header left header center header right

The Entrepreneur Test

Source: Managing a Small Business

The first question you should answer when you are thinking of going into business is "Am I the type?" You will be your most important employee. It is more important that you rate yourself objectively than how you rate any prospective employee. Appraise your strengths and your weaknesses. As a prospective operator of your own business, acknowledge that you are weak in certain areas and cover the deficiency by either retraining yourself or hiring someone with the necessary skill. The questions in this test indicate to what extent you have the personal traits important to a business proprietor.

Instructions: Read each question and click on one of the suggested answers. Respond by marking the answer that most accurately describes your behavior, feeling or attitude as it actually is, not as you would like it to be, or think it should. You must be absolutely honest with yourself in order to get a valid score.

1. Are You a Self-Starter?

If someone gets me started, I keep going all right.
I do things my own way. Nobody needs to tell me to get going.
Easy does it. I don't put myself out until I have to.

2. How Do You Feel About Other People?

Most people bug me.
I like people. I can get along with just about anybody.
I have enough friends and I don't need anybody else.

3. Can You Lead Others?

I can get people to do things if I drive them.
I can get most people to go along with me without much difficulty.
I usually let someone else get things moving.

4. Can You Take Responsibility?

I'll take over if I have to, but I'd rather let someone else be responsible.
There's always some eager beaver around waiting to show off. I say, let him.
I like to take charge of and see things through.

5. How Good An Organizer Are You?

I like to have a plan before I start. I'm usually the one who lines things up.
I do all right unless things get too complicated. Then I may cop out.
I just take things as they come.

6. How Good a Worker Are You?

I can't see that hard work gets you anywhere.
I'll work hard for a time, but when I've had enough, that's it.
I can keep going as long as necessary. I don't mind working hard.

7. Can You Make Decisions?

I can if I have plenty of time. If I have to make up my mind fast, I usually regret it.
I can make up my mind in a hurry if necessary, and my decision is usually O.K.
I don't like to be the one who decides things. I'd probably blow it.

8. Can People Trust What You Say?

I try to be on the level, but sometimes I just say what's easiest.
They sure can. I don't say things I don't mean.
What's the sweat if the other fellow doesn't know the difference?

9. Can You Stick With It?

If I make up my mind to do something, I don't let anything stop me.
If a job doesn't go right, I turn off. Why beat your brains out?
I usually finish what I start.

10. Can You Keep Records?

Records are not important. I know what needs to be known without keeping records.
I can, but it's more important to get the work out than to shuffle numbers.
Since they are needed I'll keep records even though I don't want to.

That's it ...


Score 100
Excellent: A perfect score. You are a born entrepreneur. If you are not presently running your own business you should definitely start one -- the sooner the better. You are on the way to fame and riches.

Score 91 - 99
Very good: You definitely have what it takes to succeed in a business of your own. Don't hesitate, your way to business success is wide open.

Score 72 - 90
Good: You have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur with some weak spots. Read the interpretation below to identify your deficiency. You should be able to cover that deficiency by either retraining yourself or hiring someone with the necessary skill.

Score 40 - 71
So, so: The prospect of your success in a business of your own is questionable. You have some deficiencies that might out-shadow some good traits you have. If you still want to go on with it, be sure to call up all the persistence you can get. You are going to face some tough adversity on the way.

Score 40 and below
Unsatisfactory: Forget your dreams of being your own boss, it's not for you. You'd better keep your comfortable and secure job. Why bother with all the risks and hustles of starting a business.


What Traits and Characteristics Make a Successful Entrepreneur?

Numerous studies have been made of small business managers over the years. Many look at traits and characteristics that appear common to most people who start their own businesses. Other studies focus on characteristics that seem to appear frequently in successful owner-managers.

First, consider those characteristics that seem to distinguish the person who opens a business from the person who works for someone else. These studies investigated successful and unsuccessful owners, some of whom went bankrupt several times. Some were successful only after the second or third try. The characteristics they share might almost be said to predispose a person into trying to start a business. Of course, not all of these characteristics appear in every small business owner-manager, but the following seem to be most predominate.

People who start their own business may be members of different political parties, feel differently about religion, economics and other issues. They are like everyone else. The difference is they usually feel and express themselves more strongly. This is consistent. If you are going to risk your money and time in your own business you must have a strong feeling that you will be successful.

These strong feelings may also cause problems. If you want to start your own business you probably have mixed feelings about authority. You know the manager must have authority to get things done, but you're not comfortable working under someone. This may also have been your attitude in a scholastic, family or other authority structure.

f you want to open your own business you are likely to have a strong "Need for Achievement". This "Need for Achievement" is a psychologist's term for motivation and is usually measured by tests. It can be an important factor in success. The person who wouldn't think of starting a business, might call you a plunger, a gambler, a high risk taker. Yet you probably don't feel that about yourself.

Studies have shown that very often the small business owner doesn't differ from anyone else in risk avoidance or aversion when measured on tests. At first thought this seems unreasonable since logic tells us that it is risky to open your own business. A management expert once explained this apparent contradiction very simply. "When a person starts and manages his own business he doesn't see risks; he sees only factors that he can control to his advantage." If you possess these traits to some degree or other it doesn't mean you will be successful, only that you will very likely start your own business. Some of these characteristics in excess may actually hamper you if you are not careful.

The characteristics that appear most frequently among "successful" small business managers include drive, thinking ability, competence in human relations, communications skills and technical knowledge.

Drive, as defined in the study, is composed of responsibility, vigor, initiative, persistence and health.

Thinking ability consists of original, creative, critical, and analytical thinking.

Competency in human relations means emotional stability, sociability, good personal relations, consideration, cheerfulness, cooperation. and tactfulness.

Communications skills include verbal comprehension, and oral and written communications.

Technical knowledge is the manager's comprehension of the physical process of producing goods or services, and the ability to use the information purposefully.

Motivation or drive has long been considered as having an important effect on performance. Psychologists now claim you can increase the motivation and the personal capacities that will improve your effectiveness and increase your chances for success. Much of the development of such achievement motivation depends on setting the right kind of goals for yourself.

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. National Judgment Network