TBL Episode 93: Risky Business: Identifying and Mitigating Startup Risks

In this episode of Today’s Business Leaders, Frank Mendoza shares some of his success secrets for running your own business. Frank is the owner and founder of Catalytics Consulting. After working on several startups at Dell, he got his mini MBA and formed his own company.

The Basics of a Startup

Before he could launch his business, Frank had to identify what you need from a consulting practice. He came up with four basic things:

  • Leads
  • A way to close leads
  • An execution strategy
  • Referrals

Frank needed to identify what his biggest risk was so he could mitigate it. He thought it would be closing sales at first since that was his area of least experience. However, a little more reflection revealed that leads was actually the biggest risk. Without leads, there was no opportunity to close a sale.

He had to figure out a way to create a pipeline that would always produce fresh leads. That led him to Hourly Nerd, a marketplace for independent consultants and cooperations. He was able to create a profile showcasing his skills and talents. This led him to land his first major contract.

Risk Aversion and the Entrepreneur

Frank has a significant risk aversion. He thought that it would hinder his ability to grow his business. Over time, though, he realized aversion to risk doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, it can help you to be smarter about the risks you take.

“De-risk as much until you feel comfortable and don’t compare yourself to anyone else ultimately. Because what works for you may not work for other people,” Frank says. You need to identify the people who matter to you most and learn from them. This will help mitigate unnecessary risk and will also help you keep moving forward. “Figure out your core people that you trust and resonate with, and keep them close.”

What it’s All About

At Catalytics, Frank helps organizations break down and digest big data to make better decisions. He works with AI to show how data can help improve society and individuals. He’s also working on a new startup, Detecting Talent. This company focuses on helping organizations identify their top level talent employees. Then they figure out proactive ways to retain them.

Frank warns that we should always be mindful of our ego. “Being a good consultant does not mean you know how to run a good consulting firm.” Don’t be overconfident. You’re going to need help, so be willing to ask for it. Connect with Frank at his website, on Linkedin, on Instagram or by email. You can also find him at fxmendoza.com and fxmendoza.tv.


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