Starting your own business is an emotional rollercoaster, especially if you start it from “scratch”. Your business becomes all consuming in the way it affects every aspect of your life. Not to mention the hours of research and considerable financial investment you put into the business.
In the initial planning stages you have a strong belief in your businesses success and this is what drives you. You develop a business plan plan that shows year upon year of rising profits and you imagine your brand as a “big player” in your business sector.
But what happens when your business doesn’t live up to the dream? Your business starts to feel like a burden and you wish you had never started it in the first place! It is really difficult to know exactly the right time to end a business and “close shop” so to speak. It is easy to feel a failure and become disillusioned with the whole process.
It is important to remember that many very successful entrepreneurs have been through the very same process, with many “so called” failed businesses behind them. To get to the stage where they are now they have learnt to hone their skills acquired from previous ventures to develop a business model that really works.
Every business reaches a natural point at which it either grows, stagnates or fails. Knowing when to throw in the towel is a skill in itself, but it shouldn’t be seen as a negative step, see it as a positive step and take the skills learned to start your next project. If you are having trouble letting go, Company Voluntary Arrangements and AIM Listed Companies can help with your decision making process as well as give advice on how to progress.
Closing the doors on a business for the last time is not an easy decision to make, but the following signs are all symptoms of a business that is no longer viable.
Not meeting profit projections
For the first few years of a starting a new business it is perfectly reasonable to make losses, following which a business can run without profit for several more years whilst it becomes established. These are all timescales that you will have identified during the business planning process. If after this time your business continues to make losses or barely break even you need to take stock and reassess your businesses viability.
The bubble has burst
Fast changing trends in the marketplace may mean that your products or services are no longer in demand, meaning there is no market or scope for your business to grow. As a business owner it is essential to stay ahead of developments so that you know what the next “big thing” in your business sector is going to be.
You may be able to make adaptations to what you are offering, but this would need to be done quickly to stay afloat. It may be a more viable option to “close shop” and relaunch in the future. What you need to avoid is going into debt.
Loss of vision
Running a business is a lot of hard work and is driven by your passion for it to succeed. If the passion is no longer there, everything will feel like a chore and you won’t have a clear vision for the future. Admitting that you no longer enjoy what you do is not a failure, it means you can move on to pastures new with your new found business skills.
If your business is still financially viable you could sell up and use the profit to start something new, if not absolve the business before you start to accrue debt.
Whatever you choose to do, see your decision as a positive step. Brush yourself down, hold your head up high and move onto pastures new!