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Welcome to the NH Community Loan Fund's Business Finance skills assessment. We'll use the information to help connect you with appropriate resources to help you and your business. Please be frank. There are no "correct" answers.

This is not a timed survey, so take whatever time you need to answer all of the questions on every page.

When finished, click on the "Submit your survey" button. You'll then be sent to a page containing directions for scheduling a phone interview with one of our business lenders.

First name
Last name
Email address
Company name
Town/city where business is located
Business phone number

B. Business planning and operations

My company has a formal written business plan that outlines our goals and operations plan.
My business goals are broken down into quarterly, monthly and weekly objectives for implementation.
I have set personal goals in my role as CEO.
My business has established a consistent image in the marketplace and it is reflected in all of our marketing materials.
My business focuses on selling to current customers rather than developing new markets and services to attract new target markets.
I clearly understand the value drivers for my business and industry.
My business no longer needs me to manage the day-to-day operations.
I am making money at the level that can be expected in my type of business.
I regularly seek outside advice in order to improve my business.
I read the company financials monthly in order to understand profitability and sales revenue trends.

C. Sales skills

How would you rate your skills in direct sales?
How would you rate your personal success in managing sales within your business?
How would you rate your understanding of the sales process so that you could train others in the business?
How would you rate your understanding of sales metrics as they relate to profitability for your business?
How would you rate your understanding of your company’s use of sale data to manage your business?
How would you rate your company’s overall success in sales?

D. Sales skills and culture

Please tell us more about YOUR SALES skills *
I have prior sales experience in my industry and target market.
I regularly analyze the sales data for purchasing trends from customers in order to improve sales.
I have formed a marketing alliance with non-competitors.
I can articulate my company’s unique selling position in comparison to my competitors.
My business is currently selling outside of the local region.
My business has plans to expand outside of the U.S. market within the next 3 years.

Please tell us more about YOUR COMPANY'S SALES culture
I have built a business culture in which every employee is a sales representative for the company.

E. Marketing within your business

Please provide us with some information about MARKETING WITHIN your business *
My business has completed a detailed market analysis in order to form marketing strategies.
My business strategy for the business is currently producing the results we need to support sales.
We are maximizing the balance between sales volume and price in order to maximize profit.
Our customers are regularly solicited for their feedback.
Adding new products and services would increase my reach into my target market.
My business develops an annual marketing plan with a specific budget.
The marketing plan is updated quarterly using our marketing metrics.
I have set marketing goals and have a way to measure if marketing is producing a return for the business.

F. Marketing skills

Please tell us about YOUR MARKETING skills *
How would you rate your personal skills in marketing?
How would you rate your company’s overall success in marketing?
How would you rate your effectiveness in developing an annual marketing plan?
How would you rate your ability to measure the results of your current marketing strategy?
How would you rate the use of a marketing plan to manage your marketing efforts?
How would you rate your ability to target a market and create a successful plan targeting that group?

G. Product development

Please tell us about PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT within your business *
My business has a quality-control system in place with written policies to manage our program.
Our current products and services fit a specific market niche.
My business has determined how to develop our products and services in the most cost-effective manner.
Please tell us about the role of your employees in PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT within your business
Product innovation is the responsibility of all employees.

H. Financial ability

How would you rate your ability to *
Read financial statements and apply the information to your business.
Read and apply information from the company’s balance sheet in order to manage your business.
Develop and use cash flow projections as a business planning tool.
Understand your current assets and liabilities and how they impact the overall health of your business.
Understand what your accountant is telling you about the business based on your financial statements.
Obtain equity financing for your business.
Understand the gross, net and profit margins in your business.

I. Use of financial information

Please tell us about how you use FINANCIAL information *
I regularly use profit forecasting to manage my business.
I use a projected balance sheet and income statements and compare actual against my business plan each month.
We prepare quarterly sales forecasts in my business.
I have prepared a working capital analysis of my business.
I know the break even amounts on each product or lines of business.
I analyze the balance sheets on a monthly basis to understand my liquidity, debt and earnings in my business.
My accountant prepares my statements and does the analysis for me. I rely on their services.
We prepare annual cash flow projections and update those projections regularly.
My company has used multiple types of loans to finance the business.

J. Management ability

How would you rate your ability to *
Set and manage business objectives related to growth within my business.
Understand my company’s strengths and weaknesses as we discuss our future growth strategies.
Regularly scan my industry and environment for changes that may negatively or positively impact growth.
Develop an internal process to review opportunities and make decisions with an understanding of both the risk and potential reward.
Complete business expansion projects on budget and within the stated timeline.
Perform benefit analysis regarding leasing vs. buying equipment or other assets.
Adopt new technology that fits into our long term business strategy.
Engage a group of advisors on a regular basis to help guide my business growth.

K. Management tools

Update my business plan every year.
Articulate a three-minute “elevator” pitch on my business.
Participate effectively in trade groups related to my industry.
Have a well-thought-out exit strategy for myself and/or the business.
Perform formal employee performance evaluations on an annual basis and provide a review process for wage increases.
Apply the company’s personnel policies consistently throughout the business.
Provide quarterly training to my employees so they can do their jobs.
Delegate effectively so that my time can be used more efficiently.
1. Please tell us whether you envision hiring employees
If your business has no employees, do you envision needing to hire in the future?
2. How many hours a week are you available to work on the skills discussed in this assessment?

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