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Industry Insights

Business is Risky


What inspired you to go into business? Did you have something new to offer the world? Did you like the idea of being your own boss? Were you gifted with a particular skill? Were you frustrated with a bad boss and figured you could do things better yourself? No matter the reason, you surely faced the one thing common to any entrepreneurial venture: risk.

Risk is an ever-present reality in any business. Since the day you took those first bold steps, you‘ve likely braved the threat of competition, the uncertainty of the economy, and the endless possibility of failure. There are no guarantees except this one: you’ll need to take some chances. The challenge is not to avoid risk altogether but to discern between what is reasonable and what is ridiculous when it comes to risk.

Embracing risks – the right ones.

If you seek growth for your organization you will certainly need to have a solid product, great staff, efficient processes, and accurate administration and accounting. But none of this will ensure that you can cultivate a loyal and ever-growing customer base. For that you will need to put yourself out there, get noticed and embrace that feeling of being outside of your comfort zone. Hold on!

The reason innovation and marketing don’t come with guarantees is because these activities are forward thinking. They are activities designed to influence results in the future. The hyper connected world we live in today tends to require more radical innovation and marketing which can in turn increase risk. But by continually finding new ways to connect with consumers you can avoid being buried and forgotten in the clutter, or worse, becoming completely obsolete.

Where to start?

Measure your current activities. Track leads, calculate conversion rates, and survey clients and employees for valuable feedback. Think about what you could change or do differently to move the needle in a more positive direction. To continue to do the same things but expect different results is the definition of insanity: The decision for any business to allocate budgets to marketing is never taken lightly. It’s a risk. But taking risks has in many ways gotten you to where your business is today.

Put it to the test. What new product or service or customer experience will you launch this year? What innovative marketing message will you unleash? How will you make your business more widely known? How are you going to bolster the credibility and value of your brand, and increase the demand for your product or service?

Innovation and marketing are risky. Without them you’re done. With them you have an opportunity to grow, remain attractive to your customers and attract new fans. Doesn’t that sound like a reward worth taking a risk for?

Written by Jason Bouwman, RGD

November 27, 2012