The Conversation: Risk, Revenue, & Reality

They say the greater the risk, the greater the reward. The opposite is also true, the greater the risk, the greater chance of failure. So how do you manage financial risk to ensure you stay in the black and not the red? Attend the Center for Creative Economy’s Swerve program on Thursday, February 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with our financial expert Malay Shah, from the Piedmont Angel Network. This program will take place at our new location Center for Design Innovation, 450 Design Avenue in Winston-Salem. This program is free for Swerve members and $20 for non-members. Lunch is included and registration is required. Potential new members can try the February meeting Free.

Staying in the black has as much to do with how your business is structured as well as your personal business beliefs. If you have a passion for your work, and the gift to inspire that passion in others, you’re off to a great start. However, it takes more than having a great product or service and qualified team to ensure your business stays in the black. According to Malay Shah, here are a few things you should know.

Who are your customers, and what do they want?

“Is the market asking for your product or service? Or, are you providing something society doesn’t knowImage result for revenue risk it needs? The most impressive entrepreneurs understand their market inside and out, and tailor their idea to the market so that customers will buy it,” said Malay.

Is your service or product achievable?

“Moon shot ideas are riskier and more costly to execute. There is also typically a longer development process for these kinds of ideas which requires specialized talent. Having the support of a university system or network with the expertise to bring your idea to fruition will increase the likelihood of your success,” said Malay.

What are the possible outcomes?

“You have to think through all the possible outcomes for your business and be prepared for worst-case scenarios. As risk managers concerned about the downside, you must balance opportunities that come your way with the risks involved, even if it is uncomfortable,” said Malay.

Image result for revenue riskDo you have enough capital?

The greatest of ideas are not likely to happen if you don’t have enough money to build or sustain your products or services or pay your staff. So, where do you secure capital? “The type of capital you seek depends on your business’ projected risk, return, and business model. Angel groups are looking for companies that can grow exponentially – growing from 100,000 to 10 million in the next few years. You should also expect that angel investors will seek a high return and or a percentage of ownership in the company in exchange for investment dollars. If you have a low risk business model, a loan is likely your best option.  Grants, corporate sponsorships, and individual donors are the best funding sources for non-profits. To learn more about funding resources in the Triad, talk with your small business center, or connect with groups such as the Center for Creative Economy’s Swerve program,” said Malay.

Do you have the human resources to execute the idea?

Having team members with the right skill set is critical to the success of all businesses. Choose your team members carefully. “It’s a marriage,” said Malay.

Do you have a passion to succeed and willingness to learn?

Great teams are built by great leaders who have the ability to spread their passion and inspire staff to achieve success. They are also coachable and have a willingness to learn.

Do you want to learn how to keep your creative business in the black? Don’t miss the February 16, Swerve meetup with Malay Shah, from the Piedmont Angel Network. To register for the program or to learn more about the Center for Creative Economy’s monthly Swerve meetup program, visit

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