Is it time to quit?

Things to consider before you give up and close your business!

There comes a time in every business owners journey when you question whether you should just close your business and get a “proper job”! Either it’s too hard, or you’re not making the money you hoped for, or there’s something else.

As someone who has closed a business, I know how hard it is to make this decision. There is no shame in deciding to call it a day, but before you do, maybe there is something else you can try!

Take a moment to consider the following and see if you still feel the same way at the end…

Is it time to close your business

How are you marketing your business?

If you only use one strategy to find new customers then it’s very possible there is hope for your business. Once upon a time it was easy to just use Facebook or Instagram to find new customers, but that’s no longer the case. Facebook is changing and so are the people that use it. Most successful businesses use a variety of different methods to find new customers including networking, podcasting, email marketing, collaboration, paid ads, website SEO, Google my Business, advocacy programmes, and that’s just to name a few…

Have you considered your customer experience?

Customers are fickle things. It doesn’t take much to put them off buying. If you haven’t taken a look at your customer journey from the perspective of your ideal customer then do it now. Be open minded and remember, your customer might not have the same expectations as you. If they are a pensioner they’ll want to be able to contact you by phone, if they are a single parent they’ll want to checkout quickly while they are waiting on the kids coming out of school, if they are a tech nerd they’ll want whistles and bells.

What did you invest?

If you only invested yourself and your time then that might have been enough to get you started. It might not be enough to keep you going though. As your business grows you’ll have to consider investing in things like websites, payment providers, paid ads, professional branding, advice, selling on Amazon, legal documents etc etc. Businesses that start on a shoe string are great as a side hustle, but a more professional look will take your side hustle to a full time business.

Are you clashing with your competition?

When was the last time you did a competitor analysis? If you’ve never done one then it can be very revealing and might show you why you are struggling. When lots of businesses do the same thing, in the same way, for the same price you end up with customers that don’t know how to choose. When this happens customers tend to go with the cheapest and you end up in a price war. A competitor analysis could show up areas that you can differentiate yourself from everyone else and become the natural choice!

Are you still passionate?

Remember how you felt when you first started? Starting a new business is exciting and passion is high. It doesn’t take long before reality kicks in and the passion wears off. If that is the case, remind yourself why you started your business in the first place. What problem were you trying to solve and for who? Now ask yourself if you still feel you are doing that, or have you gotten off track? Do you believe in what you are doing still?

Do you believe in what you are doing still?

Trying to run a business without passion is extremely hard work. It can be done, but passion for what you do and the people you help will keep you going when things get tough. Without it you’ll need to “drive” yourself everyday!

Do you need a break?

When you work for yourself it can be hard to take a complete break from work. For some, even a couple of hours might seem impossible, let alone an entire day, or week. This kind of routine can grind you down over time and lead to exhaustion and overwhelm. If it’s been a while, it’s maybe time to consider a holiday.

If taking a complete break sounds impossible, you could set aside a one hour per day (I usually do this after lunch), where you can quickly check in and deal with emergencies. For everything else: set up auto-responders for your email and social media, change your answer phone message, update your website and clients, then switch it all OFF. You could also consider hiring a virtual assistant to keep things going, or pay a trusted friend or employee!

How well do you know your ideal customer?

It’s tempting to try to market your business to an many people as possible? But, the reality is that if you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one. People need to know your product is for them. If your website or branding is too generic it won’t appeal to anyone. Once you know your golden customer intimately you can focus your branding, your voice, your values and your services to suit them perfectly.

Did you make a business plan?

If not, do it. One major reason businesses fail is a lack of planning. Putting all your thoughts and ideas onto paper will show you where you are doing well. It will also show you the areas you have neglected. Once you have spotted your weak spots, consider whether there is anything you can do to bolster them up?

Do you get good feedback?

If you do then you have definitely been doing something right. You are offering your customers a great service and they are happy to shout about it. You are solving problems for people. Maybe take a look through your reviews and see what people have said about you in the past. There is always hope for a business that is helping it’s customers.

Have you considered getting help?

We can help you figure out whats gone wrong, help you decide if it’s right for you to carry on, and help you get your mojo back! A power-up might be all it takes to get some clarity and make that important decision. It could save you time and money as you struggle on, or even save your business!