Business Ownership and Self-Assessment

By Mike Claggett Icon

What questions should I ask myself to see if I have what it takes? In order to successfully start your own business, it is important to realistically appraise your strengths and weaknesses.

It is important to be honest with yourself; an accurate self-assessment of your skills and experiences will allow you select business opportunities that play to your strengths and chose business partners whose abilities will complement yours. Begin by asking yourself the following basic questions, which are designed to help you determine whether or not starting a small business is right for you:

  • Question 1: Am I a self-starter? Do you posses an inner drive to succeed, or does your primary source of motivation come from external pressures such as pay raises and deadlines? If you are highly motivated to set and meet your own goals, starting a small business may be right for you.
  • Question 2: How organized am I? Starting a business will place unprecedented demands on your organizational skills! If you are the type of person who strives to organize his or her workspace and daily schedule to achieve maximum efficiency, becoming your own boss may be right for you.
  • Question 3: Am I a natural leader? Starting a business venture requires you to not only organize yourself but also to coordinate the activities of others, including business partners and employees. If you are comfortable assuming the leadership role, starting a business may be right for you.
  • Question 4: Can I make decisions under pressure? Owning and operating a small business can be a highly unpredictable venture. Unexpected problems will arise that require quick and decisive action. If you possess sound judgment and are comfortable making some decisions intuitively, starting a small business may be right for you.
  • Question 5: Do I welcome responsibility? As a small business owner, you will be accountable to business partners and employees for the business decisions you make. This is a tremendous responsibility. If you possess strong professional ethics, including a sense of personal accountability to others for your decisions, you have one of the primary required traits necessary for success as an entrepreneur.
  • Question 6: Would I describe myself as innovative and creative? Successful small business owners are creative, conceptual thinkers who think outside of the box to develop new and outstanding ideas. If you enjoy creative problem-solving and would describe yourself as an innovative thinker, starting a small business may be right for you.

There is no such thing as an ideal small business owner; everyone has strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis the attributes listed above. However, if you are honest with yourself, your accurate self-assessment will help you to select business opportunities that play to your strengths. Furthermore, by acknowledging your areas of relative weakness you can select business partners and employees whose abilities complement yours.

Accurate self-assessment is a major key to determining your business ownership success potential.

There is an excellent online tool that will help you assess your potential for business ownership here: [].

Mike Claggett is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant with Entrepreneurs On Call. His latest work is his Learning Asset at

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