Do you think Halloween is scary? Try running a small business!

If the odds of a marriage lasting are about the same as a coin flip, your odds for small business success aren’t even that good.

Scary stuff indeed.

And yet, many of us choose to play the odds and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here are some of the frightening situations you will most likely face as you dress up as a small business owner:

Prospects disappearing

You’re feeling the love and you know you can help them. You’re getting all the right signals and you start talking about price and scoping out the project. And then they stop returning your emails and calls.

You suspect something has gone wrong, but you don’t know for sure. You’ve been ghosted.

Sometimes prospects come back with apologies, and sometimes the opportunity dies.

Revenue evaporating

Have you (or someone you know) suffered a world of hurt when the big-revenue client of x years retired, took the work in house, or put it out for bid?

That monthly retainer was great for cash flow, but the effect on your marketing and selling was like a slow poison that induced a deep, deep sleep…

Ruh roh.

Employees defecting

Like rooting through the plastic pumpkin bucket for your favorite candy, a good employee is hard to find.

When you do find the right professional who fits in your company, treat them well. Make them feel valued and part of the team.

A happy employee is hard to lure away and is less likely to look for a new job.

An employee who is overworked and underpaid may slip away in the dead of night.

Markets changing

Markets have cycles. Booms turn into busts. A bust can be a time of opportunity – or a time to throw in the towel.

The same goes for trends. One minute you’re the next big thing, and a month later your technology is obsolete.

Customers migrating

If you’re in a market segment where price is the primary differentiator, beware the quicksand of profit erosion and customer migration.

It’s usually more expensive to bring in a new customer than to sell more to an existing customer. Think about sweet treats that keep customers coming back for more. And also remember to reward them for sending others.

As a small business owner, you may occasionally let out a scream or experience a nightmare. Most of us do. Please remember that it’s trick OR treat – so don’t forget to look for the good stuff.