Proactively Addressing Business Fears

Yesterday’s article, Take Action to Overcome Fear apparently hit home across various segments of entrepreneurs and business owners. From founders to restaurant operators, from solopreneurs to independent store owners I received quite a few requests for examples of the questions and possible scenarios they should be addressing as part of their development of an action plan. I’m very pleased to see that yesterday’s message opened a few eyes and minds.

So, what is it that you fear right now for your business as well as the challenges and issues that you may be anticipating in the near future? List them all.

Listing fears for your business, the various things that could possibly raise their ugly heads in challenging times, are all essential components to your action plan. In fact, they represent the reason for the plan and as such, make up the foundation from which your plan should be built.

Fears expressed by many to me in recent conversations are real (and challenging). Almost all have expressed fear of failure, fear of losing everything, and fear of losing the respect of others. I believe we can all agree similar fears have been on the minds of business owners and entrepreneurs at one time or another. Whether admitted or not, I believe that to be true.

Okay, so it’s a given – all are afraid for the future, the outcome, the aftermath when the dust settles. Key right now is to address the gap from today to those potential points. Some questions to ask now should be about potential scenarios in the business itself, the things that would adversely affect the customer experience, employee experience, company culture, and ultimately, revenue & profits and business stability:

  • What would you do if you lost a senior member or two of your team? What if it were immediate?
  • At what point would you address sharp increases for goods & products? And, how? What about for frequent increases of the same items?
  • How would you handle an influx of negative customer reviews? What would you do if the reviews pointed back to a key member of your team, knowing that staffing has been problematic?
  • What would you do if a key product or two to your business were immediately unavailable? How about if unavailable for the foreseeable future?
  • How would you handle unexpectedly losing a business partner for an extended period of time? What would need to be done if that partner were you?
  • What would you do if a major piece of equipment were to break down? How about if the equipment is unrepairable and requires replacement? What if the part or replacement item were unavailable?

I’m sure these scenarios will spur additional ones in your mind. If you think the above are extreme scenarios that’ll just be addressed at the time of occurrence, think again. I’ve heard about these exact situations from business owners. Fortunately, no more than two situations were occurring at the same time but in all instances, they hadn’t really been considered before, at least to the extent of preparing for them. Most business owners expressed being caught off-guard and flat-footed.

Scenarios such as the ones listed above are further compounded (and complicated) by challenging times. As such, quick responses are not only necessary, but potentially vital to the future of the business. Thinking them through and defining potential action steps will help to act swiftly and decisively with much less interference with day-to-day business as might otherwise be the case. Certainly, it’ll help the business owner focus on the details necessary to survive challenging times.

One More Thing

Are you making decisions proactively based upon a plan, or reactively, which is often off the cuff or from the hip? Essentially, are you playing to win, or playing not lose?

After all, just playing defense (reactive) doesn’t win games as the best that can be hoped for is a tie-game. The worst-case scenario is a ball trickling through resulting in defeat. The only way to win is to play a solid game of both defense AND offense (proactive) according to a solid game plan, one that addresses all scenarios and possibilities!

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Action Plan

Revisiting yesterday’s article, next steps should be addressed with the following points in mind:

Prioritize which scenarios you believe would be most urgent to address. Outline various action steps that could be taken to thwart the problem. Define various things that could be done to minimize each potential challenge or issue according to your list. Detail counts!

Be proactive in all areas of your business by asking yourself hard questions. Do so by thinking about ‘what if’ scenarios. Being proactive will make decision-making much easier and the right decisions more likely. Be sure to think of both simple and extreme situations as with a comprehensive proactive plan in place, the element of surprise will have been eliminated. This will make the transition from problem to solution much easier and less stressful than otherwise.

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Assistance & Resources

The future may be a bit bumpy for some, more so for others. Knowing who to turn to and when to turn to for guidance and help is important. Having resources at your disposal is also important. So, if you hit a wall, for whatever reason, please feel free to reach out to me for assistance or even if you just need someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate. You can reach me via a LinkedIn message, by email to, and by phone or text at (832) 797-9851. Learn more about Acceler8Success Group at

If you’re interested in having the Preparing for War: You vs. Recession series presented to your organization, either as a webinar, workshop or conference break-out session, please click HERE for more information. The program can be tailored to your business model, product, service offering and industry segment. It has been resonating quite well with franchise and restaurant brands. The series also works well as the structure for one-on-one coaching for business owners, founders, senior executives, and entrepreneurs – all according to well-defined goals. Complimentary initial consultation!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!