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  • Writer's pictureShane Glavin

What Keeps Business Owners Up at Night? How to Address Red Flags

Being a business owner is no easy task. Some may think owning a business is glamorous because you get to be your own boss, set your own hours, and sometimes, manage a team that can bring in great profits. However, this isn’t always the case. Whether you know it or not, business owners are fighting their own demons and battles in order to keep themselves and their businesses afloat. Many of the “successful” owners that come to find themselves awake at night, plagued by thoughts or worries that endlessly cycle through their minds.

What Keeps Business Owners Up at Night?

Business owners aren’t simply up at night because they’re trying to keep up with work. More often than not, they’re awake because they’re in the midst of a crisis, and they’re unsure what to do or where to turn. Though the term “crisis” is often cliche and overused, it is an accurate description of the major struggles that hold business owners hostage.

What are Red Flags?

Red flags are crises in which stressors are high, difficulty is intense, and one feels a physical burden due to the severity of the situation. Let us reiterate they aren’t simply problems, they’re full-on crises. Here’s the real kicker: all companies have some red flags, but, too often, they’re looking at the symptoms of problems rather than the problems themselves. This only perpetuates the accumulation of more red flags and adds more fuel to the fire.

Common Examples of Red Flags

It’s complicated to understand and evaluate the risk of red flags when there is no example or picture with which to build an understanding. Though it’s not possible to address all possible red flags in this single blog post, a few of the most common concerns that keep business owners up at night are:

  • “Our business has taken a big hit in revenue, especially due to COVID. How will I be able to cover our expenses while also paying our employees?”

  • “I have a great product, but I have no idea how to improve sales and marketing, which is necessary for my product to sell and turn a profit.”

  • “I’m losing control of my organization and I’m unable to determine a focal area that drives the business.”

  • “We’ve recently transitioned to a new ERP system and the front and back offices are not agreeing. We’ve been notified of payroll issues, so we invested money into getting this issue reconciled, but it’s clear that the outsourced help has not delivered on their promises. Now, we’re being contacted by the County Collector and the IRS because our numbers aren’t matching up. I’m just not sure what to do.”

What Happens if Red Flags Aren’t Addressed?

At the surface level, the ignoring of red flags will result in much of the same current experience. Business owners will live in worry and fear, and the flags will continue to perpetuate stress and struggle until they’re addressed. Eventually, these issues will snowball until the point of no return - and nobody wants that.

A deeper consequence of ignoring those red flags is that the business is missing out on significant opportunities to improve, profit, or grow. Leaders want to succeed, not to fail because they were too careless or clueless to take action to keep the business healthy.

How to Eliminate Red Flags

While every organization has unique red flags, each of which require different solutions, the underlying truth is the same: they don’t have to be permanent. They can be resolved to restore sanity, improve productivity and help business owners regain control of their organizations and their lives. The first step to escape the firm grasp of red flags is to acknowledge their presence and work to eradicate them.

At Power CFO, we don’t just provide financial solutions; rather, we serve as your strategic partners. We holistically assess your entire organization, with a focus on red flag awareness, in order to help your business to succeed. Unlike other fractional firms, we utilize a strategic network of best in class partners who are experienced in eliminating the red flags in all areas of your business.

If you’re a business owner who’s ready to tackle your red flags and move towards success, it’s time to take the first step. In our next blog, we’ll focus on the solutions of common business crises by taking a deep dive into the various aspects and a complete analysis of having a strategic business plan.


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