In the bustling landscape of entrepreneurship, success often hinges on the depth of understanding one holds about their venture. At Bussco, we believe that the potency of questions lies in their ability to incite insights, catalyze clarity, and galvanize growth. As you navigate the uncharted waters of business, being armed with answers to fundamental questions isn’t just empowering—it’s transformative.
We present to you a meticulously curated 100-Question Challenge, designed to unravel the layers of your business narrative, assess the robustness of your strategies, and illuminate the pathway to unbridled success. Every successful entrepreneur can answer these questions about their business with a blend of precision and passion. Now, it's your turn to dive into this introspective journey.
The questions span across various dimensions:
1. Overview: From your elevator pitch to the company's ethos.
2. The Research: Understanding your industry and market.
3. Founders and Team: The driving force behind your venture.
4. The Solution: The value you are poised to deliver.
5. The Competitors: Knowing your competition inside out.
6. Marketing/Business Development: Your brand’s interaction with the world.
7. Sales: The art and science of customer acquisition.
8. The Risks: Assessing and mitigating the hurdles.
9. Intellectual Property: Safeguarding your innovations.
10. The Projections: Envisioning your financial narrative.
11. The Numbers: The fiscal health and prospects of your venture.
12. The End Game: Your long-term vision and exit strategy.
Embarking on this challenge is akin to holding a mirror to your entrepreneurial endeavor, reflecting both its strengths and areas ripe for evolution. The importance of having these answers at your fingertips transcends mere knowledge—it's about fostering a profound connection with your business, being prepared to steer it through tempests and triumphs alike, and articulating its narrative with unwavering conviction to stakeholders.
With every question you answer, you're not just inching closer to an exhaustive understanding of your venture, but also bolstering the foundation upon which your entrepreneurial dreams are built.
What is your elevator pitch? (30 seconds)
What is your big vision?
What problem are you solving?
Whose problems are you solving?
What is your value proposition?
What does your company do today? What about the future?
What is unique about the company?
What are your company’s strengths?
What are your company’s weaknesses?
What are the company values?
What is the company culture like?
Where are you headquartered/incorporated?
What is your business structure? Is it the best structure for your business? Why?
What licenses do you need to have to operate your business?
What is your reason why?
In which industry are you?
What is the size of your industry?
What are the industry expectations in the years to come?
What are the trends in your industry?
What market/s are you targeting?
What’s the size of your target market?
How established is the market?
What are the main expectations of your target market?
What is your market size?
What is its growth rate?
What percentage of the market do you plan to get over what period?
Why does your company have high growth potential?
What does your buyer persona look like?
Who is your ideal customer?
FOUNDERS AND TEAM
Who are the founders?
Who are the key team members?
What role does each founder have?
What are their qualifications for that role?
Are they part-time or "all-in"?
How much equity do they have?
How was equity divided?
What is the decision-making process like?
How was voting power divided between the team?
Are the founders willing to be coached?
Are they coachable?
What relevant experience does the team have?
What team members are missing?
What is the plan for filling the missing positions?
Why is your team uniquely capable of executing the company’s business plan?
Do you have employees? How many?
What is the employee compensation package?
Do you have contractors?
Who are the company's advisors?
What insurance do you need?
What is your product/service?
How does it solve your customer’s problem?
What is your value proposition to the customer?
What kind of ROI can your customer expect by using/buying your product/service?
What is unique about your product/service?
Why do users care about your product/service?
What pain is your product/service eliminating?
Are you selling luxury, nice-to-have, or need-to-have?
What is your stage of development?
What has been the progress to date?
What is your technology platform?
What have you learned from early versions of the product or service?
What are the following five key features you plan to add?
What are the major future product milestones?
What is the company's R&D strategy?
What new products, services, or markets will the company grow into?
What is your pricing strategy?
What assurance do you offer to your customers?
Who is your existing competition?
What market share do they possess?
Who else in an adjacent market could enter and compete?
What are your competitors' strengths?
What are your competitors' weaknesses?
Who are your main competitors?
What is their strategy like?
What competitor do you admire?
What gives your company a competitive advantage?
What are the barriers to entry?
What are your KPIs?
What is the company's brand?
How does the company market its products/services?
What is the company’s PR strategy?
What is the company’s social media strategy?
What is your cost to acquire a customer?
How will the customer acquisition cost change over time, and why?
What is the projected lifetime value of a customer?
What type of advertising will you be doing?
Who are the company's partners/suppliers?
Are the products built on or dependent on these partners/suppliers for success?
What partners will the company need to be successful?
Who is your target customer?
What defines an “ideal” customer prospect?
Who is the decision-maker?
How accessible is your market?
Where do purchasers congregate?
Who are your existing customers?
What are your crucial distribution channels?
Do you control your distribution channels?
How dependent are you on others?
How does the customer journey look like?
What is the customer experience like?
What is the typical sales cycle between initial customer contact and the closing of a sale?
What is the current sales pipeline?
How do you make money?
What is your revenue model?
What is required to become profitable?
What early traction has the company gotten? (metrics= sales, website traffic, app downloads, etc.)?
How can the early traction be accelerated?
What have been the principal reasons for the early traction?
What assumptions are crucial to the success of the business?
What threats could change the business overnight (i.e., new technologies, new competitors, regulations)?
What are your company’s weak points?
What legal risks do you have?
Do you have any regulatory risks?
Are there any product liability risks?
What key intellectual property does the company have?
Does the company’s intellectual property violate the rights of a third party?
How was the company’s intellectual property developed?
Would any prior employers of any team member, including the founders, have a potential claim to the company’s intellectual property?
What are the company’s three-year projections?
What are the key assumptions underlying these projections?
When will the company be profitable?
What is the forecasted burn rate until profitability?
What is the product/service unit economics?
What are the factors that limit faster growth?
What are the key metrics that the team focuses on?
What funds have been raised?
How much debt has the company amassed?
How much money are you raising, and at what valuation?
Will existing investors participate in the round?
What is the planned use of proceeds from this round?
How long will the funding last, and what milestones will it accomplish?
How much additional funding do you anticipate raising & when?
How does your company fit with the investor’s portfolio and expertise?
What synergies or competition exist with the investor’s existing portfolio?
How much of a stock option pool is being set aside for employees?
How much stock has been Issued already?
THE END GAME
What is the likely exit (i.e., IPO, M&A)?
When do you see the exit happening?
Who will be the likely acquirers?
How will the valuation of an exit be determined given market comparables?
Who on the team is willing to stay on after an acquisition?
And remember, this is not a test but a journey. A journey of discovery, clarity, and growth. And the beauty of it? You're not alone on this quest. At Bussco, we're here to accompany you through this investigative voyage, helping you unravel the answers and strategize for a future replete with success.
PS: Ready to delve deeper? Schedule a consultation with us and let’s embark on this exploratory journey together!