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Entrepreneur

The High Cost of Indecisiveness

By Tom Irmen

I believe that one of the most overwhelming obstacles facing many small business owners today is their own indecisiveness – the result of the great recession that started back in December 2007. And although economists have stated that this recession officially ended in June of 2009, nearly seven out of every 10 Americans believe we’re still in a recession six years later.

Economists on the one hand use quantitative analysis to support their findings, but everyday Americans check their gut. Regardless of the reams of data supporting the conclusion that the recession has officially ended, those of us that experienced this great recession first-hand are still reeling from its impact. College grads waiting tables, unemployed family members, shrinking retirement accounts, and shuttered businesses are just a few of the current reminders that the impact of this great recession is still being felt today.


But our emotions might very well be the most significant reminder of the recession that we continue to carry with us as we attempt to move our businesses forward. Small business owners who shrugged off smaller and shorter recessions in the past were caught off guard by this recession. Not wishing to repeat this same mistake twice, they are particularly cautious moving forward, almost to their own detriment. Their deep rooted caution has resulted in a level of indecisiveness that is placing them at a competitive marketplace disadvantage.

Many are reluctant to believe that conditions have improved enough to move forward with renewed confidence for fear that the other shoe may drop, but in general, the business climate has improved notably during the last 12 to 18 months. “Once burned, twice cautious,” I understand exactly how you feel, but there’s no denying that the economy has improved. New construction and the sales of existing homes are just one example of economic growth.

Today the greatest danger you may face is your own indecisiveness, which prevents you from taking full advantage of marketplace improvements and increased consumer confidence. Your indecisiveness might also cost you valuable market share should your competition act decisively.

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