5 Ways to deal with fear and risk in your small business

May 19, 2014

Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran shares tips on overcoming fear and risk within your business.

You don't concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done. Chuck Yeager Fear and risk are two four-letter words that keep more business owners up at night than any other words in the dictionary. Given the economic conditions over the last seven years, it’s not surprising that business owners are hesitant about stepping off the curb to advance their companies. The highway to success is littered with broken down and bankrupt companies that underestimated what it would take to survive the Great Recession and succeed in a lagging economic recovery. The good news is that our economy is improving. Credit lines have loosened, ever so slightly, and non-traditional financing (e.g. crowdfunding) is starting to become more traditional. More importantly, consumer and small business confidence numbers are starting to rise. With momentum moving in the right direction, how can business owners take advantage of opportunities in 2014-15 while mitigating risk? Here are five ways to lessen fear while increasing the odds of achieving your goals.

1)     Have a Plan: The single most important piece of advice I offer to business owners is to have a well prepared GPS plan. This document should tell you where you want to go and how you plan on getting there. The goal should be specific, measurable and hopefully attainable. For example, in 2014 your goal is to generate $1 million in revenue. The operational plan is how you expect to get from where you are today to $1 million in revenue by the end of 2014. 2)     Plan Ahead: Stress test your plan by creating a series of “What if” scenarios. What would you do if you lost your largest client or your top salesperson? What is your backup plan if the big potential client decides to go with another company? How will you achieve your goal? The better your stress test, the better your chances of success. 3)     Cover Yourself: When was the last time you had a small business insurance checkup? How has your business changed since the checkup? Insurance coverage is no good if you aren’t properly covered. At least twice a year you should sit down and review the coverage for your business. Knowing that you are properly covered in the event of an accident or disaster will help you sleep better at night. Remember—the time to check your coverage is not AFTER disaster strikes. By then, it’s too late. 4)     Play to Win: As Chuck Yeager once eloquently stated “You don't concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results.” From this moment forward, don’t focus on all the things that may or may not go wrong with your business. Instead, focus on executing your plan and achieving your goals. Be confident when meeting with new clients or customers. If they didn’t want to buy from you, they wouldn’t be meeting with you. 5)     Work as a Team: Don’t take on all the stress of your business. If you haven’t done so already, delegate some of your responsibilities and allow your employees to step into leadership roles in your company. “Many hands make light work.” Share your plan and vision with your employees, vendors, partners and coaches or consultants. Ask them, “How can you help us achieve our objectives?” Most people love to be part of a winning team. They enjoy the camaraderie and the feeling of accomplishment. They also want to sleep well at night. Show them you have a plan for success. Success is most often found in a unified approach. Good luck with your business for the rest of 2014 and beyond. If this article was helpful in moving you in the right direction or if you have any additional suggestions, I welcome your comments and feedback. Connect with me on www.twitter.com/BrianMoran. For an opportunity to receive a free business risk consultation from me, enter the Hiscox Biggest Business Risk Ever Takencontest. For more small business insight from my Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence series, visit the Hiscox small business blog. As the Founder & CEO of Brian Moran & Associates, Brian is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs run better businesses. In 2012 and 2013 Brian was named one of the top 100 SMB Influencers in the country by Small Business Trends & Small Biz Technology. For more information, visit his company website www.SmallBusinessEdge.com.