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What Business Skills have you mastered?  Which ones do you still need to work on?

I share this Business Skills Assessment with my clients.

First of all, it is designed to run through what I consider to be the Five Essential Skills personal historians and ANY small business owner needs to have in order to successfully run a business.

Secondly, it gives both my clients and me a good look at where they are in business before they start working with me.  We often do the Business Skills Assessment again at the end of our work together to see how far they have come and to let them assess where they need to go next on their own.

I would suggest you copy and paste this list into a document for yourself and then mark next to each one whether it is a skill you use, or not, or maybe do half way.

Business Skills Assessment:


Yes No Yes/No  


Did you take the time last Dec. or Jan. to do a strategic plan for this year?   – Analyze the past year, set your goals for the coming year, create a timeline for goals and activities.


Do you set goals regularly?  – Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly?


Do you create any kind of a “To Do List” for business activities you want to get done in the coming week?


Do you regularly create a “To Do List” for “tomorrow?”


Are you meeting your financial goals for your business every month?


Are you clear about your financial goals for each revenue stream?


Do you think you are charging correctly?  – Not too high.  Not too low.


Are you clear about your target clients and their reasons for spending money for your services?  Do you have a defined “marketing message” built around this understanding?


Do you have a brief (30 seconds) description of your products and services, which you can use in any situation in which you need to describe your business?  (A “yes” answer should mean that people often respond with interest when they hear about what you do.  A “no” answer would include people listening to your description but you don’t often get very much response.)


Do you spend at least 5 to 10 hours per week marketing your business?


Do you have 3 to 5 marketing strategies, which get you DIRECTLY in front of your target clients or people who might refer them to you, and which you do consistently on an ongoing basis?


Are your marketing strategies varied?  – Meaning you do some active things like attend networking events, do public speaking, as well as  some passive activities  like posting articles on the internet, sending out a newsletter, doing mailings or e-mailings.


Are you ready, at a moment’s notice, to give a 10 minute presentation about your business?


Do you set and reach networking goals so that time at events is well spent?  Do you know how to get the most out of any networking conversation?


Do you have an efficient and organized contact management system for managing potential clients?   – You know who you have talked to, about what, and when you should contact them again.


Are you really comfortable doing marketing and sales activities?


Do you give preference to some of the activities you need to do to run your business and avoid others?


Are you a steady learner?  Do you seek out training and information to help you run your business more effectively, keep up to date with new opportunities, and be more successful?


Do you have a structure for your sales conversations with potential clients?   – Meaning a structure that guides your conversations with potential clients such that they are more likely to say “yes” and less likely to put you off while they “think about it.”


Is there time in your schedule for everything you need to get done for your business?  -Billable hours (working with clients), time to work ON your business (administrative functions, accounting, writing, setting up marketing strategies, etc), and Marketing time (actually going out into the world to find potential clients.)


Are you organized and is your office organized?  Do you spend a little time every day putting things in order?


Have you created an exit strategy for your business or do you just plan to eventually stop working and the income will stop there?

This is our last article in this 5 article series for beginning Personal Historians.

What should you do next?

Want a Free Consultation?  If you would like a free initial consultation with me about your business and your business skills, please contact me: Dhyan Atkinson 303-415-0243 or Dhyan at DhyanAtkinson dot com (go to the contact us page). I will also share with you, if you are interested, what services and programs I provide to personal historians.

Want 6 months of Business Skills Training to help you get up and running?  APH is sponsoring and I am teaching a six month class for beginning personal historians starting in March of 2014.  Each month you will receive an instructional webinar with handout materials to help you implement what you are learning in your business; a teleclass where we will have open discussions, the chance for you to ask questions, get help and learn from the questions of others.  Finally you have one 30-40 minute private session with me every month.  This is a GREAT opportunity.  For more information or to register go to: APH Events and Classes

Want to read more?  I will be posting more articles (probably not one a day!) on the business skills small business owners need and other current business issues.  If you would like to keep getting these kinds of informational articles, please sign up for the RSS feed or come back often!

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