The 5 reasons why ‘uncertainty’ is the biggest killer of small businesses and how you can avoid falling into the trap.

“Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating”-Karl Von Clausewitz

Having spent 10 years leading, working in and observing high performing and mediocre business environments, one factor became blindingly obvious to me fairly early on.

The top performing businesses, agencies and freelancers are good at finding answers to the big questions which could hold them back at some stage.

Once answers are collected, they then bring in Iterative processes, that can be repeated, continually to achieve predictable outcomes. Good businesses, managers and freelancers often log down ‘ways to deal with X problem’ in journals or ‘desktop folders’ for help next time with dealing with similar problems. Just imagine a child whacking the re-emerging mole on the whack-a-mole machine.

Here are 5 reasons why uncertainty harms small businesses and why they should prepare.

1-Anxiety fills the vacuum.

When there are no solid processes and plans for action, anxiety creeps in. if you are a freelancer, this is a big problem and if you have this problem, you must invest in tackling it. Why? Well, because as a freelancer your earning potential is directly linked to your ability to execute on your deliverables and ‘hunt’ for new clients. Rising anxiety levels creep from one are of ‘lack of confidence’ into others. You must do what it takes to ‘stop the rot’ and rid your head of insecurities and anxieties. I coach my clients on compartmentalising their thinking for clearer thinking and stronger performance.

2-Inaction is usually a by-product of uncertainty.

Have you ever felt paralysed at the prospect of completing a certain task? If you answered ‘yes’ you are a member of a pretty unexclusive club! Procrastination and inaction are traits unique to us as humans. Our tendency towards inaction are compounded by the myriad of problems that often (scratch that, I meant always!) confront us business professionals. Having someone to ask for help with particularly testing scenarios like knowledge manager is important if you don’t know everything. As a business owner, it is crucial that you are a part of a network or group of other business professionals for support.

3-You don’t receive leads consistently, therefore your earnings are inconsistent.

As any business can attest, clients or customers are the red blood cells that allow the business body to carry on surviving. When the business leads slow down or stop, the business declines or stops. When the leads keep on coming in, the business is growing. Therefore, your marketing activity has to always be consistent, improving and being more coherent to the consumer. This will improve the chances that you will receive sales leads more consistently. Lack of marketing variety or activity causes added uncertainty, which harms your business viability.

4-I can get a job anytime that I want.

I speak to so many business owners and freelancers who have a clearly defined ‘Plan B’. Don’t get me wrong here, if you have family and responsibilities having a plan b is of use. However, if you are operating at less than 100% focus and drive, you are hamstringing the business and less likely to go that extra mile; when your competition is. Re-committing to your business ‘north pole’ is a critical in the ever-changing marketplace that we are seeing in 2019. Without this you can fall into the trap of becoming despondent and less willing to give the extra 10% that may be needed to stay or get ahead of the competition.

5-The future feels like a black hole that is waiting to suck my business in.

Ok, a lot is changing with how business is carried out, what with the omnipresence of Google and Facebook. I still speak to a great deal of business owners who have zero understanding of it all. It is no surprise to see that they are worried; simply because they do not know what is coming around the corner. Well, I’m here to tell you this. You don’t need to be a master at advertising on Google and Facebook but do what it takes to understand the basics. That is a solid start and will reduce the fear. It is very natural to fear what you don’t know, so take the steps to pacify the ‘don’t know’ part of that statement.

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