I’m about to have a conference call with two excellent chaps who are starting out in business. They’ve asked me to be a business mentor to them, which I’ve agreed to do in principle, but what I’m interested in finding out is what they’re looking to achieve and how I can help them.
I’ve made a few notes for myself before the conversation which I thought might be useful general questions for anyone about to set up a business to ask themselves – and perhaps their support group too (the first bit is of course about what they’re looking for from me).
- What are you looking for from me? My experience is:
- Marketing, especially digital
- Company secretarial – compliance, tax, legal
- Strategy, growth, business planning, performance measurement
- Financial – investment, forecasting, financing
1. What is your vision in setting up the business?
- What do you want it to achieve in your market?
- What do you want it to achieve for yourself – financial / other?
- Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
2. What makes you different?
3. Why do your customers like you?
4. What does your brand say and do, and why would anyone care?
5. Is the business (or idea) profitable, scalable, saleable, sustainable? Which of these matters to you?
6. What happens if it goes really well?
7. What happens if it goes really badly?
8. How will you know?
9. What are you going to do next?
10. Whose needs to know about this in order to support you in these crucial early stages?