Beata Drzazga – co-organizer of the Silicon Valley New Technology Conference, founder of Polish healthcare giant BetaMed. – talks about risk management in a start-up, the qualities necessary for entrepreneurs who try their hand at new technologies;
In my opinion, and I say this after almost 30 years of operation and observation, above all vision and passion. Regardless of the times. These features are an absolute must. Every entrepreneur should have a clear vision for his company and a great passion for what he does. It is these elements that provide the motivation for action and allow us to survive difficult times. A vision is like a map that steers a company in the right direction, and passion is the source of energy needed to realize it. Of course, vision alone will not make us successful, we also need hard work and 101 percent commitment to our company. We have to stand at the helm even if we have built a trustworthy team because we are the ones who set the tone for the venture that stems from our vision and passion. Our team only helps to realize it, but we are the captain. Another feature is the ability to adapt today absolutely key. The business world is changing rapidly, so entrepreneurs must be flexible and ready to adapt to new conditions and trends, unleashing technologies that are often overpowering at first and require courage and patience to master. In addition, the ability to build lasting relationships with customers, business partners and employees is extremely important, but this has always been important. Good communication, empathy and the ability to listen are irreplaceable in building. Customers are the foundation of any company. That’s why successful entrepreneurs always put their needs first. Understanding customers, following up on their expectations and providing valuable products or services are key elements in building a sustainable customer base.
In the case of startups, are these same qualities enough, or are others needed?
Start-ups require founders as well as employees to be willing to take risks, create new solutions and start something from scratch, often without precedent, so based purely on business intuition. Here, self-reliance is extremely important, because: they often operate in a resource-constrained environment, which requires the ability to make decisions without lengthy consultation with a large team. The world of start-ups is unpredictable. You must be ready for surprises and be able to react quickly to changing conditions. Innovation and creativity are very important here You have to be open to unusual ideas and approaches. Many start-ups operate in technology industries. Understanding new technologies and being able to use them can be a huge asset. This is where long-term vision is important above all else: It’s worth having a long-term vision and goals that outweigh short-term challenges. Start-ups are a continuous learning experience. One must be ready to acquire new knowledge and adapt to changing market conditions.
How do you advise managing the risks of startups?
The first step is to accurately identify potential risks. This means understanding what risks your start-up may face. These can be risks related to the market, technology, finance, competition, etc. It is important to carefully analyze what can go wrong. Not every risk is equally important. Once risks are identified, it makes sense to prioritize them. Determine which ones have the greatest impact on the business and focus on them first. A management strategy should be developed for each identified threat. This means determining what actions to take to minimize the risk or what steps to take when the risk materializes. Risk diversification is the key word for this strategy. It is worth considering diversifying your investments. It is worth maintaining optimal financial reserves to be able to meet unexpected challenges, if only technological ones. I also advise creating a team or assigning a person responsible for risk management. This will allow you to focus on the issue and make quick decisions when needed. I see that it’s also often invaluable to invest in insurance that can help protect your start-up in the event of the unexpected, or at least develop a contingency plan that outlines what you will do if a crisis situation arises. As a result, we are prepared to respond quickly.
Regularly monitoring the situation in your start-up, and carefully checking the progress, is highly recommended. It is also a good idea to regularly update your risk management strategies to account for any changes in the market or internal situation. Risk management in a start-up is an ongoing and dynamic process. As this business grows and evolves, the risks may change. Therefore, it is important to be flexible and ready to adjust risk management strategies as needed.
Source: My Company Poland