Financial risks are taken on by every business, no matter the size. For the large business owner or shareholders, the risks are minimized by the amount of revenue coming in that covers it. For the small business owner, every decision carries a risk. Most small businesses fail within the first five years. The highest percentage of those are within the first year. However, this does not have to be the case. The failures don’t stem from poor decision making alone. They stem from not understanding the risks and safeguarding your business from these risks to eliminate them or minimize them.
Preparation for your small business should include making a business plan. Within that plan, there should be market and financial analysis. This analysis is where you can discover and assess the risks of starting your small business and how to handle them so your business will succeed. Here are four financial risks small business owners face and how to minimize or eliminate them.
Failure to Plan
Every aspect of starting and running a small business is a financial risk. This risk comes from issues with financing and working to turn a profit during your first year in business. Depending on the type of business, you usually don’t start in the black as far as finances. This means that you have to acquire financial backing, whether from your savings, investors, or lenders. If you obtain financing from alternative sources, the financial risks increase as they are either looking for a return of investment or repayment of the loan. Both carry risks against your business if you are unable to produce.
To minimize or eliminate this risk, you should have a strong financial projection in your business plan, and beyond startup, you need to continue implementing financial forecasting. If it is your first year in business, you can use market and competitor trends to forecast month to month what your business finances may look like. If you have been in business for more than a year, you can use your previous year’s financial statements to help you forecast. Financial forecasting will help you prepare for downturns or business slowdowns if they are expected. It will also help you plan how to utilize the money best in those times when business is booming.
Product or Service Failure
Though you may believe you have the best service or product idea or business plan, customers may disagree. Every business is dependent on some level of sales to survive, but if what you are selling isn’t any good or if it is good but not something people need or want, your business will not survive, and that could potentially no only hurt you as the business owner. Still, it could hurt any other investors in your business.
To avoid this, you should do a market analysis. The market analysis is as it sounds. You research and analyze the market to which your product or service belongs. You don’t want to just focus on current trends because those can come and go, and if you are only offering something that is currently on-trend, you will go out of business when it is no longer the hot thing. Your focus should be on a product or service that has a long life ahead of it.
Don’t count trends out totally. If you have a central and timeless product or service, you can then add some products and services on trend to give your business boosts. If you are creative, you can even be the one setting the trends.
Most small businesses can’t operate at startup or the first few years without outside financial sources. Therefore, you will need to seek out financing. While there are many reputable lenders and investors, there are equally those that are not. Before entering into any contract for financing, make sure you go through the contract thoroughly. It would even be suggested that you consult a lawyer to ensure nothing in the financial contract could later come back to hurt you or your business. Both investors and lenders can add things into the contract that could give them your business should you fail to return on their investment or repay the loan.
Though all financing carries some level of risk, some are riskier than others. When seeking financing, you must do a lot of research and choose wisely.
Not Knowing Your Target Market
Many business owners make the mistake of believing that their product or service is perfect for everyone. While this kind of confidence is encouraged, it is not realistic. Even products or services that everyone uses varies from person to person. Also, when considering your target market, it is not always the person who will use the product that you target but rather the one going to do the purchasing. For example, grocery shopping is generally done by one household member. Each person in the household may need things from the grocery store, but the person making the purchase and selection may not use the product. So in some cases, those who sell grocery items may only want to target the person doing the purchasing, not necessarily the person who will be consuming the product.
Market and target audience analysis are crucial if you want to get your share in the market. Once you identify your target market, then you should put all your marketing efforts towards them. This targeting will increase sales and minimize financial risks.
For the small business owner, part of owning a business is facing financial risks. However, as long as the small business owner recognizes the risks and understands how to overcome them, they will not affect the business. Owning and operating a business can be fulfilling and challenging all at the same time, but if you’re prepared, you can overcome those challenges, and your business will succeed.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.