The business of investing is not as complicated as it is made out to be. Imagine that you have been given a million dollars and you are sitting with an entrepreneur. What will you ask him? How do you satisfy yourself that it is a good business opportunity? Follow your common sense and see what you come up with.

Here are the 30 questions that I think you should be asking:

  • Describe your business in one sentence? (elevator pitch)
  • Why did you start this business? (motivation and vision)
  • Is it the right time to start this business? (favorable market trends)
  • Who is your consumer?
  • What is their problem?
  • How do you solve their problem?
  • What is the consumer doing right now to address the problem? How is your solution better than the existing option?
  • Who else is seeking solution to the same problem? How is your solution better?
  • How will you ensure that your solution remains the most-sought after in the future? (because competition will start copying your features)
  • How do you build entry barriers for your competition? (so that they do not make your life difficult) Do you have any exclusive partnerships?
  • How will you attract the consumer to your business? At what cost? Will you burn a big hole in your pocket in trying to acquire consumers?
  • How will you make money? (revenue model)
  • How will you scale up your business?
  • How big is the market right now? How fast is it growing?
  • Who are the key people in your company and what roles do they play?
  • Does your team possess domain expertise and technical skills to run the business?
  • Has your team shown execution skills in the past? Ideas are cheap; how do I know you have the capability to execute them?
  • Has your team worked together in the past?
  • Is your team complete, or are some key positions vacant?
  • What stage is the business in right now? If you have traction, show me the numbers.
  • How is your product/service performing? Is the consumer happy? What are they saying about you? Share a few case studies / testimonials.
  • What is your product roadmap?
  • What are your company milestones for the next 18 months?
  • What is your business plan for the next 3 years? (your income, expense, cash flow, assets and liabilities)
  • What is the strategy and revenue model of each of your competitors?
  • How much money have you (and the other founders) invested in this business?
  • How much money do you need? How will you utilize this money? How long will it last and what will it help you achieve?
  • What are the risks that you face? How do you wish to mitigate these risks?
  • Why should I invest in your company?
  • Do I like this person? Do I trust this person? Will I enjoy working with this person for the next 5 years? (ask yourself)

Now go ahead and answer these questions. That’s all! You have a damn good pitch ready.

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