Member Pat Lashinsky Speaks: Pursuing IPO? Invest Now in the Right People and Processes to Take You Over the Finish Line

The Challenge:

The situation at hand was brought by a CEO who recently raised a successful round B and was seeking insight into moving the company and leadership team towards an IPO.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

First, I would like to congratulate you on reaching this milestone. You are in a pivotal position in which the next few steps forward will perhaps be the most important in the history of the organization. If I were in this situation, I would allocate part of the raised capital to immediately hire top executives who have experience leading companies to IPO and beyond. I won’t have time for significant executive team development or for team members to be learning on the fly. At this point, I would put my energy into hiring experienced people who have the skills needed not just for right now, but for the future IPO process and beyond.

Along with the right team, I would begin building out the systems and processes that will be needed for an IPO. There are certain structures that are necessary to have in place that the bankers and attorneys will be assessing when a company goes public. With that in mind, I would invest significant capital in getting those systems established now to avoid fire drills and ensure we are ready when the big day arrives. Finally, I have found that many investors are enticed by multiple revenue models; they want a company with more than one iron on the fire! I would invest resources now to build a second line of business that will enhance the company’s value and revenue diversity at IPO.

Over the years, I have gone through this experience myself and I have helped other business leaders through their journeys down similar paths. The finish line is much closer than it may appear, and it will take fast work and nimble decision-making to be ready in time. Best of luck to you!