Entrepreneur’s Personal Skills Assessment

Research indicates that the likelihood of success for a new venture is linked as much to the knowledge and characteristics of the founders as it is to the product or service being sold.  To see if you have what it takes try and answer some of the questions listed below in order assess whether you have the personal skills to be an entrepreneur.  Be sure to ask trusted friends and business colleagues to review the worksheet questions with you to provide candid and unbiased feedback.

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • Are you self-motivated and able to persevere and keep yourself moving forward and try new solutions?
  • Do you believe in yourself and feel confident about your professional and personal skills and your ability to leverage them successfully in your new business?
  • Are you willing to work harder than you've ever worked before and for long hours without the security of a steady paycheck and no promise of ultimate success?
  • Are you healthy and do you have a regular program of exercise and diet in place that will sustain your energy level?
  • Are you willing to take responsibility for situations, make tough decisions on your own, and accept the risks of failure with respect to such decisions?
  • Are you creative and innovative and consistently able to find new ways of doing things?
  • Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you identified the values—honesty, service, quality, innovation, teamwork—that you believe will be most important for the operation and success of your business and have you prepared a brief description of how each of the chosen values will be used in the business?
  • Do you know what is really important to you and are you clear about the ethical values you will refer to when making decisions about your business and your actions?
  • Do you have the business skills you need to run a business?
  • Do you have managerial experience?
  • Have you worked in a business like the one you want to start?
  • Have you thoroughly researched your business and its industry?
  • Do you have the technical skills you will need to operate your particular business?
  • Have you evaluated your experience and talents with respect to the key skills and knowledge necessary for operating a business—planning, product or service knowledge, financial management and budgeting, marketing, sales, and recruitment and management of human resources?
  • Have you created a plan for obtaining information or assistance with respect to those skills and knowledge as to which you lack experience and/or talent?
  • Do you have business partners or advisors who can compensate for your weaknesses?
  • Are you a good planner and do you have the vision to see in advance the steps and tasks that it takes to get something done?
  • Are you a good listener and do you take the time to listen to and really understand what others may be thinking or feeling?
  • Can you deal effectively with other people and do you enjoy maintaining relations with others?
  • Are you an effective leader, motivator, and communicator?
  • Are you willing to delegate authority and responsibility to others?
  • Do you project a professional image to your customers and other business partners?
  • Can people trust what you say and that you will do what you say you will do?
  • Do you have the skills and other resources necessary to perform an adequate feasibility study of the key concepts underlying your idea for a new business?
  • Have you established and follow a plan for continuously monitoring events and changes in your target market?
  • Do you belong to a trade association or other business organization that provides you with opportunities to meet with other entrepreneurs and executives in your industry?
  • Do you belong to local clubs and organizations that provide opportunities to meet prospective business partners and create a positive image in your community?

The content in this post has been adapted from material that will appear in Business Transactions Solutions (Winter 2008) and is presented with permission of Thomson/West.  Copyright 2008 Thomson/West.  For more information or to order call 1-800-762-5272.

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