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questions to ask before investing in a company

by on December 2, 2020

You’re a big fan of the company’s products. Is the money still in the ‘system’? This page of the GrowthFunders platform has been reviewed as a financial promotion by GrowthCapitalVentures Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN: 623142. Understanding the competitive dynamics is crucial – simply having a good product/service is not enough. In my experience, those are foreshadowing words for ‘This company is going to spend a lot of investor cash on educating the market’. A sophisticated investor will undoubtedly have their own ways of analysing opportunities, but most would agree there will always be some element of gut instinct to the decision, too. For example, they’re a partner of an accountancy firm who provide accountancy services to the company. The Investing Questions People Ask the Most ... “After investing the minimum required for the match in a company-sponsored 401(k), ... “Many folks often believe it is important to buy before the ex-dividend date in order to receive the dividend,” said Cogdell Bradshaw, vice president and financial consultant with Fidelity Investments. What validation has the company done to find out? Established businesses will be able to provide trading history and other evidence to back up their projections for your investment. Healthy debate between founders ensures decisions made about the business are carefully considered. Furthermore, if you do decide to start a business, answering these questions will give you more confidence and strength in your choice of moving ahead. How hard is it to replicate? Investing in startups/scaleups requires a steel stomach – it is going to get rough out there. Questions to Ask Before You Invest. Read more:  hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(308496, '8096177f-7d69-43ec-8a2c-e9b49e3f6298', {}); As an investor, if there is some hidden force stopping you from backing a business, try tracing it back to its source. This was all the more stark in that their product literally had the potential to save lives! What is my investment goal? I learned this the hard way when I co-founded a non-alcoholic liquor company well before there was much market interest in such a product. Who are the advisors to the company? Take advice, do your research and ensure the business you’re looking at is the right one for your portfolio before you start your journey investing in businesses. You need to determine how long they have been in the industry, and if they have ever worked in a business partnership before. Your willingness to ride these waves is much easier if you’re personally invested in the solution as much as the company is. No offers of investment are made on this page, as any investment can only be made by members of on the basis of the information provided in the investment section by the companies concerned. Listen carefully to the answer you get. In reality, management teams are often unable to unlock the full potential of their creation. It summarizes key questions to ask and issues to deal with before investing. Continual arguments, or a sense that they are pulling in opposite directions, however, suggest a ship heading for choppy waters. Do you genuinely care about the company you’re investing in (beyond caring about returns)? Of course, knowing all the answers doesn't guarantee a winning stock. As I’m sure most of us agree, finding a person that we’re comfortable spending inordinate amounts of time with isn’t always easy. I had mistaken my personal friends and acquaintances bubble (made up of lots of bartenders) for customer demand. What is the current staff attrition rate – how often has the company had to restructure? There are many market sizing methods, but three general areas of focus are: Whilst all are important to understand, the latter is arguably the most important measure for the investor. Use the cash to buy someone you love a gift from The Good Registry instead. Others may have little experience in the target market, but have devised a way of disrupting it. I once got involved with a company whose founder kept telling me about the amount of money the company is going to make (hockey sticks!) Some of the most alluring opportunities for investors include those involving businesses that are: An opportunity that doesn't fall into one of the above areas doesn't necessarily make it unappealing, but it can be a big tick in the box if it does. When do you expect to make money? will welcome your questions, no matter how basic. Low morale and poor retention point to problems ahead, and although not entirely uncommon, it needs to be clear that they're being rectified. Without diving too much into the legalese of … Investors often look for a five-year picture, showing the conservative, expected and aggressive outlook of the business. Check the legal structure.. Rule 2. Management teams may be a work in progress. A question that prompts the manager to speak about where they see … Failure to retain talent in the business is a red flag to investors. Most importantly here is looking at the break-even point. What's more, the founders must show a willingness to welcome new members to the management team and to pass some of their duties onto others. Was it always someone/thing else’s fault? What, if any people and culture strategies exist in the company? Also, listen for statements full of buzzwords but not informed by research data or specific experience. All rights reserved. Level of Involvement Required 2. Here are 10 key questions to ask yourself before pitching investors. 10 Questions to Ask Investors (Before You Take Their Money) 1. Although investing in businesses can bring with it a level of risk greater than many other asset classes, the potential returns can be considerable. What about the management team capabilities and experience – what is it, and why were they hired by the founder? Whilst the line is often taken out of context, many companies focus too much on ‘product/service’ and ‘strategy’ and not enough on the third critical element that makes a successful company: great people. Many business investors want to play an active role in helping their interests develop and grow. With that in mind, here are 10 questions investors should ask -- and answer -- before buying a stock. The company should have a clear vision of the capital it needs to fund its journey beyond every key milestone on the route to scaling up, with room for manoeuvre should unexpected problems - or opportunities - emerge. Who filed the company? Because no customer likes buying products they don’t need and no one likes getting gifts they don’t want. For example, I don’t invest in anything I don’t perceive to be good for the world. What tax reliefs are available when investing in UK startups? Financial profes-sionals know that an educated cli-ent is an asset, not a liability. Does the company have a plan? But how confident can you be that the necessary gaps will be filled as and when needed? Have they come from the industry sector their product/service is selling into? What are your goals? Who are the competitors in this space? How does the company bring the customer voice into the day to day operations of the company – how does the company ensure this is well understood by staff? After all, he has probably met thousands of entrepreneurs and done hundreds of these meetings. but was never authentic in articulating their passion for the customer pain they were solving. Listen for mentions of culture and values – ask for written examples that have gone to staff. Is this the first round? 5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Startup 1. However, you can give yourself the best possible chance of success by following some simple rules. To be investment worthy, the business should have clear plans for your capital that will ensure it delivers maximum impact on … How big is the market? Be wary of board directors who sit on too many Boards, who do not have recent company success, do not have influence on company direction and are there for ‘transactional’ reasons. Ask yourself: does the business model enable the company to multiply revenues without significantly increasing costs? Should this be the case, will the management team be able to respond accordingly and, as they say in Silicon Valley, ‘pivot’ towards success? Where possible, the business should have taken steps to protect its product or service from being copied by competitors. When was the last round? The “I am my own customer”. Unforeseen challenges and unexpected breakthroughs can lead it in different directions. Competition Is there competition, not only in your immediate area, but nationally? Startup success brings more responsibility and demand on time than most nine-to-five jobs. Those determined to innovate, improve and disrupt markets – and have a positive impact - will be more likely to power through the tougher times.

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