When a business is in difficulties it is a fairly common behaviour for owners or managers to go into denial, perhaps hoping that something will turn up or time will solve the problem.
This rarely works and indeed the most likely outcome is a worsening of the problem, but the last thing most business owners will do is to talk to an expert adviser let alone share their problems with friends or family.
Instead they will try to tough it out in the mistaken belief that showing any sign of weakness will only make the problem worse.
So they will bury any feelings of fear, grief and anxiety without realising that they will still be showing signs of distress to people who know them well. Waking in the middle of the night to feelings of despair is not unusual.
Typical behaviour is to try to assert their “authority” by using anger, controlling behaviour or shouting. Short temper and anger over trivial incidents at home is also typical behaviour.
A different personality type may instead retreat into themselves and withdraw from communicating with others.
If a friend, partner or spouse is behaving like this and it is not how they typically have been then the chances are that they may be trying to deal with stress related pressure.
While you may not be able to provide practical solutions, showing support and empathy are still important as are encouraging them to talk about the issue. The old cliché “a problem shared is a problem halved” applies.
Encourage your friend or loved one to seek the help of an objective expert such as a restructuring or turnaround adviser, who can look at the whole picture as well as the details in depth, to help analyse the problem and suggest solutions.
Cash flow issues and pressing creditors will not necessarily kill a business. Failure to talk about or examine the problems realistically almost certainly will.
There are plenty of articles in the K2 Partners’ Knowledge Bank that can help a struggling business to survive and prosper.
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