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As you’re learning in the Small Business Management program at Pickens Technical College, managing risk is an integral part of managing any business. Risks lay everywhere, like traps, and you can’t prepare for all of them. The overarching theme you’re no-doubt learning is that you have to be both prepared and agile, which is not an easy balance to strike. Being able to foresee your most dangerous risks in advance, and still being able to shift directions and adjust when a new factor poses a risk to your business is what separates the successful from the not.

Aside from the specific lessons in managing risk in the Small Business Management world, you’re learning, here are a few out-of-the-box tips for managing risk not only for your business but for yourself personally.

Educate and Prepare

Educating your employees and preparing them for the risks involved in your business is part of the process of running a successful organization. But how educated and prepared are you? After determining the most likely risks to your bottom line, you’ve educated yourself on the pitfalls and potential traps out there. You know, for instance, that if you leave yourself vulnerable to competition invading your physical or online space, you could lose customers to a similar business and product line. Preparing everyone for the worst is part of the business of managing risk, but what about you, personally?

Getting mentally prepared to take on risks is just as important as preparing your stakeholders and employees. As the leader of your small business, there’s no one who can step in and carry your vision forward. It’s up to you to manage risk and avoid dangers to your profitability. Understanding where those risks can come from is the first step. The next is taking action anyway. Risk is a part of business, and if you aren’t mentally prepared to take risks, you won’t be successful. Meditation, focus exercises, and good nutrition will keep your mind clear and ready to handle difficult situations when they arise.

Utilize Outside Perspective

One of the many tips provided for new business owners on various online sources is to think analytically about your risks. This is basic risk management and identification. You can’t prepare yourself if you don’t know what could cause problems for you in the first place.

However, sometimes you can be so involved with your own business and all the details that come with it that you miss a potential pitfall that would have been obvious to someone outside your organization. You know your business best, but consultants, other business owners in other sectors, and experienced business minds can help with their experience and deep knowledge of the sector you’re entering without bias.

Managing risk is what all business owners must do to stay on top. By utilizing outside resources and keeping yourself mentally prepared and sharp, there’s nothing you and your education at Pickens can’t do.