Personal Assessment for entrepreneurs
Some of the most important decisions that you will make will be long before you have
your first customer:
Starting your own business be it a small part time undertaking or a large enterprise can be one of your life’s most important milestones. Before starting up a business it is important to identify whether starting a business is the right thing for you.
Some of the following questions will prompt you in doing a personal audit:
Assess your objectives
- Have you always wanted to run your own business?
- Do you know what work you would like to be doing in in five or ten years?
- Do you want to work on your own?
- Do you want to be the boss?!
- Is a career of less importance to you than other ambitions?
- Do you want to realize your full potential?
- Do you think that you will have a better quality of life running your own business?
- Do you expect to earn a lot of money?
- Would you like a greater degree of financial security?
- Do you have a specific business idea that you would like to see become a reality?
If most of the answers above are ‘yes’ then you can start laying the foundation for your new business – otherwise rethink your life strategy.
Examining personal attributes
It is important to ensure that you have the personal characteristics that make most successful entrepreneurs.
|Are you able to concentrate?|
|Are you enthusiastic?|
|Are you a risk taker?|
|Are you creative?|
|Are you decisive?|
|Are you determined?|
|Are you good with figures?|
|Are you happy working long hours?|
|Are you self-confident?|
|Are you well organized?|
What is a small business really like?
Study existing businesses – To answer this question it is important to study existing businesses of the people that you know.
Read up biographies of successful entrepreneurs. These will give important pointers as to what are the more important factors for business suuccess.
Economic considerations – when you start up a business there is no regular paycheck – so it important to figure out the income streams for the day to day expenses that you will incur.
Involving others who will be affected is very important. If you single with no other dependents it might not be an issue – but otherwise make sure that all others who depend on you support your decision to start a new business.
Lifestyle aspects – Another related issue is the lifestyle that you and your family are prepared to accept. This should be taken into account at a very early stage. Depending on the type of business that you are planning to operate your new lifestyle might involve financial anxiety and long erratic working hours.
Failure – Around one in three small businesses will fail in the first few years – this will cause pain and disillusionment to the owner. So always have a fallback plan if things do not work out. Most people find that the reward in terms of experience as being very great and will start a new small business later as opportunities arise. The importance of being independent also is very important and some will work more for less reward only due to this reason.
Business Skills and Expertise
|Do you understand your market?|
|Do you know about marketing?|
|Do you have sales skills?|
|Do you have experience dealing with customers?|
|Do you have knowledge of business taxes?|
|Do you have bookkeeping knowledge?|
|Do you have knowledge of business budgets?|
|Do you have knowledge of business laws?|
|Do you have experience of managing staff?|
|Do you have computer skills?|
If the answer to most of these is high-medium then you are well on your way – otherwise you may need a partner or employ somebody with the necessary skills.