Stop worrying about your business

By Rhonda Campbell

It’s an illusion that worrying leads to success. To grow your small business, find out which action steps lead to a stronger bottom line. Make those action steps a part of your daily habits, not stress and late night floor pacing.

It’s not a stretch to say that, after being in business for six months, you found something to start worrying about. It happened despite your best intentions.

Remember how you worried whether or not you’d filed legal business documents correctly? After all, there are enough details in operating agreements, company bylaws, patent and copyright applications, real estate purchasing or leasing agreements and state and federal tax forms to keep the most resolute person up at night.

Give yourself a pat on the back. You scaled the “paperwork” hurdle. You can scale the hurdles that you are currently facing too.

Mary Kay Ash said, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” 

You can reduce your small business worrying by taking the right action. AOL co-founder, Steve Case, hit the nail on the head when he said, “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.”

Chief of these actions is reading up on action steps that you lack experience in. If you read a reputable tip or take a 20 to 30 minute training in a specific area (i.e. marketing writing, effective landing page design, bookkeeping), don’t be surprised if your confidence increases.

When your confidence increases, you’ll take on challenges that you used to shy away from. The Small Business Administration (SBA) Learning Center, Skill Path and the OCC are some places that list business training programs.

After you implement action steps, measure the results of your efforts. What’s the benefit? It reduces the level of unknown that you deal with as the owner of a small business. Measuring tools include:

  • Surveys
  • Opinion Polls
  • Visitor Stats
  • Social Media Shares
  • Call Tracking
  • CRM Platforms
  • Google Analytics

Tweak marketing and sales efforts as needed. Follow changes that you make up with another ROI pulse check.

Also, keep the lines of communication open between other business leaders. This includes executives who work for shareholders at large corporations. Don’t go it alone.

Be vulnerable enough to ask the best questions. Be prepared to give the best answers when other leaders hit you up for advice. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn shares that, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

Work with top notch It pros. Secure your tech systems. Regularly communicate to your team the importance of protecting customer and business data. For example, you could send an email to your team that alerts them about phishing and other scams that target email addresses and telephone numbers. Government organizations like the FDIC provide more phishing examples and insight.

Don’t assume that you’re getting it right. Test your IT systems in real time.

Stop worrying by investing in your small business future. Set 10 percent or more of your earnings in a growth account. Build money reserves that will cover your small business expenses for 9 to 12 months at a minimum. More is better.

If you still find yourself worrying about your small business, write down what’s keeping you up at night. Be specific. Create a list of three to four action steps you can take in the short and long term to address the concern. Remember. If the problem exists, so too does the answer.

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