I believe that a good business idea and a committed team of founders do not yet make an attractive company. Buyers or investors take a close look at the following points before they enter the market.
Founder team and management e.g.
Are the founders as team “open minded”, focused, healthy, vital and “present”? Do they complement each other? Are there discrepancies or smouldering conflicts? Is there a functioning management structure behind the founders? Have the founders succeeded in handing over responsibility and really delegating? What are the moral concepts of the founders? Is there an established business ethic in dealing with employees, partners and customers?
Management trainees / promotion of employees e.g.
Is there a management trainee program? Who are the key employees of the company?
Structure and setup of the company e.g.
Does the structure of the company follow a logic or a strategy or is it more influenced by the “opportunities” of the daily business? Does the structure fit the size or maturity of the company? Does the company already have an international orientation? Do most employees speak English or another second language if necessary? Are the employees open for cooperation in multicultural teams?
Willingness to grow and sales orientation e.g.
Is there a healthy sales culture internally (willingness to win) or is it more likely to rely on the next round of investments? How are the company’s key accounts handled? Has a central opportunity management been established where one can see transparently and in real time how the pipeline is developing? What is the growth in sales and employees? How high is the margin compared to the competition?
Customer and customer orientation e.g.
What is the relationship between existing customers and new customers? 80% of sales are generated with which customer group? Is the company really interested in customer satisfaction? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Standing up for one’s own convictions instead of selling something that is not in the longterm interest of the customer.
Willingness to internationalize e.g.
Is an internationalization of products planned and possible? Are there already international sales structures or service structures, e.g. through partners?
Willingness to innovate e.g.
What are the unique selling propositions? What assets (also intangible) are there? Does the company promote an internal innovation culture? Does it invest in innovation? Is innovation anchored in the DNA of the company, e.g. in the goals of the employees? Marketing, web presence, social media e.g. How high is the “radiance” of the company in the market, with customers, competitors and partners? Are e.g. employees and customers willing to “post” about the company? Which trade fairs and events are organized or attended?
Digital infrastructure / CRM / customer management e.g.
Are all internal processes such as sales, marketing, service, personnel, finance, IT digitalized in (ideally) a uniform (CRM) system? Is there a company dashboard with target/actual results in real time?
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