Tricks to Treats: Overcoming a Scary Situation

Owners of Bradley’s and Knoxville Chocolate Company, Brad and Joy Hamlett, found themselves in a scary situation after purchasing a 100-year-old candy factory: Sales were flat but expenses doubled.

“I just remember times when we felt like how are we going to make it? Something has to give,” said Joy.

While the candy business might be foreign to many entrepreneurs, the fears of growing and sustaining a business are felt by many. The Hamletts’ search for a way out of this situation brought them to Pathway Lending.

A certified SBA microlender since 2000, Pathway Lending provides small business loans and business advisory resources to help start up and expand. Additionally, Pathway’s Business Advisory Services works with these microloan clients to build skills and create a road map to long-term success.

“Pathway helped us through the rough patches in just an amazing way,” said Brad. “We know that it’s a partnership. As long as we’re in business we know that Pathway will be standing with us.”

Three Common Fears of Entrepreneurship (and what to do about them)

Owning a business can create some scary situations – even for the best entrepreneurs among us. Here are our thoughts on some of the most common fears.

The fear of failure is the fear we hear about the most. After all, failure often seems like the worst of all possibilities. It can be an embarrassing hit to one’s pride (and wallet). Don’t let a fear of failure keep you from taking opportunities to grow your business. Make a habit of learning from your choices, good, bad or otherwise, and keep a solid Plan B in your pocket. Taking these steps can help you re-frame failure and run your business from a place of confidence.

The fear of not knowing it all is another challenge for those entrepreneurs who see excellence as a daily goal. While successful entrepreneurs have found a market niche where they outperform the competition they aren’t necessarily subject matter experts in all things. Often, the most successful entrepreneurs realize their strengths and know where they need help. Building a team of advisors can identify gaps in your business acumen, build confidence through constructive feedback and find resources so you can focus on applying your strengths in the business.

The fear of not getting funded when it matters is understandably felt by many entrepreneurs. Finances are important, especially if you’re coming from a stable 9 to 5 or taking a leap to achieve your dreams. Access to capital can be a challenge for many entrepreneurs, but don’t let it paralyze you. Pitching to investors and applying for loans often comes with rejections, but if you prepare, listen to feedback and continue to improve your business plan you improve your chances of finding funding when it matters most.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t let your fears stop you. Instead of worrying about what could happen or avoiding the situation as a whole, make a plan, build your team of resources, and jump in. Embrace fear with a calm disposition and learn from your mistakes.

Remember that at the end of the day there are many resources available to entrepreneurs, especially from mission-driven CDFIs like Pathway Lending who can provide flexible loan products, like SBA Microloans, and educational resources under one roof. Visit our Programs Page to learn more about the products and services we offer and see how we can help you better your business in the long-run.