Going out of business is something no entrepreneur wants to experience. But sticking with a struggling business is a tough call. What are the pros and cons of staying in the ring if your business is taking a beating?
If you quit, do you have to go back to a nine-to-five? Will you need to sell your house? Is a move into a family or friend’s home a possibility? Will you go into credit card debt?
Starting a business, and reaching a successful plateau, isn’t easy. Not in the least bit. Challenges like unhappy customers, employee issues, vendor problems, and supplier delays come up at every turn. But don’t quit, and “Going out of business” will not apply to your company.
A great scene from the Rocky Balboa movie has the following line:
“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.” Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa
If being a successful business owner were easy everyone would jump on board, right? It’s up to you to roll up your sleeves during tough times and make something happen. Have you explored all other options? Have you reached out to a mentor, a competing business (not as counter intuitive as it may sound), The Small Business Administration, your bank, family, or friends?
It takes a village, right? Going out of business is not an option!
Have you lost sight of your company’s vision? Business motivational books and videos may seem cheesy but surrounding yourself with positive people and ideas is always a good thing. Check out the Ted Talks channel on YouTube. You’ll find short, succinct talks about all kinds of business topics.
If none of these options appeal to you, perhaps you should consider joining a business group. Facebook, Meetup, BNI, or your local chamber, has a host of events that you can benefit from. If you’ve got the networking down, perhaps other areas of your business require your attention.
Have you looked at your sales numbers, and operational procedures? Years ago, I started and ran a very successful moving business. Year one, two, and three were all fantastic. Year number four and five were extremely difficult.
So, what happened? I stopped being proactive. I no longer went out to customer homes–preferring to stay in my own abode. Giving quotes and following up with customers from the comfort of my desk had become the norm.
I fell behind on our firm’s website optimization too. So, customers couldn’t find us as easily. Our phones were still ringing, and we had repeat customers so nothing to worry about, right? Wrong!
In competitive service businesses, the owner needs to stay aggressive 24/7. Once again, going out of business is NOT an option!
Has your phone stopped ringing? Have you changed a fundamental part of your business that you did regularly in the beginning? Going back to basics, like visiting customers face-to-face, has a way of freshening up your view of things.
If things have just become too stressful for you to handle on your own, why not hire some help? Interns and part-time assistance can be found at very affordable rates. Taking things off your plate can give you the time to think about and act on the big picture: Keeping your doors open and growing your small business.