Q: Before I launch my business, how can I set myself up for success while limiting risk? — Jack, Portland, Oreg.
If you obsess about making sure your business won’t fail — rather than figuring out how to make it succeed — your focus will be in the wrong place. Fear doesn’t get you far in entrepreneurship, so it’s best that you keep your eyes on the prize.
Still, you can plan to limit downside. That begins by following the first rule of business: Understand your audience. Some researchers believe that more than 20 different factors — from time of day and culture to self-perception and mood — can influence buying behavior. Maybe that’s true, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to track it all.