Making the safest bet rarely leads to success, and risk is needed if you want to do more than just scrape by—it actually may be what’s needed just to survive in this economy. Identify the risk avoidance that may be holding you back with 10 of its most common forms.
Excuse No. 1: “The timing isn’t right.” Business plans sit in boxes as their creators wait for the right conditions. Besides forgoing an opportunity for success because they are waiting for ideal conditions, many leaders fail to solve problems or correct mistakes because, in their minds, the timing wasn’t right.
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Excuse No. 2: “I tried that once, and it didn’t work.” Those words are most often uttered by small business owners in reference to marketing. Avoiding investing in marketing because one campaign didn’t produce the desired results is a risk that spa owners can’t afford to take.
Excuse No. 3: “If I just had XYZ gadget … ” Countless success stories have been written with nothing more than ink and paper, a rotary phone and plain determination. Although tools, technology and accessories may be helpful, they do not guarantee success—effort guarantees success.
Excuse No. 4: “I’m still working on the plan.” With planning as a comfort zone, the reality of execution can be replaced with theoretical forecasting. Many risk-averse entrepreneurs miss opportunities and fail to build actual businesses in the act of building virtual businesses.
Excuse No. 5: “It’s a good idea, but circumstances have changed.” Moving the target of the idea changes the objective, goal or focus of a spa business and thus delays plan execution. The problem is, each time the target is moved, actions need to be stopped and prepared to fire again.
Excuse No. 6: “I’ll get to it eventually.” Immersing yourself in busywork in order to avoid the true priorities won’t even let your spa last long enough for you to tackle the real issues at some undefined point down the road.
Excuse No. 7: “I’m playing a defensive game.” Many business owners choose to cut costs and attempt to do more with less. Unfortunately, no business achieves greatness solely by pinching pennies—although financial responsibility is certainly a big part of sustainability and growth.
Excuse No. 8: “Nothing’s broken; why fix it?” This kind of thinking is a good way to become irrelevant. Clients don’t always leave because they had a bad experience with a spa—the reason is often that they simply had a better one with a competitor. Risks need to be taken when business is good and bad if you want to stay cutting-edge and competitive.
Excuse No. 9: Crickets chirping, grass growing … That’s the sound of silence. For many spa owners, the desire to succeed is there—and so are some good ideas—but they struggle with making the rubber meet the road. They sit back and let projects peter out instead of driving them forward, or definitively putting them out of their misery.
Excuse No. 10: “But I don’t avoid risk!” Maybe an owner is simply so focused on leading her business that she hasn’t kept a close eye on its inner workings—trusting her team to be as bold and efficient as she is. Or they have noticed risk-avoidance behaviors that are slowing down their organization and are simply reluctant to confront their team members—a form of risk avoidance in and of itself.
The temporary comfort gained from rationalizing inaction just postpones the inevitable. Hoping that something will change will result in defeat—the end of a dream. As a leader, your example of enthusiastically seeking opportunity to execute, improve and deliver results will be the beacon that guides all who follow you.
Tom Panaggio has enjoyed a 30-year entrepreneurial career as cofounder of two successful direct marketing companies, Direct Mail Express and Response Mail Express.