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Julia Lichtblau

Online Business Analysis That is Not for the Thin-Skinned

Feeling extremely insecure about your strategy? Need feedback immediately? Just in time, there is Sample Analysis Online, which gives you a 30-question grilling on your company and spits out an analysis of your business in a few seconds -- all for free at

Sample Analysis Online bases its conclusions on your answers -- mostly you respond on a scale from 1 to 10 -- to such questions as the experience level of key managers, how well proven your technology is, the number of competitors in your market, the size of your company, and how much social changes and government influence your business.

The service is the brainchild of Business Resource Software Inc., a 12-person Austin (Tex.) company founded by two former Intel executives, Jerry Spencer and Kent Ochel. Naturally, they would like you to buy something after availing yourself of their free insights: The online quiz is the Cliff Notes version of $795 software that asks 500 questions about your business and gives you a 50-page answer.

A word of caution: If a boost to your self-esteem is what you are after, do not count on getting it here. "We are very critical," cautions the company president. Tough answers are simply more useful than soft ones, he explains.

Business Week, for example, was deemed a "high-maintenance product." Nor did we get any sympathy when we consulted about our results. "You are in a tough business," says Spencer matter-of-factly.


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Business Resource Software, Inc.
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