*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
Small business owner/operators have plenty to be worried about. If we let news about the economy, market changes, community changes and other daily details sink beneath our skin, we can worry ourselves into an early grave. Everyone knows that there is risk involved in owning and operating a business — even a small one — but assuming risk does not have to mean assuming intense anxieties about the future growth of our businesses.
Yes, small businesses fail, but many succeed too. Additionally, it is important to understand that growth is not a steady, predictable, linear process. There are many factors to take into account. Consider focusing on “the law of increasing returns.” What this basically means is that those who have, get more, or “the rich get richer.” There are ways to apply this to your home business: focus on what you are doing well and manage what you do HAVE and there will be growth. Paying attention to both expenses AND revenue are the simple key to marching your business toward the future.
This may sound too simple to be true and in all honesty, running a small business can be consuming and complicated, but it does not have to be fraught with unnecessary anxiety. Consider what you can ACTUALLY control? You cannot control the overall economy, and you can control consumer behavior, zoning laws, or what your competitors are up to. What you CAN control is your own business operations. You can design a workable budget and do your best to control expenses. You can put capital, energy and other resources into generating revenue through sales, services, or whatever it is that you do. You do not have to sit back and fuss and worry about what everyone else is going to do-you can quell your anxieties through your own active small business management.
Knowledge and research can be another key way to combat anxieties. Stay as current as you can about development, challenges and growth opportunities in your field. Even if you are a small neighborhood bakery or a home-based business, read trade magazines, pay attention to local news and keep up with what is going on in the economy and the business world. Armed with information, you will be less likely to fuss about “unseen threats” or worry about those things that you don’t understand. Getting involved with business groups, the chamber of commerce or other support organizations can be another great way to network and build a “team” of supporters around you who will help you feel bolstered to face the future.
More from this contributor:
Are You Setting the Same Goal Over and Over?
When Small Businesses Should Hire a Professional
When Everyone You Know is Looking for Work