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Quiz: Risk Assessment Calculator

See if you score high on the financial fitness quiz.

Quiz: Risk Assessment Calculatorn

The current economic situation creates a dilemma of sorts for entrepreneurs. Due to the economic slowdown and a lack of sales, businesses have seen their balance sheets deteriorate to the point that they are no longer a viable credit risk. Thus, banks have restricted their credit and lending policies, severely impacting entrepreneurial firms. What's the solution? Entrepreneurs need to focus on the big three: cash, sales and debt. Below is a simple quiz; the higher your score, the better you are financially.

1) Cash flow: How long can you pay your current monthly bills using the cash you have on hand?
31-60 days +3 7-30 days +1 Less than 7 days -3

2) Monthly cash flow divided by interest expense:
Greater than 2.0 +3 1.01 to 1.99 +1 Less than 1.0 -3

3) Revenue growth over the past year:
Increased +3 Held on to customers +1 Decreased -3

4) Percent increase in new customers (from last quarter)
Greater than 10 percent +3 From 1 to 10 percent -1 Lost up to 10 percent of customer base -3

5) Debt to assets ratio:
No debt +3 .01 to .79 +1 Greater than .80 -3

6) Business credit card debt:
No debt +3 $1,000 to $2,499 +1 Greater than $2,500 -3
Remember, the solution to surviving tough times is balancing the three-legged stool--cash, sales and debt. Pay attention to all three and you should do OK. Add up your score below to see where you are:

Severe risk of failure: SCORE -11 to -18
High risk of failure: SCORE -3 to -10
Elevated risk of failure: SCORE -2 to +3
Guarded risk of failure: SCORE +4 to +11
Low risk of failure: SCORE +12 to +18

This story appears in the June 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »