Dharmesh has written an excellent article on top 6 questions people fail to ask when joining a start-up. His top 6 questions are as follows:
- Will the founders get along when the going gets tough?
- Will you get along with the team?
- What’s the history of the basic idea? What other ideas were assessed and discarded?
- How much cash is there, where did it come from and how long will it last?
- What are the founders looking to get from the effort?
- What will the startup do for you?
Prior to setting up ebdex, I also joined a start-up business. During the build up to joining, I worked with their CEO who painted a pretty picture. I joined the company as an investor employer. However, I did not invest before completing my own due diligence. Fortunately, my stay within the start-up did not last that long as I did not go ahead with the investment. Here are my top 6?
- Do much due diligence as possible. Given it is a start-up, you will not find much information in the public domain. At least visit the Companies House and purchase a copy of whatever was filed with them.
- Irrespective of the role you are applying for understand the market and industry the company operates in. You should not join a company that does not have clear differentiators; written down vision, mission and value statements. Ask for their competitor details. Do your own market research to ensure the company has a good chance of achieving their strategic plan.
- Get a copy of the business plan. Make sure you get a copy of the business plan. You may have to sign a NDA before you get your hands on company’s business plan.
- Ensure company has sufficient funding. All companies irrespective of their size need cash to operate. Ask for a copy of the cash flow forecast and management accounts.
- Do you like the team? Ensure you speak to the full team. There will be significant problems if you cannot get along with the team, especially with the founders.
- What do you want out of the start-up? Ensure that the company is able to deliver your own requirements.
Share your top 6!