Monday, July 18, 2011

Calculating Risk.

How much time and effort do you spend worrying about your financial future?  In the beginning days of my first business, I was too busy to worry about it and honestly, I had no other options. I was on the trapeze without a net. If I missed a connection, it was all over. Not a smart way to go for the long run and it was very risky. The second time around, I did worry but I always had a back up plan plus some. When I started the second business I did not quit my first job and go all in on one hand. I kept working during the day and did coaching in the evenings and weekends. I have read that other owners such as David Green from Hobby Lobby and others have done the same thing. In fact, David Green did not make the transition to full time at Hobby Lobby until his third year in business. I also read about Sr. Richard Branson and some of his risky moves that were not all that risky.  You see, when Mr Branson started Virgin Airline, he cut a deal with an airline manufacture that if the company did not make if off the ground after the first year that he could return the plane and walk away. 
This is a great example for any small business owner. Never have “everything in one hand” that if it went bad, you are out of business.  Learn to make calculated risks. I always try to calculate my odds of surviving a deal based upon both the “best case” and “worse case” scenarios. Once we had to say no to a deal that would have over doubled our business. In my head we could not successfully recruit and train a sales and support team to pull the deal off in the amount of time needed without risking our relationships and service with our existing clients.  I have never regretted that decision and we have had the opportunity to grow at a pace where we can sustain our service levels, train good people and keep our culture in tact. As you look upon the horizon of your businesses future, what decisions do you have to make and can your business withstand a “worse case” scenario?  Are you calculating risk into your financial calculations as your grow your small business successfully?

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