Are you getting lost in your mind?

by Brian OConnell ([email protected]) 393 views 

The adage “It’s lonely at the top” often popped into my mind when I ran my larger company. In times of uncertainty, it can be hard not to feel the weight of a thousand decisions and questions daily.

Should I hold out cash or invest to edge out my competition? Should I hire and grow or hold steady and see what happens? Should I secure a debt instrument before rates increase or hold my current debt position? Should I? Should I? Should I?

I’ve heard it said that it is a perfectly viable option to do nothing in times of uncertainty. To that, I say nonsense. Your ultimate decision may be to stay the course, but sticking your head in the sand and hoping for the best is not an option. It’s easy to get down the rabbit hole of your thoughts, start second-guessing your decisions and ultimately make no decision. Now is the time to get out of your head and talk to the support system around your business. Don’t have a support system? Build one.

Here is a list of people I would call if you get the “Should I’s,” and uncertainties of inflation, the market, war, the pandemic, gas prices and whatever else are overtaking your thoughts and preventing you from forming a clear plan for your business. By the way, these are in no particular order.

Your banker — Ask your banker about your current debt position and if there are any helpful debt instruments that you might look at securing right now, even if you don’t need them. Ask for their take on interest rates and scenarios that might impact your business.

Your CPA — Ask your CPA to evaluate the financial health of your business. Should you hold out some cash? Pay down debt? Secure more debt? Do they have other clients in your industry? What trends are they seeing?

Your competitors/colleagues — If you have a question, your competitors or colleagues probably do too. Some may not want to chat, but some do. Get their thoughts and see if you can help each other plan.

Brian O’Connell

Your customers — Thinking of launching a new product or changing your products or services? Have you asked the people that would potentially spend money on that what their thoughts are? Consumers are in uncertainty right now too. You may have an opportunity to meet a need for them right under your nose. Ask them.

A business adviser or coach — These are people who dedicate their practice to helping other businesses be successful. None of us have all the answers, but an adviser or coach can guide your thinking and decision-making. At least get a consultation and see what they could potentially help you with.

Read — Not the doom and gloom but read for opportunities. Stay up on your industry and economic trends overall. There are always opportunities to be had, and those who consistently look for them and pivot to them come out ahead in the long run.

Simply picking up the phone and getting the questions out of your head will make you more focused and confident in your decision-making. How’s that bricklayin’ comin’? How’s your engine runnin’? Is that bridge gettin’ built? Are your hands gettin’ filled? (Sorry. Any The Head and the Heart fans out there?).

Brian O’Connell is the owner of Transworld Business Advisors of Northwest Arkansas, specializing in small business sales and acquisition. Brian sold two of his own businesses prior to helping others with their business sales and acquisition goals. You can reach him at [email protected] or 479-717-7740. The opinions expressed are those of the author.