Startup business risks and entrepreneurship often go together. After all, building a business involves fulfilling a need with unique solutions, and no solutions can be created successfully without trial, error, and continuous testing. How do you reduce startup business risks in the early stages?
Even the very process of starting your own company can come with some inherent business risks, from changing market demands and insufficient funds to unexpectedly tough competition. However, the gamble is often worth the effort once you see the fruit of your labor.
Especially if you manage to avoid exposure to risk along the way. With that in mind, here are some of the most common risks you may encounter during the early stages of building your business, as well as some simple and effective ways to reduce them:
In the early stages of a startup, the success of your business will largely depend on the talents and skills of your founding team. Common startup business risks here include disagreements between founders, unskilled co-founders, and departures of talented founders.
To mitigate these threats, always choose individuals you trust and know very well to be your co-founders. Complementary skills between founders can also help to reduce any knowledge gaps, and offering equity that vests over time can aid in co-founder retention.
While legal mistakes aren’t uncommon when building a business, any company that avoids, overlooks, or otherwise provokes government regulations could potentially face hefty fines or even prosecution. To prevent this from happening, you have to ensure that your company complies with all the local laws and regulations that are relevant to your industry.
For example, business licenses, tax compliance, corporate governance, and employment laws. Due to the gravity of this risk, building a good in-house legal team or hiring outside professional help is always advised; the initial large investment will pay off in the long run.
Companies also run the risk of legal liabilities and loss due to failed or inadequate internal processes, human errors in processing transactions, fraud, etc. You can mitigate these business risks by establishing standardized operation procedures, and then including control steps at suitable points in the procedure workflow.
Along with building a great legal team, it may also be wise to consider professional liability insurance to protect you and your company against any claims made by business partners and clients for negligent actions or inadequate work.
From changing market demands to clients who refuse to pay, there are various financial risks of starting and running a business. And while some of these business risks are inevitable and entirely out of your control, such as fluctuating currencies, others can be controlled with the right plan, as long as you identify the most pertinent financial risks to your business.
For instance, you may decide to claim a junk insurance refund if you notice you’ve been paying for add-on insurance products unnecessarily. Similarly, diversified funding can help to minimize cash flow issues, while a strong legal team could deal with payment problems efficiently.
As your company grows and you begin hiring employees, part of your success will depend on them as well. Remember that the earlier you hire an employee, the more vital that individual will be to the prosperity of your business.
To avoid the business risk of bad hires, devise a good employee recruitment plan. Your strategy should include the right digital solutions, a list of critical hard and soft skills, suitable experience, further testing and exercises, and a strong company culture to ensure suitability. Don’t forget to ask your founding team for input and advice as well.
A lack of diversification can come in many forms, but presents a serious startup business risk in any case if not managed carefully. Client concentration is among the most common diversification mistakes.
Companies that are financially reliant on a couple of large clients can be at risk of key contracts falling apart or important clients running into personal or professional issues of their own. To manage these risks, the most crucial thing you can do for your business is to diversify your revenue streams and prevent a large percentage of your income from depending on a small number of customers.
Marketing can come with its own diversification issues as well. If your marketing strategy heavily depends on a single channel that brings in most of your consumers, any changes, disruptions, or failures of that channel can present a significant business risk.
This can affect your company in quite unfavorable ways, resulting in lower search engine rankings, fewer leads, fewer consumers and purchases, and consequently poorer revenue. That is why diversifying your marketing tactics can be so advantageous, whether that means balancing organic and paid content online or combining digital with traditional marketing strategies.
A certain amount of startup business risks is truly inevitable when building and running a company. To be able to reach success, you have to know how to accept the unavoidable startup business risks and mitigate those that can easily be managed using the helpful guide mentioned above.