Risk Management - Deal Killer or Opportunity Enhancer?

August 1, 2014 By Kevin K. Malof and E. Todd Wilkowski
Goering Center for Family and Private Business Newsletter

During our careers as in-house and outside counsel business advisors, we have made some common observations about those talented individuals leading our nation out of a crippling recessionary period: entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs are so busy building their businesses that they delay exit strategy or succession planning discussions until they come to grips with their mortality.

Unfortunately, sometimes they are too late and their dreams of an intra-generational or legacy enterprise are no longer attainable. Also, most entrepreneurs’ strategic business plans can be summed up in one word: opportunism. In fact, entrepreneurs pride themselves on eating “risk for breakfast” as the cost of higher margin opportunities. They are laser focused on how to capitalize on existing time-sensitive market opportunities, not missing them because of concerns about their commensurate risks. Accordingly, the concept of risk management is oft-perceived by entrepreneurs with either great suspicion or utter disdain. After all, entrepreneurs are looking for ways to get to “yes”, not be informed of myriad reasons why they shouldn’t take chances and pursue opportunities that are inherently risky.

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