How to Know When to Close Your Business and Start Over

How to Know When to Close Your Business and Start Over

A few years back, I was a business consultant for a venture in India. The company connected job seekers and recruiters online and offline. After a year of consulting, I realized that the business was not positioned for success. The sales numbers were discouraging, growth was slow, and they had little cash. The founders knew deep down that they were close to closing, but they hoped things would improve. I advised them to close, but they wanted me to find ways to help the business survive.

Emotional attachment to your venture

Having worked with multiple ventures, I understand the emotional attachment that comes with starting and running a business. It’s like watching your baby grow. Despite advice from fellow entrepreneurs to stay practical, it’s hard not to get emotionally attached, especially when you’re working hard for success. One of the founders had left a secure job and invested his savings in the business. The other had taken money from his family. They were so invested and focused on the day-to-day challenges that they couldn’t see the obvious.

Financial troubles are too big to handle

Finance is the fuel of a business. Without money, nothing moves. Lack of cash is one of the top reasons for startup failure. Achieving the break-even point is crucial for success. Continuously missing the break-even point deadline indicates serious trouble. If you have given your all and tried everything possible, it’s time to consider quitting. Stay on top of your financial metrics to avoid sudden surprises.

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The market has moved beyond the product or service

Nokia, once a market leader, failed to adapt to the smartphone market. Market conditions outside your control can be reasons to quit or make a significant pivot to meet market needs. When a flyover bridge was constructed, my relative had to close his highway restaurant as the target customers no longer passed by. Businesses that fail to improvise or think outside the box are often beaten by new competitors. Regularly conduct a SWOT analysis to anticipate and address challenges.

You stop enjoying the work

Passion plays a crucial role in business success. If you stop enjoying the work, it may be time to quit. I helped my dad with his liquor stores, which made good money, but I didn’t find it enjoyable. Corruption and lack of creativity led me to quit. Spending too much time on something you don’t enjoy can lead to depression. Take a hard look at what went wrong if you no longer want to get out of bed for work.

It pays you less than the going rate

Starting a business is a race to eventually surpass your friend’s income from their day job. Document the salary or profit you want to take home when the company achieves the break-even point. If your salary hasn’t met your expectations after years in business, evaluate if you can reduce expenses or increase profit. Money is a big motivator.

Closing Thoughts

Closing a business is challenging, but it’s important to be realistic about when to walk away and start fresh. Make sure you’ve done everything you can before giving up, seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs, and stay on top of your finances.

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