Managing small business risk and uncertainty

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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