Como avaliar uma equipa de gestão em 10 passos

A Angel Newsletter Online tem estado a dar algumas dicas aos seus leitores de como podem fazer dinheiro enquanto Business Angels.

 

Um dos segredos, segundo a newsletter, é uma correcta avaliação da equipa de gestão:

 

1 – First impressions can be misleading so go and meet them all together at their place of work
what is their body language as they sit together – is the inventor looking out of the window and does this mean he is thinking how to improve the “product” or is he imagining himself on a beach far away?
is anyone a bully?
what do the other staff who are not in the meeting think – are they a bit tight-lipped- if so why?
if you were a customer would you trust these people?
if you were a supplier would you go the extra mile for them?
can they “follow through” ?
who is really the team leader?
when it comes to management style bear in mind you are likely to care less if you are being a passive investor rather than a proactive one. However, an arrogant idiot will probably still be an arrogant idiot in two years time, when you ring him to ask for something, even if you have not had regular contact with him in the meantime.
Remember that you should be getting more excited about backing them the more you meet them, not less!

2 – Find out what really motivates them
Great entrepreneurs always say that they were compelled to fulfill the dream and it was that, not the money that motivated them to succeed. I won’t say this is a disingenuous comment, but if they are any good they will enjoy making money and turning a profit as part of their dream.
What is really driving them? Poverty in childhood? A desire to get back what has previously been lost? The need to found a dynasty? Proving someone wrong? Saving the world (or part of it)? No-one else is going to employ them, but lots of people love the customer service they offer? They may be rich but are their friends richer?

3 – Are they “in love” with the business?
Are you a stepping stone to VC money en route to a quick sale or are they really wanting to build a dynasty because their parents failed to do that for them? Both are good answers by the way.
Avoid anyone who just wants employment or a pension.
They need to be a bit obsessive and compulsive, but they also need to be able to switch off or you will have a team that gets ill.

4 – Check out how they deal with you
are they interested in you or just your money?
do they understand your needs and wants, especially regarding the exit?
will they listen to you and trust you when times get tough or will they blank you?
imagine yourself in their shoes and how important you will be to them in 2 years time Then decide if you care how they will be treating you then.

5 – Don’t trust the fact that a gang (any gang) of angels or a VC is enthusiastically chasing the opportunity
look instead for people in the background – be they existing investors, advisers or non execs who are publicly or privately supporting the team?
try to meet with some of the current investors etc – are they people you want to hang out with and/or who can help to deliver the goods or are they trophies or just useless?
when you find existing “excellent” investors in the shareholder base, they are often a sign of a good quality management team and, (you never know) they may come in useful to you for another deal one day.

6 – It sounds trite but are the team “good blokes”?
Successful entrepreneurs that I know ALWAYS have a surfeit of true charm and can sell ice to Eskimos but this is not the same as them claiming you as their best and most important friend. All great entrepreneurs are unfailingly polite when they meet you.

7 – Forget how they dress
Look instead to see if they are well kempt – i.e are they REALLY clean and does their image hang together – if they are not proud of their own body image, they won’t be proud of looking after the business’s.
…. but if they cannot communicate who they are and what they are doing in about 1 minute, start to worry.

8 – Tell everyone who matters that you are going to credit and police check them and say that they can email you privately if they have anything to tell you before you do the checks
honest people will let you know if they have had a problem and confess; rogues will try to fudge the issue.
then credit check them anyway.

9 – Are they dyslexic, left handed, creative, insecure, a bit impulsive – and all the other range of characteristics which are common in entrepreneurial teams? Is there a completer and finisher in the team who will round up and close the initiatives of the others?
Beware of those who are they using efficiency to hide laziness or lack of imagination.

10 – Find out the truth about how they got together
In seed and start-up deals do not ignore the “sole” entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurial teams who will pitch together are not so close as you might think, sometimes the sole entrepreneur’s “team” is his workforce.


Licenciado e Mestre em Gestão de Empresas. Presidente da Gesbanha, S.A., especialista em capital de risco e empreendedorismo, investidor particular ("business angels") e Presidente da FNABA (Federação Nacional de Associações de Business Angels). Director da EBAN e da WBAA

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