SBDC Template

Readiness Questionnaire

This questionnaire should assist you when contemplating a course of action, which will greatly influence your life. Initially you should determine why you want to own a business. The following questions are designed to aid you in this decision (check those that apply):

To improve my standard of living:
  • To do what I want to do, when I want to do it
  • I hate my present job
  • I want to be my own boss. I hate to work for others
  • I have a product or service for which there is a demand
  • Freedom the daily work routine of eight to four
While some of the responses are better than others, none are wrong. Escape from a forty-hour workweek frequently can turn into an eighty-hour workweek. Be aware there are trade offs.


The following questions are designed to determine the probability that you will be successful and at ease as a small business owner. They are not valid scientifically- the questions do identify characteristics important to a small business career. No single person is likely to answer all questions yes or agree. (Answer the following questions as honestly and objectively as you can.)

Count the number of “Yes” and “Approve” answers to the questions below:

  1. To achieve your goals, are you willing to work long hours including weekends with few vacations? Yes or No
  2. Are you prepared, if required, to temporarily lower your standard of living until your business is established? Yes or No
  3. Are your prepared to risk and possibly loose all your life savings? Yes or No
  4. Will you be able to place the needs of your business before those of yourself and your family? Yes or No
  5. Will your family and friends support you in acceding to the business needs? Yes or No
  6. Do you take full responsibility for your own mistakes? Yes or No
  7. Can and do you use these experiences to improve your future performance? Yes or No
  8. Can you maintain your motivation and energy in the face of unstable working or economic conditions? Yes or No
  9. Have you ever worked in a managerial or supervisory position? Yes or No
  10. Have you ever worked in a business similar to the one you wish to buy or start? Yes or No
  11. Do you enjoy working? Yes or No
  12. Do you usually, before entering a new career, go to great lengths to gather and use extensive information and data to advise you in planning and decision making? Yes or No
  13. To test a course of action, do you rely heavily on feedback and use results obtained to make corrections or adjustments? Yes or No
  14. Do you have a high degree of self-discipline; Can you apply yourself to a job that needs to be done even though you don’t feel like doing it? Yes or No
  15. Will you be able to show “grace under pressure”? Yes or No
  16. Do you possess excellent problem-solving skills, especially in crises? Yes or No
  17. Do you go against the mainstream to pursue a course of action you believe in even though others disapprove? Yes or No
  18. Can you pick yourself up and move on to another challenge when things go wrong instead of brooding and feeling a lot of self pity? Yes or No
  19. Do you empathize well with others? Yes or No
  20. Are you willing to spend a great deal of time, as long as you are in business, learning about things that are required to be helpful in your business? Yes or No
  21. Do you enjoy most other people? Yes or No
  22. If you discover you don’t have the basic skills needed for your business, will you be willing to delay your plans until you have acquired the necessary skills? Yes or No
Check which describes your feelings about the following statements:
  1. You don’t have to observe all ethical practices to be successful in business. Approve, Disapprove or N/A
  2. An individual needs a “Sense of Mission” in order to be fulfilled in his/her work. Approve, Disapprove or N/A
  3. It is very important for a business to provide a product or service that is worthwhile and useful to others. Approve, Disapprove or N/A
  4. I have a better chance of reaching my goals by working for myself than working for others. Approve, Disapprove or N/A
  5. It is important for a person to have the freedom to be creative in his/her workplace. Approve, Disapprove or N/A
  6. It is more important to accomplish something worthwhile than to earn a great deal of money. Approve, Disapprove or N/A

County the number of "Yes" or "Approve" answers and multiply by 5: _____

Scores of:

  • 115-140: Individual will succeed in small business
  • 75-115: Individual have tendency toward ownership – has some areas of conflict
  • Below 75: Probably not suited for small business ownership.
If someone personally lacks the needed skills, having a team that does possess the necessary skills can often make it up.