Imagine you are shopping for a vehicle. There are many safety options to choose from. You are essentially in control over how safe you want to be.
Do you want seat belts? Anti-lock brakes? Front air bags? Passenger air bags? Rear air bags? Side curtain air bags? Air bags in the seat? Air bags in the seat belt? Air bags in the door? Automatic braking? Automatic steering? I’m sure there are even more safety options.
Driver A is content if their car has only a few of those safety options. Driver B recognizes life is priceless and wants every possible safety option available. “Can you cram another airbag inside those heater vents for me?” – Driver B.
This decision comes down to a miniature risk analysis, which looks something like this: How likely is it I will be involved in a life threatening accident with my children or other passengers in the car? Versus, how much do all these extra safety options cost?
Driver A is willing to take on more risk. Driver B knows it only takes one accident to end it all. Driver B wants to take advantage of the available tools to help minimize risk.
You can use this analogy to think about how you run your business. Are you like Driver A or Driver B? Do you take shortcuts to save time? Do you do-it-yourself to save money? Do you procrastinate until you are right up against a deadline, leaving insufficient time for due diligence? Do you feel like you are constantly putting out fires?
My experience tells me that most small business owners are more like Driver A than Driver B. Much of that is out of necessity due to such limited resources when starting a new businesses. However, there comes a time in the business life cycle when you move beyond germination and you need to start thinking about growth and preservation. A focus on growth and preservation requires a focus on planning, analyzing options, and avoiding risk. Its the Driver B’s of the business world that tend to come out on top.