"I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts."
--- Albert Einstein
Prevailing in the face of intense competition requires companies to be nimble and innovative. Unfortunately, risk taking is not on the top of the list of things to do these days for most business owners. Most of us are looking at boarding up the windows and hunkering down until the storm passes.
Risk taking is an integral part of business and life, but so few people know how to manage it properly. The word risk has a slightly negative connotation to it - it implies danger, tension, and possible loss. But risk also has a positive side, the chance of hitting a big win, of getting more on the back side than you invest on the front side.
"Well, when you're trying to create things that are new, you have to be prepared to be on the edge of risk."
--- Michael Eisner
All risks are not equal. Some risks are just plain dumb, and you should never take them. But even in those cases, there's usually some emotional benefit. The one-armed bandits in Las Vegas are one example of taking risks to satisfy an emotion, though not a good one, I admit.
Generally it is a bad idea to take dumb risks, where your expected outcome is negative and the potential upside is very limited. But, it is equally stupid to pass up an intelligent risk, where your expected outcome is positive and the potential downside is very limited. The most intelligent risks are those where the potential downside is limited, but the potential upside is virtually unlimited. Those are the risks you should jump to take.
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
--- Helen Keller
Entrepreneurs, just by their very nature, are greater risk takers than the average person. In most cases, the process of starting a business requires that the owners put everything that they have worked for on the line, based on a belief that their efforts will lead to success. Large contracts, new products, partnerships, and expansions into new markets are just a few of the reasons entrepreneurs need to take a serious look at placing the business at risk again. When an opportunity comes along, the hard question is, "Is the risk worth the possible reward?"
"I have a million dollars in the stock market, because if I lose a million dollars, I don't personally care."
--- Suze Orman
When considering a risk, four things should be considered. The first is your tolerance for risk. Will you be able to sleep at night? The second is to consider the probability of failure. Third is to consider what can be done to reduce the risk, and the fourth is to develop a contingency plan.
Even though the majority of time and effort spent evaluating an opportunity will not, and should not, be directed towards the downside, it is important to have a back-up plan. The contingency plan needs to start with the question, "If the worst were to happen, what could I do to recover?"
From there, a step-by-step plan can be designed. The major value of having a contingency plan is that if the ship starts sinking, benchmarks and plans to take action have already been devised. A contingency plan can also help keep you focused on going forward with the knowledge that a back-up plan is in place.
"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often."
--- Brian Tracy
Recovering with New Tax Breaks for Your Sign & Graphics Business
By Mark E Battersby
Your business has an opportunity to share in the tax benefits for 2009 and 2010 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
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Take it Off...Vinyl that is.
By Dennis Lasik
Right now there are multiple opportunities to create a tremendous cash stream. The question is, “Which companies will recognize the opportunities, respond to them, and thrive?”
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Getting Back to Basics: A Guide to Color Management
By Jonathan Read
Signmakers can take a proactive stance in ensuring business success by going back to basics, including re-assessing their processes and making the most of their existing printing equipment.
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