F.E.A.R. Is It Affecting Your Business?

 Lately I’ve seen business owners who remind me of deer in the headlights. They are frozen by the unknown. They are frozen by the fear of the unknown. Business owners are stuck in these uncertain times due to uneasiness and, for some, a deep, gut-level fear. The combination of negative influences in the economy has triggered a series of emotionally based decisions by many otherwise rational, intelligent leaders.

Unfortunately, these decisions will not sustain business momentum and will further delay many owners’ exits. That’s a double whammy for baby boomer owners seeking to retire in the coming years.

Small, privately held businesses can be susceptible to owners’ abrupt, nervous reactions in the marketplace, in addition to the inaction of owners taking a passive position. You’ve probably heard more than one business owner say, “We’re not making any new investments right now.” Others are saying, “I’ll just wait until next year for doing my exit planning.” Let me be clear, we consider F.E.A.R. to be False Expectations Appearing Real and so should you.

When it comes to succession planning, though, the risks are always higher when a decision is deferred. That’s true in good times and uncertain ones.