Risky business?

Warren Buffet once said that risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.

The inherent truth in this observation appears to have been borne out in research carried out for North East Business Week last week.

We spoke to businesses across the region on the subject of entrepreneurship and it revealed some interesting views on the subject of risk.

Unsurprisingly, only seven per cent said they were risk-averse, but only 23 per cent described themselves as risk-takers.

Now, most definitions of entrepreneur use the word “risk”. I know this because I checked.

Most of us would see starting up a new venture as a route fraught with dangers, both known and unknown.

So it is interesting that 70 per cent of those who have set up a business see themselves as risk-neutral, which led me to muse upon different perspectives around risk.

These business people have taken the risks so glaringly obvious to the rest of us but clearly mitigated them through research, experience and hard work to such a degree that they no longer consider them risks.

Consequently, they view the risks involved in setting up and running a business as acceptable, and see them as “neutral”.

Entrepreneurs would go off the diving board, a very high one but they’d be sure of the water depth and temperature beforehand.

It’s all to do with your perspective.

At one of the North East Business Week events last week, a highly successful local entrepreneur said that he doesn’t ever feel that the decision to start any of his businesses was high risk.

He didn’t always get it right, but he said that entrepreneurs are people who move faster, often in the opposite direction from everyone else and they learn faster from their mistakes.

One of the more optimistic findings in the North East Business Week research is that 77% of businesses owners agree that now is a good time to start a new business.

Aberdeen may be having a tough time at the moment, but it is a dynamic place in terms of business start-ups.

The Centre for Cities Outlook for 2016 found Aberdeen was the top city in Scotland for start-ups, and eighth overall in the UK.

Indeed, in the last 12 months, there were 1,276 business start-ups in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, figures which will be the envy of most regions.

Strong city economies depend on the dynamism of businesses and entrepreneurs. The overall number of businesses in a city and the rates at which businesses are starting up and closing down are key indicators of the health of a city’s economy.

North East Business Week celebrated the role of the entrepreneur and the contribution they make to the region.

  • This year’s North East Business Week ran from April 18-22, and was delivered in partnership with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Elevator, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Scottish Council for Development & Industry.

A summary of the week can be seen at www.northeastbusinessweek.co.uk