Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place. Charged with being a leader, having answers to challenges and knowing the future are all tremendous and sometime overwhelming tasks. In the midst of financial difficulties, being an entrepreneur can be compared to being on an island without the hope of being saved. Some people can respond well under pressure and work with their strengths instead of allowing their weaknesses to take control of their actions. When it comes to financial challenges, entrepreneurs can be caught up in the technicality of what is happening and become reactionary (or worse – paralyzed) because finance in general can be complication and hard to understand.
The nature of the work I undertake each day involves speaking with individuals and businesses that have a financial challenge approaching or are in the midst of trying to work through an awkward financial moment. From not having enough cash to not knowing how to deal with an obligation that is in default is a spectrum that can create panic, frustration and fear. I use the following points in my work to try and help individuals and businesses who are working through a financial challenge:
The hardest part of dealing with a financial challenge can be communicating the challenge to those around you. Damaged pride or a bruised ego is not what every entrepreneurs seeks each day and especially when it comes to discussing their finances because most times they don’t even understand the problem. My encouragement is to find someone you feel comfortable talking with which may involve speaking with other entrepreneurs. You may be surprised to learn that they have been through the same situation and can provide you with substantial advice and encouragement. Given the numerous problems and challenges I have seen, I quite enjoy chatting about problems because I have learned that they all tend to follow the same pattern and can most times result in the same outcome.
2. Worse case scenario
Entrepreneurs by their very nature are optimistic which means getting them to discuss a worse case scenario can be tantamount to closing the business. I try to get people to walk through (hypothetically) what the real worse case scenario is to not only take the fear out of the unknown but to use the worse case scenario to begin making a plan. Our thoughts always sound worse in our own head when they have had no chance of escape and quite often we can surprise ourselves when we realize maybe our situation is not as bad as it sounds.
3. Plan, execute and persevere
Once you have communicated with someone and worked out the work case scenario the next step is to get moving. The freedom of being an entrepreneur includes being able to make decisions and set courses of action without having to get approval. If you know your problem and know the worse case scenario you have already dealt with more than half the battle. The next half of the battle includes regaining ground and making sure that no opportunity is left uncovered.
At Bridge Capital, we use a FREE Business Health Check to give business owners a starting place for knowing where they are. When a business is in trouble, the FREE Business Health Check provides specific financial details about what is offside in the business and what is required to get it back onside.
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford