Self-employment questionnaire

Is self-employment right for you?

When people come to see me to discuss their employment options and suggest self-employment I find it useful to discuss with them the implications and whether the idea and the reality would really work for them. I would suggest they do the self-employment questionnaire to assess their present working style. An abridged version is below.

If self-employment is something you are considering then you might want to try the following self-employment questionnaire and see how you score.

Frame of reference and work proximity

Please answer the following six questions as honestly as you can by allocating a total of five points for each question using any of the following combinations:


A5   B0   If A is completely characteristic of what you would do and B is uncharacteristic.

A4   B1   If A is almost characteristic, but you might, on occasion favour B

A3   B2   If A is only slight more characteristic than B

A2   B3   If B is only slightly more characteristic than A

A1   B4   If B is almost completely characteristic but you might on occasion choose A

A0   B5   If B is completely characteristic of what you would do and A is uncharacteristic

Question 1

If someone else tried to tell me what they think I should do:

A I would resist and use my own judgement.

B I would welcome their opinions and take their ideas

into full consideration.

Question 2

When I have completed a task successfully:

A I don’t need anyone else to tell me that I have done well.

B I really appreciate other people confirming that the task

was done well.

Question 3

If I have got to make an important decision I would prefer:

A To work it out myself.

B Find out the best course of action by asking other people what

I should do.

Question 4

When you feel that it’s time to recharge you batteries do you prefer to do it:

A Alone.

B With people.

Question 5

When you are working on a project are you more effective if you:

A Have sole responsibility for the project.

B Share the responsibility with others.

Question 6

If you are working on your own in an office would you concentrate better by:

A Keeping the door closed to avoid distractions.

B Allowing occasional interruptions to give you a break and help you re-focus.

Scoring the self-employment questionnaire

Add up the A and B scores for each set of three questions (1,2,3, then 4,5,6) The score for each set (A and B) should add up to 15

Scores                                     Total

                                                        A            B

1, 2. 3               Frame of reference

4, 5, 6              Working proximity

Interpreting the results.

Frame of reference

If high on A

Work on your own criteria and evaluation without the need for external approval.

If high on B

Value other peoples view and valuation. Like to have outside valuation and external approval.

Work Proximity

High on A

Happy to work alone.

Take sole responsibility.

Need little contact with others.

High on B

Need contact with others.

Like shared responsibility.

Enjoys teamwork.

The next step.

Having worked through the self-employment questionnaire you may find it helps you to analyse the work style you would need to start your own business.

If you want to work for yourself it is important that you are able to trust your own judgement rather than constantly relying on other people’s opinions. So a weighting towards A scores is best, in both frame of reference and work proximity. Being self-employed involves a good degree of working along and making your own decisions.

Your existing skill set

Score each of the following from 1 - low skill to 10- highly skilled

Knowledge or skill in product or service you are going to offer

Market research

Product development

Product costings



Book keeping


Computer literacy

On line marketing and sales

How will you gain the knowledge?

Some of the above may not be necessary for all businesses, however they are important for most.If you see a lack of knowledge in  any department how would you improve your skills?

One source of help for those in the UK who are over 50 years old in The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise. Link to and perhaps find answers which would work for you.

If you enjoyed the self-employment questionnaire  link to Prince's Initiative for more information.

Return to start a business