in the industry can all affect the reception of your IPO.

2. Devise a Communications Strategy

Next, make sure to set up some channels for communicating with the public. Not only does this help to spread the word about your most recent IPO, but it could also help build your brand and reputation for future offerings. If necessary, don’t hesitate to contract out these services to a communications specialist or a public relations specialist. After all, that’s what they do!

3. Bolster Your Staff

Whatever you do, it’s important to have a full staff in place before your IPO. Many experts in the field would even suggest consulting with a general counsel, primarily due to the stringent reporting standards of the Security & Exchange Commission. A human resources specialist would also be advisable, especially if you’re planning on offering stock to your employees.

Moreover, depending on the scope and complexity of the situation, you may want to seek the assistance of a legal professional. Once you consider the fact that over $85 billion was raised via U.S.-based IPOs in 2014 alone, it’s easy to understand why.

4. The Road Show

Once you’re a week or two away from presenting your IPO, most will experience the “road show” phase of the process. Just like it sounds, this literally brings your top staff members on a tour around the country as a means of previewing your IPO, answering any questions and, hopefully, securing additional investors. As such, you should make sure your most knowledgeable and presentable employees are ready and willing to embark on the tour.

5. Let Your IPO Speak for Itself

After you’ve passed all the planning stages, bolstered your workforce and finished the road show, there’s really nothing left to do but present your IPO and let it speak for itself. You can still make some efforts to nudge it in the direction you want, but, generally speaking, it’s time to let the market take over and hope for the best.

Working Within the Public Eye

Up until now, you’ve probably enjoyed the amount of privacy you’ve had while creating your brand, developing your portfolio and building your team. However, life within the public eye is vastly different. Not only will you be expected to maintain constant communications with your staff, investors and partners, but, perhaps even more importantly, you’ll be held accountable for any promises you’ve made up until now.

About the Author

Holly Whitman is a freelance writer and journalist, originally from the UK but now based in Washington DC. You can find her on Twitter at @hollykwhitman and more of her writing on her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.

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