Mel King Institute - Client Assessment and Screening

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					Raising the Standard for Business
Technical Assistance: An Advanced
Training Program for TA Providers

Best Practices In Client Assessment
and Screening

Presented by Jason Friedman, Principal
Friedman Associates

Hosted by the Mel King Institute and MACDC

    Clients need to earn their
  participation in your program!
Client Assessment & Screening

• Assessment: the getting to know you stage where
  client and program learn about each other.
   • The client learns about program services.
   • The program learns about client readiness.
• Screening: A decision is made (by the client, the
  program, or a combination) on whether the client
  will enroll in the program.
Assessment & Screening

• Early on, there was a strong emphasis on self-
• Programs have a responsibility to assure a fit
  between client needs and program services.
• A program may screen out a client then provide
  information to improve readiness.
• Screening can be a function of resources.
• Assessment process relates to program success.
Assessment & Screening Content

• The assessment and screening process focuses on
  two basic elements:
  • eligibility for program services and
  • business or self employment readiness.

• Eligibility includes gathering information through
  an application on demographic and economic
  factors like gender, race, refugee status and
  household income.
• The staff uses this information to determine
  whether there is a fit with its organizational
Client Assessment: Picking the

• Experts say that 5-7% of the population have
  what it takes to successfully start and grow a
  small business.
• During an economic recession, ME provides
  economic opportunity to downsized and
  dislocated workers.
• But we also know that entrepreneurship is not for
Business Readiness: 3 Factors

• The quality of the business idea or vision – does
  the individual have a clear idea for a specific
  product or service to market? Is it viable given
  local market conditions? It is achievable given the
  individual’s level of resources and experience?
• His or her entrepreneurial traits and
  characteristics – does the individual have
  experience with business ownership or
  management? Does he/she have a passion for the
  business idea or product? Does he/she have
  experience in the industry in which the business is
Business Readiness: 3 Factors

• Personal readiness to engage in self-
  employment –
  • what does the individual’s credit history look like?
  • How strong is the personal financial situation?
  • How much does is needed to make to support his or her
  • Is child care available?
  • Does he/she, or a family member, have physical or
    mental health issues?

• What process do you use to efficiently and
  effectively help individuals determine if
  entrepreneurship is right for them?
• What are your stated expectations of them? Of
• Do you model business behaviors?
Orientation, Assessment and

• Process to assess the “entrepreneurial-readiness”
  and personal readiness of aspiring entrepreneurs.
   Orientation sessions or short courses
   Individual assessments
   Personal Interviews
   Goal setting/action plan
Assessment and Screening

• Let’s review a sample intake for a traditional
  small business development program
• Let’s review a sample for an intake and
  application for a microenterprise program
• Let’s review some sample personal assessments
• Check out this group activity
Screening/Assessment Models

• Women's Initiative’s offers My Business
  Action Plan workshop which serves two
  • An orientation to the organization and its
    services; and
  • A participant-driven self-assessment of their
    business idea and a facilitated process to
    develop the next steps to launching their
My Business Action Plan                                                          BUSINESS GOALS
by___________________ on_______
                                                                  3 YEARS FROM NOW
                                                                     1.                     2.

                   Industry     Marketing Management                      1 YEAR FROM NOW             3.
                   1.           1.           1.             Business
                   2.           2.           2.                                        2.

                   3.           3.           3.                                  NOW

  CHALLENGES STRENGTHS                    FEARS            REWARDS                          RESOURCES
  • ____________        • ____________   • ____________   • ____________
  • ____________        • ____________   • ____________   • ____________
  • ____________        • ____________   • ____________   • ____________

Pre-Entrepreneurial Training

• Start Your Own Business – Short (1-4) sessions
  to help clients recognize and develop the
  personal and business skills needed to start a
  business. It provides an introduction to
  management, marketing and finances, and an
  idea feasibility and personal readiness
• Screens out individuals not personally ready to
  start a business or who do not have a solid idea,
  but provides strong value.