“Bracing yourself for a bumpy ride” or “watching the seatbelt light go on”, should not be the last thing that happen before you decide to take the jump.
For most entrepreneurs, the beginning of every new year is filled with excitement and anticipation as you prepare your strategy. Applying for funding often forms part of your investment for growth.
According to a quote by Frederick Wilcox, “Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” It’s about having done the necessary due diligence and having the courage to step out of your comfort zone. Although it can be quite surreal, this is where the magic happens.
All business growth comes through taking some risks and launching new initiatives. Obtaining funding is therefore just the start. There is, however, a difference between taking calculated risks and being risky.
A calculated risk is taken after careful consideration and estimation of the probable outcomes while determining the opportunities (and challenges) within each and how this fits in the strategic map. The trick is to not let fear get in the way and knowing when (timing is everything) to take the risk. When you have established how taking the risk can result in great opportunities, plucking up the courage to take the leap becomes significantly easier (and safer than the alternative):
READ THE SAFETY MANUAL
Do your research, make sure you understand the pros and cons, the what if’s and maybe’s and have a recovery plan if the chute doesn’t open. Consulting with industry advisors, mentors and specialist can be the ticket to ensuring your business survive any adventure.
GET TO KNOW THE CREW
Surrounding yourself with a team (staff, investors, service providers and partners) that share the dream can be the only thing that stands between you and a safe landing. A joint risk is much easier to embark on if you’re in it together.
CHECK FOR THE LIFE JACKET UNDER THE SEAT
Knowing what you don’t know is more powerful than knowing what you know and limits the element of surprise when you are in the eye of the storm. Nobody can really be sure if risks will pay off, no matter how calculated they may be. But this should not stop you from taking it. If you want your business to succeed, risks are necessary. But make provision: have a plan and have a safety net for unplanned events. Having a funding line and business insurance can provide you with the necessary cashflow injection when you need it and protect you from unexpected events that can stifle your cashflow or shut the doors.
Taking risks are important when you are being innovative and forward thinking. Innovation cannot happen if you do not accept the risks, but a failed undertaking should never result in a failed enterprise. These potential financial risks should not determine the success of your venture and therefor positioning your business with strong financial backing can result in a smoother flight.
When the venture becomes an adventure, you can commit and take the leap with eyes wide open. Push your limits. Take a deep breath. Jump.