Checklist: your skills

Running your own business means you must wear a range of hats: financial controller, marketer, people manager and more. Use this checklist to identify where your strengths lie and where there is room for improvement.


Running your own business means you must wear a range of hats: financial controller, marketer, people manager and more. Use this checklist to identify where your strengths lie and where there is room for improvement.

This checklist should help you to look honestly at what you can do well and what you do badly. If there are skills you lack, this does not mean that you cannot go ahead. But you need to compensate:

  • be trained or seek advice from an enterprise agency or other advice body
  • fund the business so you can employ those skills which are lacking
  • use professional advisers, if appropriate.


As you answer each question, underline the appropriate word or words:

Financial
Have you kept accounting books, for example, sales and purchases daybooks, cash books or used a simple software program? many times on a few occasions not at all
Have you ever installed a system of credit control? yes no
Have you ever negotiated credit terms with a supplier? yes no
What is your experience of drawing up cash flows? extensive a little none at all
Do you understand the importance of controlling cash? yes no
What is your experience of drawing up budgets? extensive a little none at all
Is break-even analysis a technique you have used before? yes, frequently yes, sometimes no, not at all
Do you know when and how you would use: (a) An overdraft ? yes no
(b) Leasing? yes no
(c) Factoring? yes no
What is your experience of estimating and raising money for long-term financial needs? extensive a little none at all
Do you know what are the sources of long-term funds, for example, venture capital? yes no
What is your experience of drawing up business plans? extensive a little none at all
What is your experience of presenting your plan to financiers? extensive a little none at all
Marketing
Do you understand the different ways you can establish prices? yes no
Do you know how to analyse market sectors? yes no
What is your experience of identifying product benefits? extensive a little none at all
What is your experience of:
(a) Direct response advertising extensive a little none at all
(b) Public relations extensive a little none at all
(c) Face-to-face selling extensive a little none at all
(d) Direct mail extensive a little none at all
(e) Telephone selling extensive a little none at all
(f) Marketing through the Internet extensive a little none at all
Do you understand how to build relationships with customers? yes no
Operational
Do you know how to introduce a stock control system? yes no
Do you understand all the ins and outs of your product; that is, how it works, what it does? yes, very well yes, somewhat no, not very well
Do you understand the effect that control of costs can have on profits? yes, very well yes, somewhat no, not very well
Do you understand the manufacturing process of your product (if applicable)? yes, very well yes, somewhat no, not very well
Do you know how to use a database to gather information? yes, very well yes, somewhat no, not very well
Do you understand how to integrate the use of information technology in your business? yes, very well yes, somewhat no, not very well
General management
What is your experience of staff recruitment? extensive a little none at all
What is your understanding of employment law? extensive a little none at all
Do you know how to set goals and objectives for employees? yes no
What is your experience of project management? extensive a little none at all

Once you have finished assessing your skills and abilities, you will have some indication of what improvements you should make.

Related Topics

Leave a comment