How to evaluate a business opportunity ...

An evolving list that has served me well over the last 40 years of my business career.
  1. Is the company in area of emerging technology?
  2. Is there a market for the technology or product?
  3. Why didn't an established company decide to exploit and market the product or service?
  4. Is there a natural follow-on product line or technology?
  5. Does management have corporate experience in the field that they are developing?
  6. What are managements immediate and five-year goals?
  7. Does management have a 10 year objective and five-year operating plan?
  8. Does management understand and have the capabilities of all phases of its operation, from research the production and marketing as well as support functions-accounting, legal marketing and advertising?
  9. Does management understand the nature and use of capital?
  10. Does management have a company, recognized leader and decision-maker?
  11. What markets will the company serve?
  12. How large are the markets?
  13. How much and what type of financing is needed?
  14. At what time, or in what increments, is financing necessary?
  15. What part of the products are manufactured and what components are subcontracted?
  16. How many people should be hired; when, and for what positions?
  17. Where will the business be located?
  18. How much office space and production space will be required?
  19. What are the legal considerations?
  20. Completed market research plan?
  21. Completed general business plan?
  22. Completed marketing plan?
  23. Completed financial plan?
  24. Who are the customers for the product?
  25. Where are they located?
  26. Who are the largest potential users?
  27. How do they purchase?
  28. What is the size of the market?
  29. How many units can be sold during the first year?
  30. How should the products be priced?
  31. What are the competitive products/services?
  32. How are these products priced?
  33. How sensitive are customers likely to be to price?
  34. How will the product be distributed?
  35. Do other firms distribute similar products?
  36. What margin should be offered to the channel of distribution?
  37. How can communications be established with potential customers?
  38. What types of advertising can be beneficial?
  39. If so, which publications and via what media?
  40. Who is likely to be the major competitor?
  41. How can the impact of competition be limited?
  42. What amount of monies have been expended from start-up funds to date by the principles?
  43. What amount of money's are required to initiate a positive cash flow income stream?
  44. What is the period of time required for the initial growth stage to accomplish sustained profitability?
  45. Beyond the primary offering, what additional capital requirements can be anticipated for future growth and or expansion?
  46. When will the mature company establish itself in the marketplace and become a viable and profitable corporation?
  47. What would be a justifiable reason to initiate a stock split?
  48. What is the anticipated sale price of the company at the five-year benchmark?
  49. Is there an anticipated future date at which time the company would be offered for sale?
  50. At the appropriate time, who would be the best candidate(s) to purchase the company?