A big problem with young companies is that aside from some very rough financial guidelines it is often very difficult to gauge whether the venture will or can be successful. Luckily when you’re starting up there are frameworks that can help you with this. Today we’re going to look at how to Analyze Company with Bell Mason, use the Framework well, and provide you with the tools to do it effectively.
Many investment houses use multi-metric project valuation and assessment approaches, and at present, there is ample work being done at top business universities in order to augment the early-stage venture valuation process. One such methodology is the Bell- Mason Framework.
Developed over the past 20 years, the Bell-Mason framework has been fine-tuned to do assess ventures utilizing 12 dimensions and 5 stages of company growth.
The five stages of company growth are analyzed over time and consist of the following stages: Concept, Seed, Alpha, Beta, and Market Calibration, and are meant to chronicle the evolution of a venture over time.
Each one of these stages is then applied to a specific dimension that is in itself grouped into four areas, Product, Market, Finance, People.
What allows you then to assess each dimension individually is a series of yes/no questions, for example, let’s look at the team.
Is the team comprised of people knowledgeable in their sector? Yes/No
Does the team work efficiently and do the team members complement one another? Yes / No
This is How to Analyze Company with Bell Mason
By asking yourself a series of these types of questions, and the more the merrier, you’ll effectively be able to gauge your readiness, the stage where your company is, and what you should apply resources to in order to fix/strengthen your business as a whole.
Ideally, what you can also do is map a process utilizing this framework – it will tell you, in addition to any holes you may have in your business model, whether or not it’s a good idea to continue with the project or to kill it.
Think of an example where a civil engineer may want to get into the flower e-commerce business, she may not have the team, board, biz-dev, or product chops, but may have cash, financing, and a go-to-market strategy. She would then need to augment those areas that are lacking in order to increase her chances of success.
For a much more in-depth explanation of this framework – be sure to grab the still great if somewhat dated PDF by Ben Livson on startup valuation here.
If you’re interested to see how to leverage the framework and adapt it to company health, you can grab the framework here.