Before You Start A Business – Assess Your Resources

business-plan-womanTaking a personal inventory and assessing your current resources will save you time and money! If you’re going to go into business for yourself, one of the best things you can do is know what you’re getting into and whether you have access to the resources necessary for you to succeed.

Entrepreneurs always underestimate what they will need to start their businesses. Honestly, anyone can start a company. But only a small percentage of those who try manage to build successful firms. In one way or another, the reason for failure usually comes down to resources. Businesses that fail most often do so because they lack money, industry expertise, or a viable strategic plan. These are all inputs, or resources, whether they are intellectual capital (knowledge) or monetary capital.

Personal Inventory Chart Use this chart (to the left) to take a personal inventory of your resources as they apply to starting your company. If you do not yet have your business concept solidified, use the chart to identify how well equipped you are to be in business in general. (For example, under “knowledge” assume that you will need to know how to manage money, create financial statements, have some management or entrepreneurial experience, understand a particular industry, have a better-than-average skill that you will use, and so forth.)

As soon as you have nailed down your business idea, recreate this chart and do it again. You might even want to keep it around while you’re in the planning stages, updating it until you feel confident that you have the key resources that you will need to begin.

Feel free to add more resource categories and, if possible, in the description/specifics column, order according to importance, giving each item its own line. Then simply check off the appropriate boxes, identifying how accessible each resource is to you right now. It is important that this list reflect your present situation so that you don’t neglect something that you need to learn or obtain.

Study the completed chart carefully and update it regularly. You may want to recreate it on a piece of paper, draw it on an erasable board, or put it on a spread sheet so that you can more easily edit it. It can be of enormous help to you in starting your company the right way, the smart way.