Have an Idea? Make it great
At Forward Partners we invest in entrepreneurs and businesses at the earliest possible stage. We call this the ‘idea stage’ and we put the full weight of our Product, Growth and Investment teams behind these young ventures in order to give them the best chance of success.
Before getting on The Path Forward there are some activities you can do to get an idea to the point where it’s ready for us to invest. Here are some questions which if you have great answers to we’ll likely find you and your business interesting, engaging and most importantly, exciting.
A great product idea
Do you have a clearly stated use-case(s) or solution(s) to a problem?
Have you backed this up with some preliminary, objective market research?
Deep understanding of the market
What market are you operating in, how big is it and how is it segmented?
In those segments what do consumers value most and who is your target customer?
Benign competitive environment
Who are your key competitors, what are their products and who are their customers?
What is good about your competitors and where/why are they vulnerable?
Potential for future profitability
What will your margins be when you startup and what will affect them in the future?
How will you acquire customers at the beginning and as your business progresses?
Basis for long term competitive advantage
What are the key points of differentiation between you and your competitors?
If your business succeeds, how will you defend your position in the market?
Team and skills
Are you the right person to lead this business? why?
What are the initial skills gaps? Where do you feel you need to hire?
One reason why you might want to do this preparatory work is that the best founders not only talk about the future but also about the work that they have done to-date to substantiate their idea. It’s far easier to talk about what you are going to do in the future. If we are going to invest in an idea we need to be sure that the founder is (and has) invested in it too.
This article was originally published on the Forward Partners blog on June 26th 2015