How small businesses can conquer their greatest fears

Sometimes, owning your own small business can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Now is the time small business owners should face their fears to eventually overcome them and stop letting their limitations define their successes.

Employee relations
Tinier workforces have the potential to make small businesses feel like a close-knit community, but if SBOs don't properly address human resources, this family can easily become unpredictable and absolutely dysfunctional.

"Small business owners have a greater impact on employment than they might think."

A new Pew Research Center study found 10 percent of all American employees are self-employed, and 20 percent of the entire U.S. workforce works for that tenth. This demonstrates small business owners have a greater impact on employment than they might think, especially when it comes to employing others. That's why owners and supervisors should work toward improving employee relations and retention with solid HR initiatives.

Growth versus scaling
While many small business owners want their organizations to blossom over time, rapid growth can transform any company from a functional enterprise into a giant, unwieldy monster.

Scaling incrementally and appropriately is an art, not something left to chance. And that's a good thing – expanding at a comfortable, effective rate requires equal parts management and foresight. So if small business owners worry their companies are morphing in troublesome or unmanageable ways, they should audit the newest operational changes and ask themselves whether sudden growth spurts were the cause. According to Small Business Trends, common symptoms include things like customer dissatisfaction and problems with suppliers meeting orders.

All businesses worry about failing, but why do small businesses carry the brunt of these worries?All businesses worry about failing, but why do small businesses carry the brunt of these worries?

Fear of failure
Of course, total company collapse is by far a small business owner's worst nightmare, but like most dreams, it's almost always indicative of deep-seeded subliminal issues.

A study about the relationship between fear and entrepreneurship conducted by Enterprise Research Center revealed small business owners may be more susceptible to fear than their big business counterparts. Though losing a handful of customers or a dip in revenue from one month to the next might not upset a corporation, small businesses could potentially suffer greatly from these shifts.

Size exposes small businesses to greater challenges, but it can also be the best asset for immediate change. Fear of failure probably links back to some nagging issue underpinning operations that owners haven't quite addressed. Instead, these business leaders should take the rest of the year to map out a battle plan for these areas of improvement so they can be New Year's resolutions for 2016. Their companies' small statures will make it easier to implement effective change.

Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.