Potential Entrepreneurs: 20 Questions to Ask


Kelly K. Spors of the Wall Street Journal listed 10 questions for potential entrepreneurs to ask themselves and assess whether they are cut out for the job (particularly in this economic climate).

Her list of 10 questions is below and it's interesting how to focuses almost entirely on personality traits... when I would argue that is half of it. Obviously the other component is the idea and vision... I've included my secondary questions below her's:

1. Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk? 1A. Do you have financial backing to fund the vision and team for at least twelve months?

2. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for potentially many years? 2A. Are you able to manage your time effectively and wear multiple operating hats?

3. Is your significant other on board? 3A. Do you have a board or advisors who you consult with and seek guidance from?

4. Do you like all aspects of running a business? 4A. Which aspects do you dislike and which are you weakest at? Do you have partners and/or advisors to compensate?

5. Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook? 5A. Have you created a playbook to sit alongside your business model?

6. What's your track record of executing your ideas? 6A. What's the track record of execution among other players in this space?

7. How persuasive and well-spoken are you? 7A. What's the need that you are trying to solve? Who's the community you are trying to serve? Can you craft a concise definition for both?

8. Do you have a concept you're passionate about? 8A. Equally important... Is it a concept that others can become passionate about (employees, users, etc)?

9. Are you a self-starter? 9A. Is the business a self-starter? In other words, is there a clear, short-term monetization path; or, will you need to fund the business through that point?

10. Do you have a business partner? 10A. Do you have a technical partner? Or, if you are technical, do you have a business partner?

You can also read my guide to boostrapping a start-up