Am I any good?

I met a guy on Friday who posed an interesting question.

Here it is…

Someone has a great business idea – everyone says so; it’s a sure fire winner. But how do they know if they are going to be any good in business?

Their idea may be great but history is littered with people we’ve never heard of who have fabulous ideas but just couldn’t manage the business.

I know there are business studies courses in schools and colleges, many of which are very good, but they don’t really prepare you for the cut and thrust of Enterprise Britain. Some people will have natural skills needed to run a business, but rarely will one person have everything.

Take Richard Branson, for example. No one would deny he knows a thing or two about building a business, but he always had great trouble explaining the difference between gross and net profit!

The other side of the coin is that until you get into business it’s very difficult to know what bits you’ll be good at and what you’ll need help with. By then, it’s often too late, or the action you need to take is so radical that you end up with a business that’s completely different to the one you started with.

But my colleague might just have a solution… it’s early days yet, but things are looking promising.

He’s a director of a company that has created an on-line assessment tool for people about to set up (or who have recently set up) in business. It measures their ability to run a business by asking questions about a number of areas.

Once the questions have been answered the tool will explain areas of strength and areas where some help is needed.

But then, the tool goes a step further than most instruments of this type. It goes on to suggest the training and development that’s needed to plug the identified gaps. It could be self-directed development… like reading a book… or it might be a suggested course.

Powerful stuff.

The trick, of course, is to get enough people to find out about the tool and then to get them to use it.

We’ll keep you posted on this one but we’d like to hear about your business, too. Post a comment or write a blog. We can’t promise to publish them all, but we’ll do our best.

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