What do you fear in business? Maybe nothing—that’s great. However, I was talking to a client the other day and we were strategising about the next growth step which involves them selling their products to larger retail chains. The client has been putting it off, but the time had come where we had to move ahead.
After I probed my client further, they said they had a fear about going down that path. I assumed that it had to do with the possibility of needing extra working capital, or actually going to meet the buyers, which can be very daunting. But, their fear was actually shipping the product to the customers. They couldn’t fathom how they would physically ship that volume of merchandise to large retailers with hundreds of store fronts.
We had previously discussed about outsourcing distribution when the time was right, so I was surprised when they told me this was their fear. I assumed this was the least of their worries. I assured the client that this won’t be a problem as careful planning would occur well in advance of any influx of orders. They then relaxed and understood that this fear could be overcome. There is normally a solution to most problems that arise in running a business. Sometimes it needs a new set of eyes to offer advice.
It is interesting how business owners can be intimated and fear certain aspects of their business, especially when it involves going into the unknown. This fear can be so strong, that business owners may not take that next critical step that would allow them to reach their full potential. We are all human, so it is normal to fear something. I am scared of bees—terrified of them!
So how do we overcome these fears? The first step is to identify them and not walk away from them. We can find excuses why we don’t want to do something and do something else which is more comfortable.
The next step is talking about this fear and seeking advice. We can’t all be experts in every aspect of business and we need to know when to reach out and ask for guidance. Often, business owners can be very proud and may see asking for help as a failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Focus on what you are good at and seek advice and help on the areas that you are not as confident.
If you don’t want your fear to control your business, you need to have the courage to ask for guidance and advise. Asking for help isn’t failure, it’s bravery.
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