There are a lot of reasons why a small business owner might be fearful, whether it is because of the economy or due to other circumstances that are beyond their control – such as losing a key member of staff or not making enough money to pay the bills. They might even be afraid of making mistakes. Our Top 5 Tips this week provide some coping strategies and advice for any small business owner feeling the fear.
1. The first step to dealing with any kind of fear in business is to actually acknowledge that you are afraid of something. It might help to put down in writing exactly what you are afraid of – you could even share this in a blog post or in a letter to friends or family. Feedback might be helpful and expressing your fears in writing may help you to realise that whatever you are fearing is not really a big deal.
2. To expand on that last point, communication really is the key to understanding and dealing with fear. Talking to others will allow you to brainstorm and develop coping strategies for dealing with problems if they actually occur. You might also want to speak to employees about what their fears are too. Perhaps they worry about their future within your company or have misgivings about the direction you are taking? Speaking to them can help to assuage those fears.
3. Staying positive is a good strategy for dealing with fear. Unless you are able to stay in control of your emotions through positivity, fear can have a big effect on the business decisions that you make and create a very risk adverse culture in your company. Small businesses that focus too much on mitigating risk will be reluctant to make decisions that involve any risk at all, even if they are accidentally holding the company back.
4. Try to avoid stress as much as possible. If you know that you are the type of person who will have fears about their business, undue stress will only exacerbate your situation. Of course a certain amount of stress is always part and parcel of being a business owner so you will never have a stress-free existence!
5. It’s important that you keep working and don’t let fear interrupt your working practices. Concentrate on working rather than speculating about “what if” scenarios and your business will be far healthier as a result.