Maryland Small Business Development Center

Smart Start Southern Region

Serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's Counties in Maryland

Step 2

Answer a few questions to help us get to know you and your business ideas better.

* Required

Please pick the ONE statement that most accurately fits your current business circumstance. Please try to avoid the temptation of over-estimating your current status as that generally leads to business failure.

I have very little experience in managing change processes. I sometimes struggle with change.
When I have an idea of how to do things, I stick to it. People do not experience me as a leader. I generally prefer to work alone.

Consider the following statements:

  • I'm a flexible, adaptable problem-solver.
  • I am passionate about my innovative business idea.
  • I know how to use my knowledge and resources around me to facilitate change.
  • Others view me as a leader I know my strengths and limitations.
At least two but NOT all of these statements are true of me.
All of these statements are true of me.
I am an action-oriented problem solver who never quits when faced with adversity, challenges or failure. People describe me as charismatic and a natural leader. I'm flexible and adaptable. I am very passionate about my idea for a business. I know my strengths and my limits and will seek help when needed.


Please pick the statement that most accurately fits your current business circumstance. Please try to avoid the temptation of over-estimating your current status as that generally leads to business failure.

My idea for my business is a new field for me and I don't have a strong business background.

Consider the following statements:

  • I have experience in the area of my planned business.
  • I have knowledge of relevant laws and regulations.
  • I have experience with accounting and bookkeeping.
  • I have a marketing/communication plan.
  • I have strong technology-related skills.
When I have an idea of how to do things, I stick to it. People do not experience me as a leader. I generally prefer to work alone.

Consider the following statements:

  • I'm a flexible, adaptable problem-solver.
  • I am passionate about my innovative business idea.
  • I know how to use my knowledge and resources around me to facilitate change.
  • Others view me as a leader I know my strengths and limitations.
I have some experience in the field of my proposed business OR I have a strong business background but not both.
All of these statements are true of me
My planned business is in a field of which I have very advanced knowledge and most people consider me an expert. I'm fluent in all relevant laws and regulations. I have mastered accounting and finance. I have a strong marketing and communications plan. I have strong technology-related skills relevant to this business.


Please pick the statement that most accurately fits your current relationship management skills. Please try to avoid the temptation of over-estimating your current status as that generally leads to business failure.

I prefer to work alone and haven't really worked on developing thee skills. I plan to pursue a business opportunity on my own.
I get along well with others and I know people who will help me in my proposed business.

Consider the following statements:

  • I have some networking skills.
  • I know how to use other people's resources and ideas to advance my business.
  • I am a team player.
  • I have created a very good reputation for myself.
  • I have strong ties to my community.
At least two but NOT all of the statements are true of me.
All of the statements are true of me.
Most people who know me consider me an expert networker. I know many people and they generally all like and respect me and will gladly help me out if I ask them. I'm an excellent team player and know how to share credit and responsibility. I have significant experience in building a business based on other people's resources and ideas.


Please pick the statement that most accurately fits your current process skills management. Please try to avoid the temptation of over-estimating your current status as that generally leads to business failure.

I have no experience managing a business process.**
I have some experience managing a business process.

Consider the following statements:

  • I can design business processes.
  • I have experience with successful performance management.
  • I can effectively resolve conflicts both those with me and between others.
  • I am thoughtful but decisive.
  • I'm effective at communicating in work environments.
At least two but NOT all of the statements are true of me.
All of the statements are true of me.
I have notable experience in process management. I have designed, implemented, and managed business processes successfully in the past and have been asked by others to design business processes for other enterprises.

**Business processes are those that are repeatable and necessary to sell your product or service. For example, a bakery's business processes would be baking bread, selling bread, and managing payments.




***On Hand means you can get the cash in a few days



The results of this checklist may be used by the Maryland Small Business Development Center for marketing and research purposes. This document is copyrighted Maryland Small Business Development Center - Southern Region, and may not be reproduced or altered with out consent from the Maryland Small Business Development Center.

A partnership program of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), University of Maryland Center For Applied Policy Studies (UMCAPS) and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) under Cooperative Agreement Number 01-7620-0021-06. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsor's or participants' opinions, products, or services. All of SBA's programs and services are extended to the public on a non discriminatory basis.

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