I have been discussing recently what makes a company attractive to possible investors and was told about some of Dr Phil Fisher’s points that Warren Buffett uses to make his investments.   They seem to me to be userful even if you are not looking for investors – so think about how they might apply to your business:

1. What type of market are you in and is there potential for growth in this market?
2. Does your company have a unique selling point?
3. Does your business have longevity and is able to stand the test of time?
4. How dedicated is your company to developing new products when existing products have run their course?
5.  How effective is the sales function of your company?
6. What sort of margins does your company make?
7. How committed are you and the management team to improving this margin?
8. Does your company have a great accountant or Financial Director to scrutinise and analyse every cost?
9. Are employee/manager relations good?
10. What is your succession plan for management?
11. Are  you focused on short term and long  term profits?
12. Do you talk openly about mistakes as well as successes?
13. Is there integrity?
14. Are you making a contribution?

A useful way to use these questions might be to respond to them and then make an action plan to address any of the questions that you could not answer or want to do better at.  That way your business will not only be attractive to possible future investors, but will be running with some good management practices.