As I was saying …

The risk of doing nothing

With most of the industry gathered in Las Vegas this month, it's good to remember, as the wit said, that the lucky rabbit's foot didn't work out too well for the rabbit.

Ours is an industry, by definition, of risk takers. Any job—or accident or injury for that matter—can jeopardize your business. And yet, we've never figured out how to price these risks into typical bids.

To be sure, there are lots of ways to mitigate risk. Buy insurance wisely, for example. Make training an ongoing company initiative. And buy from suppliers who will be there if something goes wrong.

This is all common-sense stuff, of course, and easier said than done, especially in a worsening economy. All business owners are watching expenses and saving cash; still, there is a big potential price to pay for too much corner cutting.