Module 1: Exercise 3: RESTART Entrepreneur Strengths and Weaknesses Checklist

Module 1: Exercise 3: RESTART Entrepreneur Strengths and Weaknesses Checklist 2017-06-03T09:03:09+00:00

A common concern among prospective entrepreneurs is whether they have the right personalities, characteristics or skills necessary to own and run a small business. The good news is that there’s no definitive formula for what makes a person well-suited to being an entrepreneur. Still, it is true that most successful entrepreneurs share certain characteristics.

This exercise will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and will give you a better idea of whether you’re ready to become a business owner again.

Examine each of the skills areas listed in the chart. Ask yourself whether you possess some or all of the skills listed. Then rate your skills in each area by clicking the appropriate box, using a scale of 1-5, with 1 as low, 2 as between low and medium, 3 as medium, 4 as between medium and high, and 5 as high.

Product and Production

profitable product lines
 
 
 
 
 
packaging
 
 
 
 
 
efficient production processes
 
 
 
 
 
strong technical knowledge
 
 
 
 
 
cost effective purchasing
 
 
 
 
 
product performance reviews
 
 
 
 
 
new product development
 
 
 
 
 
external advisory expertise available
 
 
 
 
 
product performance reviews
 
 
 
 
 
new product development
 
 
 
 
 

Sales

pricing
 
 
 
 
 
clear routes to market
 
 
 
 
 
sales planning – prospecting to find new customers
 
 
 
 
 
not overly reliant on one market or one customer
 
 
 
 
 
selling and negotiation skills
 
 
 
 
 
customer service follow-up
 
 
 
 
 
gather and customer testimonials
 
 
 
 
 
managing your sales team
 
 
 
 
 
managing and motivating distribution channels
 
 
 
 
 
tracking competitors
 
 
 
 
 

Marketing

regular marketing research and trend forecasting
 
 
 
 
 
strong and consistent brand
 
 
 
 
 
consistent advertising/promotion/pr
 
 
 
 
 
annual marketing planning
 
 
 
 
 
agile marketing strategies
 
 
 
 
 
adequate marketing resources
 
 
 
 
 
strong and up to date online presence
 
 
 
 
 

Finances

cash flow planning
 
 
 
 
 
bookkeeping
 
 
 
 
 
billing, payables
 
 
 
 
 
credit control including debt collection
 
 
 
 
 
monthly profit and loss statements
 
 
 
 
 
on time tax preparation
 
 
 
 
 
regular profit analysis
 
 
 
 
 
bank relationships
 
 
 
 
 
good knowledge of grant supports
 
 
 
 
 

Administrative

scheduling
 
 
 
 
 
payroll handling
 
 
 
 
 
general administration
 
 
 
 
 

Personnel Management

hiring employees
 
 
 
 
 
firing employees
 
 
 
 
 
motivating employees
 
 
 
 
 
general management skills
 
 
 
 
 

Personal business skills

oral presentation skills
 
 
 
 
 
written communication skills
 
 
 
 
 
presentation skills
 
 
 
 
 
computer skills
 
 
 
 
 
online marketing experience
 
 
 
 
 
organizational skills
 
 
 
 
 

Intangibles

ability to work long and hard
 
 
 
 
 
ability to manage risk and stress
 
 
 
 
 
family support
 
 
 
 
 
ability to deal with failure
 
 
 
 
 
ability to work alone
 
 
 
 
 
ability to work with and manage others
 
 
 
 
 

 

After you’ve rated yourself in each area, total up the numbers. Then apply the following rating scale:

  • if your total is less than 100 points, you should reconsider whether owning a business is the right step for you
  • if your total is between 101 and 200, you’re on the verge of being ready, but you may be wise to spend some time strengthening some of your weaker areas
  • if your total is above 201, you’re ready to start a new business now