There comes a time when many entrepreneurs and small business owners have to be realistic and ask themselves if it is time to give up. One of the hardest things an entrepreneur or small business owner will ever have to do is close a business that they inspired.
“When you put your heart and soul into your work, it can be very hard to let go.” – Richard Branson
If you take a step back and take a good honest look at the health of your business, on analysis, you might not have to throw in the white towel. Rather, you realize that all you need is business facelift. In order to arrive at this place, it is important to ask the right questions.
Has your product/service changed – Is your product / service still relevant and filling the current market demands. Perhaps outdated because the market has changed and now it is time to evaluate which direction you want your business to follow.
Blank stares when giving your elevator speech – If you have tried to explain to people what your business is all about only to be greeted with blank confused expression in their faces. If your elevator speech is confusing, then it may be too complicated for customers and investors to support.
Failing to reach financial goals – With all your business plans, projected cash flows, goals, and anticipating problems; it is your financial projections that your creditors will follow most closely. If you notice you might miss your goals then you should make the right strategy changes.
Revenues start to decline – One of the easiest ways to know how you doing is to look at the financial health of the business. Take a look at your financial ratios and see if your revenue is declining.
Market competition is increasing – Competition is good for any market. One it tells that there is a market for your product or service, but it also keeps you on your toes to provide the best product or service available. It is always a good idea to perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis relative to your competitors.
Your website needs a facelift – Today websites are essential for any business. A well designed website will give your business creditability. Make sure that your website is mobile responsive/adaptive, not in Flash as phones can’t read, loads as fast as possible, always updated, with fresh web design, copyright dates, and easy to manage content.
Has the product market changed – Has the demographics of your market changed? Have the needs and wants of your customers changed? If your product or service is no longer relevant then it is time to take a step back and do some research and find out who your target audience is and how to reach them.
Is your production process efficient – Are you producing your product at the lowest possible cost and in the most effective way. Are there new technologies to lower your cost of production and make your production process more efficient.
Your business name is outdated – Make sure your business name expresses and reflect the products and services you offer.
You are not converting sales leads – If you see that you are not covering your leads, then it is time to do a little homework and analysis to understand why this is happening. It could be product price, sales team performance, product or service is outdated, or possible marketing failures.
Are you meeting goals and objectives on-time – If you notice that you keep on missing important goals and objectives, then you need to analyze the problem and come up with ways to get back on track. Even if it means changing the business plan.
Is your accounting system right for you – Ledgers and spreadsheets are a thing of the past. There are a number of Accounting software that can streamline your accounting system and save costs.