Actually, as an angel investor, I find that most of the questions within the due-diligence process give me real insight into the maturity of a startup. I supply these same questions to you as a self-assessment of your personal progress and skill to rework your idea into a business:
1. Has your vision attracted smart people to you?
A vision that you simply alone consider in won’t make a business. It is really about clarity of communication to others. You want the best team to build and grow a business, and your first challenge is to show you’ll be able to build a team, with effective continuous written and verbal communication.
2. Have you ever outlined a targeted strategy and plan to get there?
Should you strategy and plan aren’t clear even to you, or constituents don’t appear to get it quickly, you’ll be able to bet that potential customers also won’t get it. Strategies want not more than three parts, and plans which are written down are more simply understood and more doubtless executable.
3. What level of stakeholder commitment do you’ve?
The primary and largest stakeholder is you, the entrepreneur. Is this a spare-time-only effort that you’ve been working on for 5 years, or do you’ve real skin within the game? Investors expect to see a personal commitment, in addition to team members, other investors and even customers.
4. Is this a win-win opportunity for all of the principals?
Business ideas that win only on the expense of the client, or investors or partners, will fail in the long term. With the best dreams, customers get nice value as your business makes money. Pyramid schemes and work-at-home scams sound good within the marketing pitch, however no one wins.
5. Does your dream include automated and repeatable processes?
Everyone knows artists and consultants who bring nice value, however their businesses won’t scale, since they can not clone the founder, and may’t use tools to automate the method. Highly manual processes cannot be simply automated and measured, and have a tendency to be very expensive.
6. Are you able to show a “sense of urgency,” not a “sense of emergency”?
Succeeding in business is all about keeping the concentrate on essential things, quite than the crisis of the day. Good entrepreneurs are able to manage priorities, keep them to a small number and communicate effectively to all constituents to maintain commitment and momentum.
7. Do you promote a culture of teamwork, mentoring, and coaching?
It all starts with attracting and hiring the best people, and nurturing these people with support and ongoing growth opportunities. Too many entrepreneurs assume that everybody is aware of what wants to be done, and everyone seems to be self-motivated and committed to the same dream.
8. Can anybody see a pattern of team actions and outcome?
Some entrepreneurs stay a “one-person show,” even with good team members around them. The entrepreneur has to assign and delegate the best actions, motivate real outcome and hold people accountable. On the same time, leaders want to be “hands-on,” not merely observers.
9. Are there adequate milestones and measurements in place?
Execution is achieving a series of small milestones, not only one big final success. Along the way, you’ll be able to’t achieve what you do not measure. I look for a concentrate on a few drivers, quite than a long list of deliverables. Things change rapidly in a startup, so strategy reviews are a should.
10. Do team members get rewarded for the best things?
Some entrepreneurs, by habit, are too targeted on hours worked, quite than outcome. In all work environments, you get what you pay for. The best entrepreneurs set high standards for performance, however are fast to rejoice outcome with rewards, recognition and advancement.