This paper is a self-evaluation of my understanding in Business Knowledge, Personal values, beliefs, attitudes, and other relevant skills required for setting up my own venture after completing my Business Operation Management course at Southern Institute of Technology. I will assess my skills in relation to the requirements of my planned service firm, www.tyourservices.com, which offers domestic services in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
To meet word limit constraints and evaluation parameters, this paper is divided into four parts:
- First part: Provides a brief introduction to the intended venture.
- Second part: Explains and evaluates the skills and characteristics covered in the self-employment test provided (Appendix I).
- Third part: Discusses my ratings in the allied skills and characteristics.
- Fourth part: Presents my findings.
The fourth and final part of this paper will involve evaluating the areas that need improvement and providing suggestions for those areas. Image 1 illustrates the structure of this paper, with a specific focus on my venture. At your Service Pvt. Ltd. serves as an intermediary between sellers and buyers, facilitating closer connections between them. This company connects sellers to a large customer base for their products and services while offering buyers a greater selection of options.
The business model is simple. It aims to offer essential services to working couples or busy individuals who find it difficult to make time for household chores such as bill payment (electricity, telephone, mobile, insurance credit card etc.), housekeeping, taxi service, travel arrangements, ticket booking and flower and gift delivery. In addition to providing these services, the company also sends alerts for payment deadlines and reminders for special occasions like friends’ birthdays and anniversaries.
The Self Employment Test is created to evaluate individuals’ overall suitability for starting their own venture. It assesses various aspects of their personality, such as extroversion, approach, flexibility, creativity, planning, initiative, independence, purpose, emphasis on self role in venture, and determination. Each factor has a strong correlation with the process of initiating a new venture.
Extroversion is crucial for entrepreneurship because it is linked to creativity and an innovative mindset. Initially, extroversion was believed to be the main factor in entrepreneurship. However, further research revealed that extroversion holds equal importance. While everyone has some level of creativity, expressing and communicating creativity requires a certain level of extroversion. It is not necessary for individuals to be extroverts to express their ideas, but extroverts tend to do so more often and effectively than others.
The success of any venture greatly relies on its approach. Research has shown that when the key decision makers involved have an aligned approach with the project, the chances of success are significantly higher. Each venture requires a specific approach; some necessitate a humanist approach, while others call for a highly rational one. There are also ventures that can benefit from a combination of both approaches. For instance, if you are considering starting a HR consultancy, it is advisable to adopt a humanist approach. Conversely, if you intend to establish an accounting firm, taking a rational approach would be more suitable.
Flexibility is essential for starting and successfully running any venture due to the ever-changing business and social environments. Creativity, while still important, is no longer the sole criterion for entrepreneurs. Planning helps to meet deadlines and prevent resource wastage, making ventures more effective and efficient. Taking initiative is crucial for becoming self-employed, as illustrated by the quote “Many individuals who intend to become self-employed simply never end up in business” due to a lack of initiative. The desire for independence, especially financial independence, is a common characteristic of entrepreneurs worldwide.
The purpose of this question is to determine the applicant’s outlook on owning a business. Are they seeking independence or do they enjoy facing the challenges involved in the process? The emphasis is on identifying where the applicant sees themselves in the venture – whether they want to be involved in operations and utilize their technical abilities or prefer to handle administrative tasks. Determination is a highly valued skill for running a business successfully.
When it comes to business planning, goal setting, and other related activities, one can definitely be taught. However, in order to truly achieve ultimate success, it is crucial to have a strong determination to win or succeed. This determination can either come from within oneself or be inherited.
Regarding self-evaluation: The employment test I took showed a satisfactory score, as shown in figure 1 at the beginning of this paper (Introduction). While the results indicate that I have the potential to run my own business, they also emphasize certain aspects of my personality that require improvement in relation to entrepreneurship. In the final section of this study, I will discuss ways in which I can enhance myself in those specific areas.
My test or self-evaluation score is as follows: Extroversion received a mediocre score of 4, suggesting that I am somewhat introverted and need to improve this skill. This is crucial because I established my business in a second-tier city in India where relationships play an important role. Conversely, my approach skills scored exceptionally well with a score of 9, which aligns perfectly with my business plans.
For a domestic service providing firm, a rational approach is required as it is managed with relatively fewer staff and mostly depends on market research, which further relies heavily on proven facts and figures. Hence, in my approach, I give myself a well-deserving thumb up for Flexibility: I scored a decent 5 in flexibility, but I think I should have scored a little higher as my business is a customer-driven model that requires the highest order of flexibility. I give myself a thumb down here and will look for ways to improve my flexibility. Creativity: My score in creativity is 6, which is considered above average, but I do not agree with this illustration as I am considered a very creative person in my known circle. In any case, the business model that I have selected does not demand much creativity as it is a supply-driven model, and creativity is of more importance where you have to work more on demand creation. Hence, I will give myself a well-deserving thumb up for creativity.
Planning: I have achieved a perfect score of 10 in planning, which was expected. As mentioned earlier, this model is driven by customer demand and faces limited resources. Therefore, effective and efficient planning is crucial for this venture. A score of 10 is ideal, so I give myself a thumbs up once again.
Initiative: A perfect score of 10 for initiative is well-deserved and aligns with the business model. The venture I have planned is completely new and offers something unique.
This venture requires a carefully calculated risk, and I must be prepared to take daring actions. Therefore, I rate myself a perfect 10 in this aspect. Moreover, I give myself a deserving thumbs up for my independence score of 4. I come from a relatively liberal family in a conservative society, so I have some sense of independence. However, it is not sufficient to efficiently manage this venture. I acknowledge that I lose some points in this area and will strive to improve.
Obviously, I give a thumbs down this time. The purpose of this business model is to achieve an average score of 5, which is considered ideal. This will result in a perfect work-life balance, so I give a thumbs up for the purpose. The emphasis is on general management with a score of 8, which is well justified since this venture does not require any specific technical or functional specialty. As a sole investor, I should focus more on general management and overall performance measurement, giving me another thumbs up. The above-average score of 9 reflects my firm determination.
In the previous section, it was stated that having strong determination is essential for transforming plans into actuality. Hence, obtaining a high score in this ability is vital for the success of my venture. I am committed to commencing my venture promptly, which further adds to the positive aspects. To summarize, Table 1 below presents an overview of the findings from my self-assessment process.
The self-employment test results are satisfactory and enable me to move forward with my action plan for an allied venture. However, the test revealed areas that need improvement in my personality, specifically extroversion, flexibility, and initiative. These skills are vital for the successful start and operation of any business.
After taking the test results into consideration, I have identified several ways to improve myself. These suggestions include: 1) Expanding my social circle by joining social clubs and networking sites. 2) Attending more public and private gatherings to expose myself to different environments. 3) Reading motivational material and practicing meditation for inner strength. 4) Considering joining professional workshops on extroversion, flexibility, and initiative. Additionally, I am interested in starting volunteer work at a community care center.