The Next Steps: Mitigating Risks


With any big endeavor, something is bound to go not quite as planned. It’s a risk one is willing to take for a bigger gain. Of course, mitigating those risks is important!

So I have set my next steps in motion.

I am a planner, an engineering, and a perfectionist. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am thorough if not persistent. I researched my previous General Contractor, asked for references, made him sign a contract, checked insurance, etc. I thought I did everything right, everything I could to protect myself. But things went not quite as planned.

Of course, now, I am even more cautious – not wanting to trust anyone! This must not happen again – I need the facility finished so I can get back to focusing on making award-winning, sustainable chocolate.

So what are we doing differently this time? A lot! It’s funny – when I met with the City inspector last week, he said ‘Typically people hire someone to handle this for them.’ To which I responded, ‘we tried that – didn’t go so well. So now I’m in control!‘ He laughed, stating he was very impressed.

I decided not to hire another General Contractor. This is for a few reasons – a middle man costs extra $ I don’t have, I want to be truly in control on the project schedule at all times, and I want to be in direct communication with all sub-contractors.

I have contracts in place with all sub-contractors, with a list of items that they are required to complete and a contingency based on passing all inspections. All supplies I am purchasing personally and delivering when needed or reimbursing with proof of receipt and usage. All subcontractors have agreed to not ask for payment on labor until final inspection has been passed and a Certificate of Occupancy has been obtained.

I am obtaining permits in my name so I maintain total control and ensure that I am the primary contact person for the project. I have made the City aware of the situation and they are working directly with me to get issues resolved / things moving forward. They have been very helpful, which was definitely reassuring.

And, I am spending many hours monitoring progress of the construction. And when I’m not able to be on site (at some point I have to make chocolate, right?!?), a member of my family or team is stepping in to help. No one can get into the building with me letting them in.

So in case anyone thought I could fall prey again, I reassure you I have it covered. I have a plan – and have mitigated the risks!!

Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.

One response to “The Next Steps: Mitigating Risks”

  1. […] In addition, there will be times of hardships, roadblocks, and tears. We have recently encountered such a hardship while working on expanding the business (Read about it on the blog). It’s the passion that keeps you going through the hard times so you can experience the full potential of the business. (Read about how we are moving forward.) […]