Posted tagged ‘cfo’

Small Business Guide – Personal Evaluation Part I

July 6, 2010

You see things; and say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” – George Bernard Shaw

Although there is no exact profile for a successful business-owner, the following evaluation will assist you in determining if you have the inherent aptitude and skill sets to be a successful entrepreneur.

WHO AM I? (In terms of self-employment)

In each question, check the answer that says what you feel comes closest to describing you. Be honest! This is for YOU!

1.    Am I a self-starter?
* I like to do things on my own. Nobody has to tell me to get going.
* Once someone gets me started, I can keep things going OK.
* Usually, people have to keep after me to get me moving.

2.    How do I feel about other people?
* I like other people. I can get along with just about anyone.
* I have a group of friends, and no one else matters.
* Most people bug me.

3.    How do I act as a leader?
* Usually I can get others to go along with me on things.
* I can give people orders.
* I like for others to get things going. Then I decide whether I want to join in.

4.    Do I take responsibility well?
* I like to take charge of things and see them through to the end.
* I’ll take over if necessary, but I’d rather someone else did.
* I usually try to get someone else to do the work.

5.    How good of a worker am I?
* I can keep going as long as I want. I don’t mind working hard.
* I work hard for a while, but when I’ve had enough, that’s it.
* I don’t think hard work necessarily gets you anywhere.

6.    Can people trust what I say?
* I don’t say things I don’t mean.
* I try to be on the level most of the time. Sometimes, though, I say whatever is easiest.
* If the other person doesn’t know the difference, why sweat it?

7.    Can I stick with it?
* If I make up my mind to do something, nothing stops me.
* I usually finish what I start – if it doesn’t gel fouled up.
* If it doesn’t go right, why beat your head against a wall? Give up.

8.    How do I usually handle an emergency?
* I step in and take charge.
* I help where l can.
* I panic and let someone else take over.

9.    How do I feel about asking for payment for my product?
* I feel comfortable, because I know my product is worth.
* I am uncomfortable asking, but I do it.
* I prefer to wait for the person to offer to pay.

10.   How good of an organizer am I with a new task?
* I prefer to plan it from beginning to end.
* I look at the general issues and start.
* I go for it and plan as I go.

11.   How do I react to new tasks?
* I love to brainstorm, create and implement something new.
* Once the brainstorming and creative part is done, I’m bored and have trouble following through.
* I like to implement something that has already been designed.

12.   How do I usually make decisions?
* I identify alternatives and research each one.
* I research the decision, but have difficulty making up my mind.
* I avoid making decisions whenever possible.

13.   Can I make good decisions?
* I can makeup my own quickly if I have the right information. It usually turns out OK.
* I can if I have plenty of time. If I have to decide fast, I later doubt my decision.
* I usually make spur-of-the-moment decisions and follow my gut level feeling at the moment.

14.   How do feel about competition?
* I work best when there is competition. It keeps me motivated.
* I prefer team efforts and want everyone to come out ahead.
* I don’t like competitive situations. They make me nervous.

15.   Can I influence other people?
* When I am right I can usually convince others.
* Sometimes I can influence others.
* Be reasonable; you can’t change someone else’s mind.

16.   What is my attitude toward success?
* If I work hard and plan well, I can succeed
* My success depends largely on others.
* Success is a matter of luck.

17.   What do I usually do when given a new task?
* I usually dig right in and get started.
* I do a little at a time.
* I procrastinate until the very last minute.

18.   What do I do when faced with failure?
* I usually try to come up with a new approach or angle.
* It shows me that I should stick to what works.
* I realize that I never should have tried in the first place and abandon the idea.

19.   How do I feel about failure?
* It’s a good learning experience.
* I avoid dealing with it at all costs.
* I take it as a personal rejection and retreat.

20.   How do I feel about meeting new people?
* I like being around new acquaintances and usually can get along well with people I’ve just met.
* I am uncomfortable if I am not with my friends.
* I hate meeting new people; usually I just don’t say anything when in a new group.

21.   How do I react to pressure?
* I work well under pressure; it keeps me moving.
* I don’t like pressure, but deal with it if I have to.
* I crumble under pressure.

22.   How good is my health?
* Great
* I have the energy to do most of the things I want to do.
* I tend to run out of juice.

Now count the checks you mode:
* How many are beside the first answer to the question?
* How many are beside the second answer?
* How many are beside the third?

We find people who check the first answers most frequently have many of the personality traits useful to entrepreneurs. If you have checked several third choices, you should consider developing new skills, or finding a business partner whose skills complement yours. You may even want to consider whether being in business for yourself is the right choice for you.

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Try Again – A Third Grade Lesson for Small Business

November 18, 2009

It is especially important for Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs to develop an indomitable spirit.  This little poem inspires me when I feel like a hampster on a wheel.

TRY AGAIN
from THE BEACON THIRD READER by James H. Fassett with a copyright dtd: 1914.

Drive the nail aright, boys,
Hit it on the head;
Strike with all your might, boys,
While the iron’s red.

When you’ve work to do, boys,
Do it with a will;
They who reach the top, boys,
First must climb the hill.

Standing at the foot, boys,
Gazing at the sky,
How can you get up, boys,
If you never try?

Though you stumble oft, boys,
Never be downcast;
Try, and try again, boys,
You’ll succeed at last.

Excel Min Function – Smallest value

November 11, 2009

The Excel MIN (Minimum) function will identify the smallest or minimum number in a range of cells.
Select the cell where in you want the formula to be entered. (Cell B14)
Next Click on the Sigma  ∑ sign.  The drop down menu will give you a choice of functions – select Min.
The formula =Min(number1,[number2]….etc, Select range of cells, hit Enter Key.
Or type the formula =MIN(B2:B13)  in the example shown below.

Excel07 Min

Excel Max Function – Largest Value

November 7, 2009

The Excel MAX (Maximum) function will identify the largest or maximum number in a range of cells.

Select the cell where in you want the formula to be entered. (Cell B14)

Next Click on the Sigma  ∑ sign.  The drop down menu will give you a choice of functions – select Max.

The formula =Max(number1,[number2]….etc, Select range of cells, hit Enter Key.

Or type the formula =MAX(B2:B13)  in the example shown below.

Excel07 Max

Integrated Approach for SMB, Small Business, Startups, Entrepreneurs

November 7, 2009

In the face of continuous technological changes and financial market volatility, it is becoming increasingly important to define business ideas and validate the concept before launching a high technology or eCommerce venture.  The Integrated Approach provides the means to entrepreneurs in objectively analyzing their business ideas.  It enables them to identify the underlying factors that are critical for the longer-term success of the venture and whether their concept is actually a viable business solution.  Additionally, the framework evaluates the allocation of limited resources, especially of cash, and helps determine if the venture can deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.

If you can’t answer the following questions – using no more than the napkin your drink has been served on, the bartender’s pen and a conversation with the person on the stool next to you – then you might want to think again . . .

Business Questions:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What is your revenue model?
  • What is your cost structure?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What is your sustainable competitive advantage?

If you can actually answer the five questions above, then form a team and build a business plan around the answers you’ve scrawled on that drink-soaked napkin.  To form a team you must – you guessed it – answer five more hard questions . . .

Team Questions:

  • Who should be on the team?
  • What are the necessary roles and responsibilities?
  • Who is missing from the team?
  • What are the lines of communication?
  • How will decisions be made?

Starting a business is not an easy process, however by following a diagnostic approach one can actually crystallize the strategic vision, and validate the concept before scarce resources are allocated to the venture. The integrated approach consists of three distinct phases namely due diligence, funding and execution.

Source: James M. Rasmussen, Manager- Global Deal Services at Accenture.

Excel Average Formula, Function, Average Cells in Excel

November 5, 2009

The Excel Average (Average) function will identify the Average of a range of cells.
Select the cell where in you want the formula to be entered. (Cell B14)
Next Click on the Sigma  ∑ sign.  The drop down menu will give you a choice of functions – select Average.
The formula =Average(number1,[number2]….etc, Select range of cells, hit Enter Key.
Or type the formula =Average(B2:B13)  in the example shown below.

Excel07 Average

Excel Sum Formula, Function, Sum Cells in Excel

November 3, 2009

The Excel Sum function will ADD the a range of cells. 
Select the cell where in you want the formula to be entered. (Cell B14)
Next Click on the Sigma  ∑ sign.  The drop down menu will give you a choice of functions – select Sum.
The formula =Sum(value1,[value2]….etc, highlite the section that you want to Add, hit Enter Key.
Or type the formula =Sum(B2:B13)  in the example shown below.

Excel 07 SumFunction