For the self-employed business owner, return on investment is not a clear-cut calculation. Itís shortsighted to measure the success of a small business by financial profit alone. We invest our emotional energy and time as well as our dollars, and we receive far more than cash in return. To evaluate whether your current business venture gives you a strong, moderate or poor return on your investment, take the following quiz.

Score each sentence from 1-5 in which:

1 Ėdoesnít describe me at all.
2 Ėdescribes me sometimes.
3 Ėdescribes me often.
4 Ėdescribes me most of the time.
5 Ėdescribes me almost all of the time.

Total Investment:
1    2    3    4    5
1: I invested all of our savings and went heavily into debt to launch my company.
2: We still are scrimping personally because profit is much less than we projected at this point.
3: Iíve taken on enormous responsibility, and I often dread facing it when I wake up.
4: My spouse and/or children defer their material needs to free resources for my business, and theyíre starting to resent it.
5: Iím constantly thinking about my business, even in bed at night.
6: Iíve foregone other more lucrative and appealing opportunities to launch this business, and not without some regrets.
7: I go to the moon and back for my clients, but donít yet feel they notice.
8: Iím investing so much time in my business, but it is not having the impact on my field or community that I had hoped for.
9: Iíve put my business before family, even at crucial times.
Investment Total Score:

 

Total Return
1    2    3    4    5
1: Cash flow is stable or comfortable. I am as profitable as my financial obligations require.
2: I love my work and consider it my right livelihood.
3: My business allows me flexibility and freedom.
4: My time and money are giving me the best return I can achieve, personally and financially.
5: I value the personal growth that comes from being self-employed. My business challenges me.
6: My colleagues and customers are fascinating and enjoyable and they enrich my life.
7: I get satisfaction from the way my product or service improves the lives of my customers.
8: It means a lot to me to hear the gratitude my customers express.
9: My business makes it easier for me to balance work, family and other interests in my life.
Return Total Score:

 

Your Return on Investment Total

Strong
(Over 3)

Even if you arenít as profitable as you would like, the satisfactions in your work compensate for unstable income.

Moderate
(Between 1 - 3)

You probably enjoy your work most of the time, but your score is lowered by heavy leveraging in the launch of your business, slow gains in profit or business troubles that weigh on your mind. Youíll likely stick it out until profits increase or until you become accustomed to less income than you would prefer.

Poor
(Below 1)

Itís time to consider moving on to another livelihood or radically changing the way you do business. You may be profitable and still score below 1 because profitability isnít the only measure of work satisfaction. Your current business isnít fulfilling.

 

The next time you find yourself measuring your success by the narrow financial definition of "return on investment" consider all the rewards of owning your own business before you decide to close up shop.

If you are a principal or owner of a business with annual sales of 1.5 million to 20 million and would like to find out how a Strategic Affairs Business Strategist and Coach can help you get what you desire out of your business Contact us TODAY

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