When you run a small business, you have myriad things to do. You could just be busy and doing things without knowing whether you covered the ground. You could, depending on your personality, focus on just a few areas (that you like) at the cost of others. And there are few, ok many things that never get done. Sometimes, you wonder if there is someone who can help you think through in a structured way what you have been doing and how you can improve.
That’s exactly what I came across. Smart Start Assessment tool (via) that helps you think through your business. This tool was made as a readiness assessment tool for those thinking of starting a business.
But even if you are running a small business, you could use this tool in a variety of ways. The tool asks you questions in four broad categories all of which are relevant, important and brief. The categories are:
1. Personality/social preparedness (the tool calls it Generic )
3. Financial and Operational
4. Legal and Organizational
What I like about this tool is the quality and relevance of the questions. You can use the tool in the following ways:
1. Understand various questions you should be answering (e.g. Do you have a WRITTEN marketing plan?)
2. Understand the spectrum of answers possible so understand where you stand [e.g. How far along are you in your plans? (check all that
a. obtained a business license
b. registered for a tax id number
c. written a business plan
d. paid (or reported taxes)
e. opened a location
f. closed an actual sale
g. registered your business? (LLC, corporation, etc.)?
h. begun developing a marketing plan
i. researched my competition
j. hired workers]
3. Use it as check list so you can complete tasks (check out Marketing or Financial and Operational sections in the tool)
4. If you are about to start a small business, understand how your life will be after you start the business (e.g. are you prepared to lower your standard of living until your business is firmly established?)
5. Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of your business
6. Come up with an action plan (how to spend your time/money)
I hope this tool is useful to you. Enjoy it.