Have you got what it takes to start your own business?

It’s official: Kingston University has a greater number of graduate start-up companies than any other higher education institution in the UK. It’s the second year running that we’ve topped the table in the annual higher education-business community interaction survey. So if your new year’s resolution is to finally get that festering new business idea off the ground, how do you know if you’ve got what it takes? Take our Cosmo-style test to find out:

The Kingston Publishing ‘have you got what it takes?’ test

Read each of the twelve statements below and make a note of whether you agree with them or not.

  1. I need clear instructions when I take on a new task.
  2. I often get emotional about money.
  3. I spend all my time coming up with new ideas.
  4. I love taking risks.
  5. I tend to make decisions quickly.
  6. I hate it went things go wrong.
  7. I think self-promotion is tacky.
  8. I find it easy to manage my personal finances.
  9. I find discussions about supply chains and finance dull.
  10. I like to go out and have fun after a hard day at work.
  11. I get bored with things if I don’t see instant results.
  12. Setting up a business isn’t a choice, it’s something I have to do.
Could this be you? Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman of Lastminute.com in 2000. Image: Stuart Clarke/Rex Features.

Could this be you? Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman of Lastminute.com in 2000. Image: Stuart Clarke/Rex Features.

Use the key below to work out your score for each statement:

  1. Yes=0, No=5.
  2. Yes=0, No=5.
  3. Yes=3, No=2.
  4. Yes=0, No=3.
  5. Yes=5, No=0.
  6. Yes=0, No=5.
  7. Yes=0, No=5.
  8. Yes=5, No=0.
  9.  Yes=0, No=5.
  10. Yes=0, No=5.
  11. Yes=0, No=5.
  12. Yes=5, No=0.

Add up your results and see if you’ve got what it takes:

You scored 49-56: you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg! Quick-thinking, practical and able to work under your own initiative, you can also be trusted with investors’ money. Entrepreneurship isn’t just a career choice, it’s in your blood; you’re willing to make personal sacrifices to make your business work.

You scored 36-48: you’re the new Martha Lane Fox! A sound investment, with a sensible approach to business you’ve got a great future ahead of you. Make sure those operational, finance and people skills are as well-honed as they can be, and the world will be your oyster.

You scored 28-35:  you’re the new Paul Allen! You may have the motivation to get things done, but you’ll need some help along the way. Why not partner with someone who can bring practical, financial or business-thinking skills to your great ideas?

You scored 0-27: Are you sure you want to be an entrepreneur? It isn’t all about taking risks and thinking on your feet. You’ll need a sound business plan, a serious level of commitment and the ability to learn from your mistakes. If you can bounce back from the disappointment of getting this score, you probably do have what it takes!

Find out more about the reality of becoming an entrepreneur from:

The Wall Street Journal: So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

Harvard Business Review: Should you be an entrepreneur? Take this test


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