Your input is vital, so please keep your answers handy for our meeting. Alternatively, you may send them to me at the above email address or contact me to set up a google doc link to share. We will go over these questions at our first meeting. Please note that some of the questions may not apply. If you need clarification, please send an email or text me at 941-313-0880.
Founder/CEO Background and Experience
1. What is your personal background? Tell me your story and be as detailed as you’d like. (I often find buried gold in the lives of founders.)
2. Detail your academic, industry, and “street cred” degrees, qualifications, and experience.
3. Describe the most successful project/product/service that you were responsible for creating. What did you do to make it so successful? Again, please be as detailed as possible.
4. Describe the biggest failure regarding a project/product/service that you were responsible for. What made it fail?
5. What are your top 5 strengths? Please list 5 business strengths (think of your company as a person) ... and 5 personal strengths (if you need help seeing the real you, ask 10-20 of your closest friends to describe your strengths).
1. Please describe your current business. Give me the 30,000-foot view, you know - the Big Picture.
2. What niche or industry are you in? If you are in a micro-niche (niche within a niche), please describe it.
3. What is the annual growth rate of your industry? The 2 year trend? 5 year trend?
Please provide data to validate this, if you can.
4. What is your company’s annual growth rate? 2 year trend? 5 year trend?
5. Please describe your current sales funnel. Start from your least expensive offering and outline each offering up to and including your most expensive offering.
6. Describe — in detail — what makes your firm unique.
7. Describe what need(s) in the market you fill. What makes you uniquely qualified to fill that need?
8. What are your specific business goals and targets for this year? (Can be calendar year, fiscal year, or rolling 12 months. Please identify.)
9. How many employees do you have? Please tell me about the people you consider your “Top 5 Key Employees.” Why are they critical? What do they contribute? Please also provide a brief bio on each.
10. Please tell me about your executive team. Please provide a brief bio and job description on each. In some cases, this will overlap with your “Top 5” and there is no need to duplicate descriptions ... just tell me who fits into both categories.
11. What are your profit margins? Please provide per product/service.
12. What is your customer/client lifetime value? Please provide per product/service.
13. Please provide the following details on your existing customer database:
a. What software/database do you use to house your customer data?
b. Do you have an IT person who can run specific queries to help with data mining?
c. How big is your email list?
d. How did you obtain these emails and names? Please list the top 10 methods/sources. If possible, please provide campaign details for each acquisition set, including landing pages, emails, thank you pages, offer, follow up/nurturing sequences, etc. ...
e. Do you segment your list? If so, please provide a data schematic showing segments and descriptions for each segment.
f. How many buyers vs. free sign-ups are currently in your database?
g. Do you have demographic and/or psychographic information on your customers? Please provide as much detail as possible.
h. How many full physical mailing addresses do you have? When was this list last USPS-matched, purged, and repaired?
1. Please tell me about the top 5 competitors in your industry. Provide as much information as you can, including websites, industry reports, stock prices — including 2 year stock history, employee size, products & offerings, etc. ...
2. Who is the industry leader? Why? Please describe their strength position and how they got there, if you can.
3. What needs in the marketplace are they not filling? Where do you see gaps in their offering? What are their weaknesses?
Advertising, Marketing, and PR Efforts
1. Please explain your current advertising and marketing model. (PPC, ads, articles, SEO, events, direct mail, etc. ... )
2. Please provide the following information on current marketing campaigns and efforts:
a. How frequently do you contact your existing customers? Please provide details on the last 50 contacts, including emails, mailings, social posts, etc.
... that were targeted to existing customers.
b. Please provide access to all upsell campaigns, including landing pages, emails, social media, mailings, videos, etc. ... from the last 12 months. Include target audience data (size, list segment, etc. ... ) and results (opt in, conversions, sales, net and gross profits, etc. ... )
c. Please provide details on all acquisition campaigns for the last 12 months.
Include target audience data (size, list segment, etc. ... ) and results (opt in, conversions, sales, net and gross profits, etc. ... )
d. Please describe any physical mailing campaigns you have used in the last 12 months. Include details, samples, list size and source, and results.
e. Please tell me about your tracking systems. Do you have an “airtight” sales funnel, that can track customers from initial contact to “end of customer value life”? Can you pinpoint exactly where a customer came from, even if they have multiple contact points?
3. Do you utilize PR as part of your efforts? If so, how? Please provide some samples.
4. What is the most successful campaign you have run in the past year? Why? Please provide full campaign statistics for this campaign. (i.e., List/market size, exposure reach, response rate, conversion rate, revenue per click, etc. ... )
5. What is the least successful campaign you’ve run? Why?
6. How do you filter for your target audience? i.e., Do you have a marketing language and image bank that “calls out” your ideal customer? (If not, I can help you create one.) What efforts do you make to “turn off” bad customers/clients? Please describe in detail.
7. Please describe your ideal customer/client. Include demographic and psychographic information.
8. Is your industry/business cyclical? What factors affect these cycles? Do you have a plan in place to compensate for those? If so, please describe.
I look forward to talking to you soon.
Thank you for your input,