Is your idea a vitamin or a painkiller?
Where did the idea come from in the first place, what problem are you trying to solve exactly?
Are your potential customers aware of the problem you’re trying to solve?
Who is your competition and what’s your competitive advantage?
How do you plan to sell your product?
And these are just some of the questions an investor might ask.
Regardless of what stage their businesses are, many entrepreneurs do not ask these questions themselves. The excitement of the idea or the opportunity is so overwhelming, they think they’d come back to this topic later or they won’t need it at all (great products sell themselves!). That’s until they realise they need to fundraise and pitch to the investors.
We’ve advised and invested in dozens of startups which has been the basis of these 20 questions, they’re not nice to know but fundamental in understanding whether or not a business gets investment. We see these questions not as a challenge but an opportunity to prepare with answers ahead of time for entrepreneurs, so their conversations with investors are more productive right off the bat.
More importantly, every business needs a strong business plan to be successful. Business plans are not made to ‘tick a box’ but should be treated as a living and breathing document which guides the founders’ actions towards their goals. By answering these questions, entrepreneurs actually are able to design a stronger business plan for themselves.