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Business Risk is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing


Business Risk is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Business risk happens to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. However, if you give all the sheep hockey sticks and a puck like Wayne Gretzky, that wolf will likely hide behind the goal’s net. No one likes getting hit by the puck several dozen times! But we get it, though: we’re afraid of ticking off that wolf, and lo and behold: the wolf might come out from behind that net and start really nasty grunge fights with each sheep, and instead of a hockey game, we have a slaughter on our hands.

Honestly, Business Risk Is a Lot Like That: an Angry Wolf

But here we have the key to taming that wolf — we mentioned Wayne Gretzky.

It turned out he had quite the quote that makes perfect sense in hockey —

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

When you think about it, that makes perfect sense! And there’s no way around it. Truthfully, if you’re running a business, you have to accept the fact that you’re always going to be facing risk. And if you run away from it, the risk is even greater.

The key to managing risk is to take those chances — and learn from the historical data. Part of the problem is that we think risk is a lot bigger than it actually is. That wolf does look a lot bigger on the ice rink — until you start chucking pucks at him.

Sadly we’re creatures of habit, and before the innovation of technology — the Internet, mobile, Google, Amazon — we didn’t have a lot of “pucks” to chuck at the wolf like Wayne Gretzky would. So we were stuck on the old methods and didn’t want to try something new. And it’s understandable! — after all, we can’t predict much results with new programs or methods, because there’s nothing as far as historical data for us to analyze.

Thankfully, I Have the Goods Here About How to “Take All the Shots” Like Wayne Gretzky and Manage Risk Without Failure:

Here are some tools to keep in mind as you manage risk head-on while moving forward in your small business:

  • Measure, Estimate, Prioritize, and Adapt — Testing and experimenting are the keys to taming that wolf. In fact, we once had a client simply focus on key inventory items, eliminating unproductive factors by just looking at the clicks and monitoring the Google Analytics data. It’s simple. That’s one slap shot you can take like Wayne Gretzky.
  • Follow the 80/20 and 90/30 Rules — Develop your business methodology down to these numbers, and it’ll be a lot easier to forecast results. The 80/20 rule is how you’ll expect 80% of your sales coming from 20% of the offerings you make. So do the math. Likewise, 90% of all perceptions of your product will be realized in your customers’ heads within 30 seconds. So, in other words — make enough shots at the goalie in a short period of time, and you’ll definitely expect a lot of scores.
  • Lastly…. You Will Make Some Mistakes, and That’s OKAY — Why? Because that gives you the opportunity to adapt. After all, the longer you keep making those shots, the more hits you’ll make over time.

In other words: the more business risk you take, the less risk there will be.

It’s Not Easy, and You Need to Exercise Caution, Obviously

Simply be strategic. Don’t go all out. But balance your efforts. After all, Wayne Gretzky didn’t win on sheer will and tenacity alone; he had the skill.

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