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Starting and growing a business always involves some level of risk, but there is no shortage of rewards for running your own business.
Talk to any entrepreneur, and they'll tell you that the best reward is being their own boss and "doing their own thing." Jesse Abonza, a former security guard and entrepreneur, based in Los Angeles, says that he wouldn't change anything now that he's working for himself.
"It's really hard, especially at first, but the risk is worth it," he says. Taking the plunge, adds Abonza, makes the reward sweet, "I have my own security firm now, and we're growing. That would never have happened if I hadn't said I'm going to go for it."
But what exactly are some of the business risks and how do Hispanic entrepreneurs guard against them? Find out how to balance risk and reward in your business.
Do your due diligence
The top risk on anyone's list is losing it all, wasting your time, and ending up with nothing. But, according to Andrew Barrera of the business consulting group PACE, in California, there are steps you can take in terms of business risk management. "Do your research and be realistic about how much you will make—especially in the beginning. Look at generating revenue in increments. Be patient and follow market trends," he suggests.
Remember that it takes time to start to turn a profit, adds Barrera, but if you're prepared and have done your due diligence, you can weather it better.
One of the best ways to avoid risk as much as possible—especially for small business entrepreneurs—is to set up a limited liability company (LLC), says Barrie Lynn Tapia, a lawyer with her own firm in Washington, D.C.
"This protects your personal assets from your business and means that you are not personally responsible for any financial issues, [or] debts, from your business. That is extremely important, especially if you have assets such as a home and other properties and savings or other resources," she adds.
Be aware of this big risk
Risk may not always present itself the way you think it will. In this day and age, cyberattacks could cause you to lose your business. While padlocks and alarms may keep the thieves away, increasingly sophisticated online criminals are working overtime devising new ways to attack.
Preparing for risk includes protecting yourself against cyberattacks, says Ignacio Permuy, who has his own architecture firm in Miami.
Besides the very basic steps of changing passwords periodically and limiting access to just the most relevant people, Permuy recently overhauled and updated the firm's IT system and website. "We hired an IT technician for the purpose of strengthening our online security," he says.
"Have reputable specialists look over your website as soon as possible. They will usually have feedback and catch things you can't. It's not only worth it, but it's actually an investment in yourself and your business," he adds. Permuy explains that this wasn't necessarily a high priority when they first started out, but as they've expanded their online presence, it has become essential to guard against any online risk. "It's better to be safe than sorry," he warns.
Remember that reward is not just monetary
While every entrepreneur wants to make money, some of the best rewards are not about how many dollars you'll make, and they outweigh and balance out any risks by far, adds Barrera. He believes the biggest reward is finding something you're good at and using that talent "to service a need in the marketplace by providing a high-quality product or service."
Tapia adds that helping others is among the top rewards: "You feel a real sense of accomplishment, and that is priceless."
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