The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Published on Feb 4, 2010
Read our article, 'Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
You've got an idea. You've got the drive. You've got your financial ducks in a row, and they're quacking in four-part harmony. But are YOU ready to start a business?
There's more to running a successful business than ideas and resources. A number of skills and personal attributes add up to make (or break) a business owner. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can tell you (1) whether you're ready to start a small business, (2) what kind of business is right for you, and (3) whether you need to shore up your own skills or add a partner who can bring skills to the table that you lack.
Some of the major skill areas to consider:
Sales skills. How are you at pricing, buying, sales planning? Are you a skillful negotiator? Do you know how to track competitors and learn from the data?
Marketing skills. How familiar are you with advertising and public relations? Can you map out a marketing strategy and see it through?
Financial skills. How are you at managing cash flow? (Your own checkbook might provide clues.) Can you track monthly financial data and multiple accounts? Manage credit lines, general bookkeeping, billing, payables, receivables? Payroll?
Personnel management. How will you do when it comes time for hiring employees? Firing them? Managing them? Motivating them?
Personal business skills. How are you with oral and written communication, computer skills, and general organization?
The intangibles. Do you have the ability to work hard and for long hours, to manage risk and stress, to deal with failure? Can you work well both alone and with others?
None of these are non-starters. When it comes to crucial business skills, everyone has a mix of strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to recognize the areas you need to shore up before the floodwaters come.
Take a look at your own skill set with this assessment tool:
Strengths and weaknesses checklist