Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, founders of Advolve Media Inc. – Kris Luinenburg and Bryce North – have framed their business as a young, energetic advertising and in-house promotional service provider. They aim at offering a digital network of interactive, technologically advanced, high-quality advertising mediums and had the following advice on managing risk for other entrepreneurs:
Predict your weaknesses. Spend some time predicting all of the downfalls of your product or service. A great way to find the gaps in your idea is discussion; inquire with industry professionals and the general public and listen closely to their responses on your concept. You can then build a mitigation strategy that will answer any of the concerns clients may have before they even have to ask. For example, we utilize a specific sensor in our advertising mirrors that removes any possibility that we would be capable of recording images and video with our washroom-based units. Sometimes these solutions are more costly in the beginning, but protecting against the downside can be one of your strongest advantages.
Fake it until you make it. Ideally we all want intellectual property in place earlier rather than later, but we all know that is timely, expensive, and sometimes difficult to obtain as processes and technology are being developed. As early as possible, copyright your property, which you can do right through Government websites for a very minimal cost. When the time comes patent, and if necessary, trademark your property. Patents in particular can be very expensive, but initial registration costs are reasonable and you will be allocated a grace period. Best advice I can give you is never, ever, tell anyone you haven’t secured your IP!
Use cheap and easy data storage. Cloud computing has opened up the world of possibilities when it comes to inexpensive data backup. Take loads of stress off you and your business partners and invest in Dropbox or one of the other inexpensive file sharing services. My company files are all secured and I can access them from anywhere and selectively share folders with other parties when needed. Fast, efficient, and safe is the way to go.
Diversify your business model. It’s no secret that the rich stay rich by diversifying their streams of income. You can do this with your business as well. Don’t be a one-product wonder. Develop multiple streams of revenue by creating multiple revenue opportunities with your product/service, if you haven’t diversified your product/service offering already. This can broaden your customer base and mitigate the risks of a faltering business model or a catastrophic disaster. Great examples are lease and buy options; basic service options versus comprehensive service options that you can charge more for; and standardized versus the more expensive customizable options. If possible, automate as much as possible to maximize efficiencies as well.