As an Entrepreneur, RISK is required – How much are you willing to risk?

Aysha Cooper is the executive director of an Adult Day Center in Snellville, GA

Entrepreneurs are often categorized as risk takers.  Starting a business involves some level of risk to be taken.  Risk can also mean doing things that can cause harm, such as financial loss.  Fabienne Fredrickson, founder of Boldheart.com says, “Courage is a love affair with the unknown.”  I would like to think of myself as a Conqueror with Courage. In business, there are many times when you must make decisions – decisions that can have either an outcome of harm or enrichment to the business. 

I can remember after nine months of being in business and running out of all the money invested and operational income allotted for startup.  I was faced with a decision to borrow money or let my business fail.  Of course, we chose to borrow just enough to keep the doors open.  We found a micro lender, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, that not only provided us $25K but also provided the support, network and educational opportunities to not only keep us in business but play a huge part in our business sustainability and success.

After three years in business, we ran into yet another obstacle of not reaching the anticipated profit margin.  A non-existent profit margin will not provide the momentum to continue working at a high level of commitment, pace and sacrifice.  Once again, I was faced with deciding to identify the problem and how to best make the correction or walk away from a business and industry that I love.  

I hired an outside firm to provide a financial analysis of what could be implemented to reach our goals.  We identified a problem with our funding mix and our initial price point.  Our cost per attendee and the government funded reimbursement did not cover the cost of providing the service.  To minimize loss, we increased our initial price point and began working to decrease our government funded attendees by 20 percent.  

After implementing the changes to attain a profit, we identified yet one more obstacle.  I was hoping this was our last major hurdle to endure in the capacity of hindering business potential.  We were five years in at this point and reached capacity with attendance.  That capacity was just a few short of our break even.  It was imperative to expand our building size to have the potential of increasing capacity.  In 2015, we doubled in size and are working towards increasing attendance.

How much are YOU willing to risk? Are YOU a Conqueror with Courage?

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