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Managing small business risk and uncertainty

By Samantha Garner | September 10, 2010

It’s no surprise that being an entrepreneur means opening yourself up to risk and uncertainty – you come up with a great small business idea, spend time and money planning and then hang your shingle. Every day is different and, most often, challenging. But how much risk or uncertainty can you handle? How do you manage it?

What entrepreneurs surrender

We’re entrepreneurs too, so we’re familiar with the allure of starting your own business: Doing what you love and setting your own rules. However, we also know that starting your own business means giving up the security of set working hours, a steady paycheque and a relative amount of job security.

When starting your own business, you may use some of your own money to get going. You may not have an income for several months as you build momentum. These factors are the basic items of risk and uncertainty you can face in small business. There’s also the potential for a lack of structure, order and organization. Not to mention the small amount of worry that accompanies any new venture.

Don’t lose heart! Yes, it’s true that small business owners must be able to handle risk and uncertainty, but this skill is something that can be learned.

How entrepreneurs can manage risk and uncertainty

Here are a few tips to help you better handle the risks and uncertainties of entrepreneurship:

  • Learn creative ways to manage difficult times. No marketing budget? Try free avenues like social media and word-of-mouth.
  • Change your perspective. Can an unpredictable business situation lend itself to innovation or a great new invention?
  • Surround yourself with a strong support network that includes both trusted professional contacts and loved ones.
  • Make time for yourself. We know it can be difficult to turn off the worried part of your brain and spend an hour walking in the park, but trust us – a clear head is much better suited to evaluating risk!
  • Practice adaptability. Keep track of what’s happening in your business environment and you’ll be better prepared to anticipate or react to uncertain times.
  • Know your business inside and out. Understanding what your business is all about and what is best for it will help you take more manageable risks.
  • Don’t do anything on impulse. Some clich├ęs are also just true, like the one that goes, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Sleep on it, plan it out on paper or speak with trusted advisors before jumping in.
  • Have a Plan B. And a Plan C too. What will you do if your new line of wedding invitations aren’t as warmly received as you’d hoped? Always have backup plans for a new product or service.
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Topics: Small Business Tips and Advice | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Managing small business risk and uncertainty”

  1. Tweets that mention Managing small business risk and uncertainty | Canadian Entrepreneur Training -- Topsy.com Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon Cole, GoForth Institute. GoForth Institute said: Read GoForth Institute's tips on managing small business risk and uncertainty: http://ow.ly/2Czmv […]

  2. Ron Says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks Samantha for “Change your perspective”. Go out and look at things in a new way. That’s one way to get new business ideas.

  3. Nova Says:
    March 26th, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I totally agree with what you said. I run a small business and I am always open in any possibilities that my business will fail so I always do my best for my business.

  4. Factor Loads Factoring Says:
    April 8th, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I failed in my first attempt in entering a business but I never give up. Courage and perseverance is what I believe is needed.

  5. We Factor Says:
    May 14th, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I agree that in business you really have to be ready on where your business will bring you. I also think that it will be very awesome if you have your family and supporters through out the way.

  6. Working Capital Says:
    July 9th, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Yes, I agree with what you sais. I think that there is always uncertainty when you enter business. I think what is important is that you know how to face every challenges that you will be facing. Thanks for sharing this article.

  7. Nova Cash Flow Finance Says:
    September 16th, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Yes, I believe with what you said. I think that it is really important that businessman must know what his business in and out. I think that knowing your business will help you improve and manage it well. Thanks for sharing this article.