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(From Business for Beginners, 3rd edition)

Answer the following questions to determine which business qualities you already have and which ones you need to develop. Ideally you should be able to answer "yes" to at least 25 of these questions. You need a variety of skills so you can control a multifaceted operation by yourself. If you answered "no" to any questions, ask yourself how you could improve in these areas.

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Submit this questionnaire and you will receive an automatic score and some comments on your results. If you need some help and have a question youd like to ask, use the Free On-Line Help and e-mail me your question. Ill answer it as quickly as I can. In return, I ask that you take a minute to provide some feedback about the site by completing the short, anonymous questionnaire below the quiz.

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(From: Big Ideas for Growing Your Small Business)

You may have been in business only a few weeks and are still very confused. You may have been operating several months or a few years, but your business expectations are not being met. Perhaps you are experiencing rapid growth and feel out of control. You may want to grow but don't know how.

Now is a good time to seriously address where you stand with your business and bring to your attention situations that you may not have previously noticed – or ignored. Admitting that there may be a few problems is a giant first step in the right direction. Writing the problems down makes you face reality. Read the questionnaire below, think carefully about your answers download the questionnaire and answer it honestly, circling the letters as instructed for each question. Then check your score at the end of the questionnaire.

1. I have been in business for: a) weeks b) months c) years
2. I started because: a) I was laid off and couldn't find work
Click only one item
b) I no longer wanted to work for my employer
  c) I was not getting recognition or enough pay for my work
  d) I was worried about job security
  e) my work was boring and posed no challenges
  f) my goal has always been to own my own business
  g) I have planned this for years, and now I am ready
  h) my family owns its own business
  i) all my friends seem to be self-employed
  j) owning my own business seemed like an attractive idea
3. I chose this business because:
a) I have worked in this field for more than five years
Click only one item
b) I have excellent technical skills in this area
  c) it was a challenge that drew on my strengths
  d) it required start-up capital of less than $10,000
  e) I could work from home
  f) I saw an advertisement which really appealed to me
  g) the business proposal promised an immediate income
  h) I always wanted to own a business like this one
  i) I thought I could learn how to operate it quickly
  j) I have had a business before and this appeared a profitable concern.
4. Before making the decision to start this business, I:
a) consulted an accountant or consultant with my idea
Click each applicable item
b) researched the current and future market
  c) researched the competition
  d) researched the product or service
  e) prepared a business plan
  f) prepared projections and cash-flow sheets for two years
  g) had an accountant review my business plan
  h) had a lawyer review contracts and leases
  i) checked local government bylaws and licensing agencies
  j) had enough money on hand to operate for a minimum of six months
  k) set short-term and long-term goals.
5. I financed the business with: a) my own capital
Click one applicable item
b) my partner's and my own capital
  c ) a small business loan from the bank and over 1/3 capital
  d) money from my family
  e) cashing in some retirement savings
  f) a small business loan and little capital
  g) my own capital plus from above
  h) my own capital plus from below
  i) a line of credit
  j) mainly through credit cards
  k) extending my home mortgage
  l) a higher-interest loan, not from a bank.
6. I am experiencing difficulties with my business in: a) making enough profitable sales to pay the bills
Click each applicable item
b) knowing how to reach my market
  c) finding effective methods of advertising
  d) selling, and closing potential sales
  e) understanding the paper work necessary
  f) understanding bookkeeping and accounting requirements
  g) keeping on top of the paperwork
  h) motivating myself to work
  i) keeping organized
  j) not having enough recreation or family time
  k) keeping a positive attitude
  l) drawing business away from the competitors
  m) keeping my prices competitive but profitable
  n) getting my clients to pay me on time
  o) finding the right employees
  p) keeping inventory turning over quickly
  q) knowing how to manage my inventory.
7. At this time, I know the following about my business: a) the seasonal sales trends
Click each applicable item
b) my average gross sales each month
  c) my average monthly gross profit
  d) my monthly break-even point
  e) how much my clients owe me
  f) how much I owe to suppliers and tax departments
  g) my approximate personal tax situation for year-end
  h) the correct balance in my bank account
  i) my estimated sales in the next six months
  j) how much I can safely draw from my business each month
  k) how I am going to market in the next three months.
8. My current state of mind in relationship to the business is: a) I am still very excited about the future
Click only one item
b) I am always planning ahead and thinking of innovative ideas
  c) I love what I am doing and am very content
  d) I can foresee great potential for the future
  e) I am uncertain about the future
  f) I am not sure if I made the right decision
  g) this was not what I expected it to be
  h) it's hard work and the glamour has worn off
  i) I get tired and have trouble motivating myself
  j) I am depressed because I don't earn enough money
  k) I don't think I am an entrepreneur after all
  l) I think I'd prefer to be an employee again
  m) I could close the doors tomorrow and walk away.
9. At this time, my future plans for the business are: a) to learn everything I can and work on making it succeed
Choose one item which best describes your future plans.
b) to locate my problem areas and try to resolve them
  c) to be profitable, to diversify and grow
  d) to build this business to help support my retirement
  e) to build the goodwill and sell within the next few years
  f) to seriously analyze where I stand before I go much further
  g) I don't have any future plans as yet
  h) I'm having enough trouble surviving day-to-day, never mind the future
  i) to sell it for what I can and get out.

Question 2: 1 point for a to e; 5 points for f to g; 2 points for h to j
Question 3: 5 points for a to c; 3 points for d to e; 2 points for f to j
Question 4:15 points for all items circled; 7 points for 7 to 9 circled; 5 points for 4 to 6 circled; 1 point for 1 to 3 circled;
Question 5: 5 points for a to c: 4 points for d to g; 3 points for h to i, 0 for j to l
Question 6: Deduct 1 point for all items circled in this question Bonus: add 10 points if no items are circled
Question 7: Add one point for each item circled Bonus: add 5 points if all items circled
Question 8: Add 5 points for a to d; deduct 1 point for e to f; deduct 3 points for g to j; deduct 5 points for k to m
Question 9: Add 10 points for a to e; 3 points for f; no points for g to i

Score analysis
71: You are obviously an excellent entrepreneur who is doing everything right. Congratulations! Keep on doing what you are doing.

60 to 70: Well done and bravo! You have made a successful start and have pinpointed a few areas where you know you need to improve. Work on these areas with proper guidance, and you will definitely build or improve on a fine business.

30 to 59: There are some important areas you should address. For the most part, you have made a valiant effort to "do it right." Don't ignore problems or shortcomings as they can likely be overcome.

10 to 29: The warning bells are sounding. You have to evaluate what you are doing wrong or not doing at all. It's not too late to work on the areas of concern, but it requires your dedicated commitment.

(-) to 9: Perhaps you should consider letting the business go before you get deeper in debt and more depressed. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Some of the most successful people have quit or failed multiple times before eventually succeeding. If you are willing to accept professional guidance, you could get your business back on track. If it is the wrong business or you have lost interest, let it go.

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