Nine Risks You Should Make to Build a Sustainable Business

Risk is eternally linked to opportunity. There is nothing wrong with taking the safe way out—millions make that choice—but successful entrepreneurs are a different breed. They are professional risk takers and they need to be willing to strap on that parachute every day. Though we typically associate risk with the initial leap-of-faith decision to start a business, to achieve real success, one must consistently embrace risk every day, and not just on the business’s first day. A willingness to take risks separates leaders from the rank and file,” says Panaggio. “If you lose the spirit of risk, the business begins to decay. From startup through the last sale, the spirit of risk is the unexpected edge for every...

Read More »

Avoid Customer Churn with These 5 Risks

Here’s one of business’s dirty little secrets: Many business owners prefer to keep their customers at arm’s length. They’re very careful to keep every interaction strictly professional, never getting overly personal or friendly. After all, if you get too chummy with customers—or even appear too interested in or sympathetic to their personal circumstances—they might start to want more from you: better pricing, extended credit, lengthier conversations, access to your services on nights and weekends, etc. And then, of course, other business owners stay aloof from customers for a different, more instinctual reason: In a digital age dominated by email and computer screens, they simply don’t know how to interact with customers face-to-face and avoid doing so at all...

Read More »

Avoiding Risks and Missing Opportunities

Think you’re playing it safe by avoiding risks? You could be missing the opportunity of a lifetime. When you’re in charge of running a company, it’s easy to convince yourself that playing it safe is the responsible choice.Especially if your business is new, going out on a limb is the last thing you want to do. But risk is needed if you want to do more than just scrape by — and it may be needed just to survive in this economy.

Read More »

Always Right: Five Risks You Must Take With Your Customers

Here’s one of business’s dirty little secrets: Many business owners prefer to keep their customers at arm’s length. They’re very careful to keep every interaction strictly professional, never getting overly personal or friendly. After all, if you get too chummy with customers — or even appear too interested in or sympathetic to their personal circumstances — they might start to want more from you: better pricing, extended credit, lengthier conversations, access to your services on nights and weekends,...

Read More »

Risk Avoiders Are Opportunity Missers: 10 Excuses Business Owners Make

It’s time to open a second retail store branch — and you fully intend to — but you’re not quite ready yet. You found a possible location but it doesn’t seem perfect, and besides, you’re not sure if the local marketplace conditions are right. Maybe next year would be better. You’re ready to expand your customer base — almost. However, you’re certain it can’t be done without buying and mastering a certain software program that lets you personalize your marketing efforts. And since you’re not ready to do that yet, you’d better hold...

Read More »

So When is the Right Time to Take the Leap of Faith and Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Dream? NOW!

So when is the right time to take the leap of faith and pursue your entrepreneurial dream? Now! You can always compile a list of reasons NOT to do something with waiting for ideal conditions topping the list. But an entrepreneur who has an “I want to win” attitude always plays to win and you can’t win until you get started. So the best time to launch a new business opportunity is always right NOW! Waiting for ideal conditions can be an underlying form of procrastination. You become a prisoner of hope, hoping that just the right conditions prevail or your plan is fully developed and every variable accounted for before taking action.  In my book The Risk Advantage I go into detail about the perils of becoming a prisoner of hope and the false reality it creates. But the bottom line is time is our most precious commodity because it is 100% perishable and doesn’t allow for us to save it for later use. So as you wait for the economy to get better or the ideal conditions to prevail precious time is slipping away. The list of Fortune 500 companies that had their start during a recession includes Apple, H-P, IBM, Microsoft, and General Electric. Even the company I founded with my brother and sister, DME, has its roots squarely in the recessionary period of the early 1980’s. Quite honestly the state of the economy never was a consideration as we began our company. We had a focused determination to follow our dream and were not going to allow outside factors to derail our efforts. Those would-be entrepreneurs who conceal themselves in a virtual world of planning are living in a false reality. The act of perpetual planning provides a convenient rationalization for a future act rather than immediate execution. There is no risk of failure when our entrepreneurial pursuit consists of nothing more than words and projections. The entrepreneur who has the courage to embrace risk becomes impatient with a virtual world and is focused on execution. To this individual the right time to act is now because the desire to realize their dream is at its apex. Allowing time to pass for the sole purpose of waiting for ideal conditions is a fool’s excuse. Let those who are unsure of their abilities to succeed in turbulent times operate in the virtual world of planning and waiting. The unexpected edge for entrepreneurs comes from identifying a worthy risk and then having the courage to embrace it. You believe your dream is a worthy risk, then let’s make something happen, take the leap of faith...

Read More »