While taking a chance with your business may feel a little risky right now, those who do while thinking outside the box are usually rewarded for their efforts. But that is only if those efforts are strategic, relevant, and right for the market.

For those willing to say “Bring it on” to something fresh and new, here are 5 things to keep in mind as you walk that tight rope between risk and reward.

1. Be creative and embrace the risks.
It’s just a matter of having a contingency plan in most cases. Avoiding risk may be your biggest risk. So let some creative ideas bubble up from your staff. Explore them. But when you put a project idea in place, make sure the most realistic ideas prevail. Don’t seek risk for the sake of it.

2. Timing is everything in business.
Don’t leave an open checkbook for your R&D team. Set goals. Give parameters. And by all means, attach a time constraint to all projects. And the timing should not just be for when the project will end, but also implement dates to check in on the project’s status. Sometimes resigning a project feels better than riding a losing horse to the finish line.

3. Where is the market at?
As we stated at the top, know the market. Don’t guess or speculate. Survey the industry. Ask your customers what they need and want from you. And the return on that investment will be that your clients feel more bought in to your final product. Let their voices be heard. And, with that support from clients, your C-suite will be more confident green-lighting your projects as well. That’s a win-win.

4. Don’t forget about the boss
We just mentioned the C-suite. Regardless of your team’s hierarchy, make sure your internal stakeholders agree with the projects you pursue. Don’t let a hidden veto torpedo your best efforts. Be transparent with the goals and tactics of your initiatives, and you’ll be less likely to have the plug pulled on something that the team has already invested heavily in.

5. Minimum Viable Product (MVP), embrace it.
The lean startup movement has had legs for quite a while now. The term MVP is right from their playbook. Perfectionism – or at least the pursuit of it – is the number one killer of innovation. Go live with a product or service that needs work, but can serve the market reliably – even if in a small way. Getting feedback from end-users on that MVP is way better than guessing what your customers want.

Don’t sit idle out of fear. Make sure you are setting stretch goals and pursuing them. And let these quick tips light the way.