When reviewing a business, either as a potential employee or as an entrepreneur looking at a business opportunity, there are 3 things you should look for:{readmorelink}Read the whole article{/readmorelink}

  • Product. Does the business offer a high-quality product or service that you can feel proud providing? If you can’t stand proud and straight and tell people what your product or service is, your business is fairly guaranteed to fail. Take the time to find out if the product is actually good for the consumer, and spend some time deciding how you feel about the product.
  • Market. Are there people who want (or need) the product or service being marketed? Without a market to sell to, the product or service is worthless. It’s also important to know what the competition in this market is likely to be, since a saturated market is more difficult to make money in.
  • Marketing. Is there a way for the company to reach their market? This may take the form of advertising, leads, direct-mail, in-person visits, trade shows, or any other marketing that connects the business directly with their market. If the marketing is missing, then the product will never reach the consumer, and the business will never make any money.
  • Rewards. Is there a way to make money delivering the product or service to the market in a way that is financially rewarding? In other words, can the business make money delivering (selling) the product or service to their market. There are several factors in this, not the least of which is affordability. When looking at rewards from an entrepreneurial perspective, you should be looking at either margin or commission. Don’t get caught up in percentages – look at actual income per unit sold/delivered, and how many units can be sold/delivered in a given time period. Making $1 per unit is fine if you can deliver, say, 2,000-5,000 units per week, every week. On the other hand, if the margin per sale is $500, then you need sell only a few units a week in order to be profitable. Of course for a business, these numbers much include the overhead costs associated with running the business.
  • To these I add one more item: Ethics. If a company doesn’t to business ethically, they won’t be in business long. Besides, you’ll be much happier with your job or business, if you know that what you do helps people, rather than hurting them. The best businesses are predicated upon the ideal of delivering value to the customer so that he or she actually wants to spend their money on the product or service, and is happy about the decision to do so. If you’re starting your own business from scratch, then this is a combination of the product or service (the first item in my list) and your own personal ethics. If you’re joining an organization (employee, franchise, or contract sales), the ethics category also includes the basic practices – internal and external – of the organization’s leadership.

Before starting a business or joining a company as an employee, always review these factors. There are other factors which should be considered, but these are the first (and easiest) things you should look at. Ask about these in a job interview (regardless of what position you’re interviewing for) to ensure that the company you’re joining is likely in a stable position to make money – no sense taking a job if the company’s about to go under! (And asking these questions will also show your prospective employer that you have the big picture in mind, and understand that your job is a part of the overall company.)