Most early stage funds struggle to be responsive. We decided to make responsiveness a top priority, and constantly measure ourselves to ensure improvement.
For years VCs have preached to their companies the importance of tracking metrics that accurately measure their day to day operations.
Giving advice to others is much easier than implementing it yourself, and it takes guts to honestly measure yourself. When Eitan and I started TLV Partners, one of our earliest decisions was to track our key metrics. One of our top priorities in ensuring a professional experience for entrepreneurs, therefore we defined a set of metrics around our response time. More specifically, how many days it takes us to respond to emails (“respond”), set initial meetings (“set a meeting”), return with an answer whether we would like to proceed (“answer”) and conduct due diligence (“DD”).
Once we defined our metrics (we officially began tracking this data at the beginning of this calendar year), it was time to take a look at our performance. . We were pleasantly surprised to see the results, but there was clearly still room for improvement:
We liked the fact that on average it took us just a few days to respond to founders, and, on average, a week to get back to them with final answer. But we felt we could shorten the time it took us to set a first meeting (it was taking about three weeks!) and to conduct our due diligence process.
So over the next few months we worked on improving these areas. Unsurprisingly, simply being aware that we were being measured, was a major driver for improvement. Beyond that, we made sure that work was divided equally between the members of the team. And lastly, we developed a better process for initial screening and implemented it in March.
By September we saw improvement in almost every area: we were answering founders in a more timely manner, our DD process was quicker and more efficient, and entrepreneurs waited just two weeks for an initial meeting/call. The challenge we face now is to keep these metrics stable.
In our constant journey for self improvement, we ask entrepreneurs that approach us to not shy away from giving us feedback. It’s our duty to be responsive, and any help from you would be greatly appreciated.
Wishing you a happy and productive new year!