I would also start thinking about the more strategic issues - why does the company exist? what are the advantages and disadvantages? why do people buy the product/service? what are the most expensive parts of the processes - both in making the product/service and the selling. what are the most/least profitable parts? what can be outsourced, what can't, at any cost, be outsourced. who are the most valuable members of the team I would assume you would do a lot of this BEFORE you took over the company, no? the other sections of your post I completely agree with.