Monday, May 12, 2003

Simple guide to determine entrepreneurial skills

NOTE. This article first came out in The Manila Times - Business Times Section, and also at the website:

In your journey on entrepreneurship, please take time to do this self-assessment exercise. Simply check your best answer for each question. Sum up your point score at the end and determine your entrepreneurial success quotient. This quiz is adapted from the Small Business Success Magazine of the USA Small Business Administration.

1. What is the key to business success:

a. business knowledge
b. market awareness
c. hands on management

2. If a relative ever asks me for advice about starting a business, I will tell him to:

a. work for someone else in the field first
b. learn about budgeting
c. write a business plan

3. Which is the largest potential trouble spot?

a. too fast growth
b. too much growth
c. too little growth

4. I trust: (select as many as possible)

a. myself
b. my customers
c. my key employees

5. I am unhappy when my employees are:

a. unhappy
b. resigning
c. abrupt with customers

6. My customers are: (select as many as possible)

a. worth listening to
b. demanding
c. always right

7. Rank these in order of importance for marketing success:

a. word-of-mouth
b. location
c. signs

8. When it comes to money, I am:

a. careful
b. shrewd
c. hardnosed

9. Financially my company:

a. knows exactly where it is all the time
b. is making better profits this year than last
c. has a good line of credit

10. In hiring people:

a. I look for the best person, and am willing to pay
b. I take far too long
c. personality is more important than experience

11. With my employees:

a. to whatever extent possible I tailor assignments to personalities
b. I encourage them to talk to me about the business
c. I try to work alongside them whenever possible

12. The real key to business success is:

a. employees
b. knowing the fundamentals of business
c. hard work and perseverance

13. Competition is:

a. a constant threat
b. everywhere
c. cunning

14. The best competitive advantage is:

a. understanding what the market wants
b. confidence
c. experience

15. I keep:

a. in touch with my customers
b. careful financial records
c. in touch with my employees

16. My dream is:

a. to take a vacation
b. to grow the business until someone else can run it
c. to work until I drop

17. I think business plans are:

a. essential-wouldn’t do business without them
b. useful and informative
c. something I can do with my accountant

18. What makes a terrific entrepreneur:

a. consumer orientation
b. creativity
c. discipline

19. What does a business need most:

a. market research
b. a solid business plan
c. money

20. What is essential to marketing:

a. customer awareness
b. market research
c. testing

Quiz Results: a = 5; b = 4; c = 3.


90-100 You will probably be a successful entrepreneur whose operations reflect tried and true business practices.

75-89 Your business is probably headed for long-term success, but success will come sooner if you sharpen your awareness of solid business skills and techniques.

60-74 Never forget that savvy competition is always looking for ways to take the lead even while you are enjoying customer loyalty and repeat business. Don’t let comfort lull you into false security. Be creatively assertive.

0-59 You may well have the right product, but to sell it successfully, you need to increase your market awareness and improve your operating philosophy. Keep persevering.

WORLD PEACE. Let us contribute to world peace by living with sincerity, honesty and sincerity. If what you feel is what you do, that’s sincerity. If what you think is what you do, that’s honesty. If what you say is what you do, that’s integrity.

ASTD 2003 International Conference and Exposition. May 18-22 in San Diego, California, under the auspices of the American Society for Training and Development. For brochures, please call Paradigms & Paradoxes Consultants (Grace, 715-9332) or Philscan Travel (Thelma or Che, 843-1252).

(Ms. Moje Ramos-Aquino is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., a human resources and organization development programs provider. Send your feedback via

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