Are You FOFing Up Your Business?

People shudder when I tell them what I do for a living. Watch their reaction and you’d think I’d declared myself to be a professional tarantula tamer.

But you’d be wrong.

The phrase that sets off the reflexive flinch in every entrepreneur I speak to is simply: “I work in business finance and accounting”.

Entrepreneurs, that courageous breed of human prepared to work crazy hours in their pursuit of business success, are scared of financial figures.

A Little Fear Works A Treat
Let me clear something up. It’s GOOD to have a slight fear when it comes to business finance, so long as this fear is managed and used to your advantage.

For example, a healthy fear of not being able to afford to pay my staff each week motivates me to get out of bed and get into the office. I have commitments and responsibilities that I take seriously, so I fear not having enough money to meet my obligations – and that fear keeps me going (I also have a penchant for Mulberry handbags, which does wonders for my business get up and go).

The Truth That Hides Behind Your Fear
Fear is normally created when you are worrying about the unknown. I have a fear of dogs, which generally is misunderstood as a fear of being bitten. When I delved into why I had this fear, it wasn’t just because I am frightened of being attacked. I am fearful of the unknown. I don’t know the dog, its temperament or how it may react to me because I can’t communicate with it. This logic may sound crazy to dog and animal lovers, but to me, it’s so simple. I don’t know what the dog is going to do, so I’m frightened of it.

It’s the same fear, fear of the unknown, that causes mild terror when you contemplate your business finances. How and when do you pay HMRC? Will your customers pay you on time? What if you can’t renew the contract that keeps your business afloat? What if you can’t pay your staff due to cashflow issues? What if you take on too many commitments and can’t fulfil them? What if your business can’t sustain its profits? Is your business actually making money?

Are you feeling faint yet? I’ll stop asking the scary questions now.

How much energy are you wasting worrying about this stuff? The Fear Of Finance can seriously hold your business back. Are you FOFing up your business?

Release Yourself From FOF
My advice is simple. Face the fear and get organised. Create a business plan, understand the principles of bookkeeping, set up an automated software that will help chase your debt before it becomes a problem, create some simple projections to ensure your business is profitable, understand all costs associated with running your business. Oh and don’t over commit, always save for a rainy day and the tax man.

Investing in a good bookkeeper/accountant who will help set you a system to keep on top of all things financial, is a small price to pay to keep fear at bay and give you a good night’s sleep. I wish overcoming my fear of dogs was as simple, because those furry little monsters are everywhere.

Tackle your Fear Of Finance and you can release that time and energy you wasted on worrying, and use it to build your business.