Opportunity Risk Assessment: Going beyond the numbers

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC

Too often, innovators sort and evaluate their ideas as they develop them. The better method is to inventory all of your ideas before you start to evaluate them. By prematurely conducting an evaluation of your ideas as you ideate them, you stunt the likely creativity and energy that can come from a robust and innovative idea generation process.

Once you have completed the generative ideation process, and you are evaluating whether or not to move forward with a particular opportunity, business builders would benefit from pausing and thinking through some of the following:

1. Risk-based monitoring

Conducting a basic risk-monitoring audit is helpful. What trends or patterns have marked your business building journey? You might historically like to play it safe, take smaller, calculated bets, or put all your chips on the table. This context will help you determine your tolerance for taking on additional risk. The most important thing is that you should evaluate the post-mortem of how well the risks you took worked out for you. Do you need to change anything in your process? Where their blind spots? Did your gut “trump” your head or vice-versus? You might be tempted to think cheap office space, hanging out at Starbucks, or reimagining a home office is less risky than committing to working with an entrepreneurial support organization that can work with you “hand and glove” and hold you accountable as you grow your business venture. What is the benefit of taking a cheap approach versus if you grow faster, hire faster, get customers faster, find funding faster, and finish your product faster? Are you really managing your risks or just finding a cheap and convenient solution. What is the real opportunity cost ? Would you really put all your chips on black double zero or all your winnings on one strategy of doubling down on a hard 11?

2. Trusted Advisors in your circle of influence

No person is an island as they say, and your support network matters in risk-taking (and in success in general.) If you have a group of trusted advisors, you can probably bet on them to give you a reality check, if needed. Tough love can be precisely what you need to avoid an ugly outcome. Do you have people you can turn to, for “real talk” and whose interest in only your success? If so, vet your opportunities with this key center of influence.

3. Your opportunity lens

Are you a glass is a half-empty or half-full person? Your outlook can enter into the equation. Those who tend to wear rose-colored glasses would benefit from taking a step back before making a determination as well as getting feedback from a sounding board. On the other hand, a pessimistic viewpoint could mean you have a tendency to evaluate an opportunity as riskier than it might be. Neither extreme can bode well for someone looking to enter into a deal objectively.

If you’re serious about an idea (or want more fully round out your concept, a second opinion of sorts), you need a trusted and credible partner to take you to that next level. Enter The NIIC. We categorize our entrepreneurial resources into four pillars: Capital, Talent, Workplace and Networking. The approach is time-tested with proven results. It’s the reason businesses we help start and grow have a 91.9% survivability-rate five years after the inception of a new business venture. Simply put, ventures grow faster and stronger at The NIIC.

Our experience gives us insight and understanding of the needs of business builders at all levels – pre-company, pre-revenue, start-up, growth and scale. The knowledge we’ve gained helps strengthen the ways we serve you, continually evolving to better your entrepreneurial experience and your results at The NIIC.

Interested in learning more? Call one of our concierges for an appointment with a business coach at 260-407-6442.


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