Entrepreneurs Corner: 5 Overlooked Risks for Small Businesses

There are some things that founders need to be prepared for and some common risks that many times get overlooked. These risks can be the detriment of a company's success or the cause.

(This article is part of a series by our resident SocialTimes entrepreneur, Ellie Cachette. Cachette is the founder of ConsumerBell and also writes on topics covering Consumer Web. For more articles by Ellie, click here )

Running a small business is hard whether a mom and pop pizzeria or cutting edge start-up. There are some things that founders need to be prepared for and some common risks that many times get overlooked. These risks can be the detriment of a company’s success or the cause. While each risk could be simple to address individually, a founder’s job is to juggle them all with clarity dedicated. Seem impossible to do? That’s what separates an entrepreneur from the pact: trying to handle it all.

Here are five commonly overlooked risks that can bring your business down quickly but if managed correctly can attribute to ultimate success.

1. Hiring and Firing Employees

A basic task of acquiring talent is the backbone of a founder wanting growth. Brining people aboard that will help flourish and idea is tricky and firing employees a necessary evil to grow talent. Many times what seems like a small personnel problem once taken away is seem to be toxic. As a founder it is easy to underestimate the positive power in getting rid of liabilities. Firing those that are a cultural risk or too heavy on the payroll is important and while putting money in the bank is ultimately every founders priority, keeping a finger on the pulse of teamwork should never be secondary.

2. Health and Safety

Seemingly lame thing to worry about, especially if all employees are in a climate controlled office, keeping employees safe and healthy keeps moral high is well. Is sickness always passing through the office? Is there something that maybe one or two people have mentioned needs to be corrected? These tiny signs can boil quickly, keeping the office a safe heaven for employees is one of the better investments of time a founder can do.

3. Revenue

Watching internet-based companies stress over revenue seems second nature but all businesses need to look at their pipeline and makes sure revenue is stacked up and renewable. A pipeline of deals may seem adequate but if there is internal growth or a costly risk that pops up then all those “banked” deals need to go through and then some. Keeping the waterfall steady is a risk that if well managed can be a blessing.

4. Product Quality

Scaling while keeping the original product seamless is essential. If you have a healthy team and most risks under control, innovating product and keeping it high like customers are use to is hard, especially when the end product is no longer in the founder’s hand but others. While pushing company culture, high product quality should always be on the radar. As soon as product quality starts to decline, all other areas of a business start to crumble.

5. Customer Growth and Retention

Once a high product quality is nailed, the customer balance of both growth and retention becomes another risk that can go unnoticed in early stages. Are some of your first customers coming back for more business? If not, address it right away. Figure out what needs to happen to keep customers and bring on new ones. If you do a great job with a small group of customers, they will recruit other customers for you. Simple as that.