Don’t let fear rule your business behaviour

A researcher in the USA asked small business owners what they most feared or worried about and we would argue that the findings would be the same or similar in the UK.

Top concerns were fear of failure, no customers, poor sales, wasting money on ineffective marketing, financial failure and negative effects on their personal lives.

Some would argue that a certain amount of fear can be a great motivator to keep the adrenaline flowing as human beings thrive on challenge.

However, too much fear can be overwhelming and paralysing, resulting in an inability to make decisions, let alone take risks. Decision making is a fundamental necessity in business, as is facing up to problems if the business is in difficulty. Especially critical are when problems involve cash flow, creditor pressure and litigation that might lead to insolvency.

Regardless of whether we are motivated or paralysed by challenges the worst path to take is to keep our thoughts to ourselves or to ignore a situation.

It is always helpful to share ideas and problems, whether a small business is planning for growth or needs to make changes if survival is in jeopardy.

A business advisor, experienced colleague or friend is likely not only to be on your side but also able to take a dispassionate view and may well produce ideas or solutions you haven’t thought of. Certainly the act of expressing what is on your mind will help you to clarify an issue and may also reduce the stress to manageable proportions where paralysis gives way to effective action.

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