So, you think you’re ready to go public … think again! Before you even ponder taking the plunge, you need to make sure you really have the stomach to run a public company. The first step is to take a hard look at your company and look for reasons it shouldn’t be publicly traded. This is how you really nail your IPO (when the time is right). Start by asking yourself these five tough questions:

1. Do you believe you aren’t ready? If so, there’s probably a reason why!

2. How diversified are your revenue streams? Putting all your eggs in one or only a few baskets isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it should certainly give you pause (your investors will definitely take a look at this).

3. Are your earnings not up to snuff? Do you still think about getting to where you should be? Well, you may want to stay private until you get there – or at least closer.

4. Have you cleaned up your problems? This can include knocking out some inefficiencies you’ve been meaning to get to for a while and investing and implementing in new IT systems.

5. What’s wrong with you? Seriously. Investors will be wondering exactly this, and you’ll need to be able to answer intelligently. Every company has something wrong with it: the trick is to know what your problems are and have a plan for addressing them.

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Source: OpenView Venture Partners