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Dan Skuta began investing in businesses just after retiring from the NFL—a playing career that spanned more than nine seasons.

Now, Dan Skuta is an accomplished business investor with numerous successes under his belt, and he looks to put that experience to work to help others determine not only how to properly identify potentially profitable investments, but also how best to know which ideas are best suited to their unique situation, talents and goals.
Essential questions to ask when evaluating an idea include:

Does it meet a need?

No matter the size of scope of the prospective investment, it’s important to first know if the product or service, i.e., “the idea,” fulfills a present or future need. As Dan Skuta knows, it’s crucial to do a little research into how the product or service solves a particular problem for consumers, and to know if a target audience actually exists for the idea in question.

Does it work in the present location?

Once you know the opportunity meets a need, you should then look into how much demand, if any, exists throughout its surrounding area. For example: a trendy new restaurant could present an innovative dining option not found anywhere else, but without demand for that option in the local economic environment, it will probably fall flat quickly.

Do you have the resources needed to see your investment succeed?

Savvy business investors like Dan Skuta typically devote time to evaluate not only the investment’s promise, but also how prepared they are to operate and/or fund the idea to ensure its eventual success. Knowing your resources and level of commitment beforehand is key to avoiding a potential disaster down the road.

Is the timing right?

Like it or not, timing is everything when it comes to assessing a prospective investment opportunity. Make sure the timing for the location, timing in the marketplace and your own personal timing are lined up before making a serious financial commitment.

As Dan Skuta knows, it also doesn’t hurt to consult with others who have owned or invested in similar opportunities. Doing so can provide invaluable insight hard to find anywhere else.