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Due Diligence checklist

Mastering Venture Capital Due Diligence: A Comprehensive Checklist

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

Starting and growing a company involves more than just ideas and innovation; it requires careful preparation and diligence. Before entering into a venture capital financing, startups and emerging companies need to be well-prepared for the rigorous due diligence process. Even angel investors now demand thorough assessments at earlier stages. Here’s a comprehensive Due Diligence Checklist to help guide you through this critical phase.

1. Lay the Groundwork: Before the hiring process begins, take the time to outline the skills, values, background, and education you need for the open position. This thoughtful planning will lead to more successful candidate matches.

2. Measure Turnover Costs: Keep track of the annual cost of turnover to understand the financial impact of losing key employees. This insight can justify investments in hiring tools that minimize mistakes.

3. Harness Your Network: Leverage your network of trustworthy individuals for referrals. Publicize your open positions widely and pay equal attention to your referral network as you do with advertisements and recruiters.

“Your network is your net worth.” – Porter Gale

4. Share Recruitment Cards: Create specialized “recruitment” cards that you and your team can share with impressive individuals you encounter. This proactive approach spreads awareness about your job opportunities.

5. Consider a Hiring Seminar: Initiate the hiring process with a hiring seminar to attract a broader pool of applicants. This can help you identify candidates with the right skills and interests early on.

6. Swift Decision-Making: When you find a promising candidate, make timely decisions to prevent losing them to competitors. Efficient actions help secure top talent.

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7. Develop a Written System: A structured hiring process is essential. Document your recruitment and hiring procedures for consistency and efficiency.

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” – Warren Buffett

8. Extend Professional Courtesy: Send rejection letters to candidates who weren’t selected. This not only demonstrates courtesy but also keeps the door open for future opportunities.

9. Embrace Scientific Tools: Incorporate scientifically validated hiring solutions to screen candidates. Advanced technology can help you reduce hiring mistakes.

10. Reveal True Candidate Qualities: During interviews, candidates often display a “dating behavior,” masking their true selves. Assessment solutions uncover a candidate’s genuine nature, leading to informed hiring choices.

Navigating the due diligence process with meticulous planning and strategic execution enhances the likelihood of successful recruitment. The people you hire are crucial to your company’s trajectory. Invest effort and attention into recruiting the right individuals to steer your organization toward success.

Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and investor who founded six companies with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors for a 25X ROI. Two others are still in development. He has trained, consulted and advised thousands of Entrepreneurs, CEOs and boards since 2002. Mr. Norton works with companies to 2X to 10X growth rates and valuation using AirTight Management™, the world’s most comprehensive Leadership Operating System. He also helps companies raise capital to fund growth. He is also the Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship Universityfor early-stage companies that have not reached product-market fit and $1M ARR.

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