Has your business stopped working? Is your brand negatively blown away with unfounded rumours? Are you contemplating if it’s time to quit your business and do something more useful with your time and life? Chill and listen so that you won’t end up quitting for the wrong reasons.
Building something from scratch just for it to end up like a sandcastle at the shore waiting for the tide to take it away is what closing shop feels like. It’s not easy, and it hurts your pride more than anything else.” – Cody McLain, founder of SupportNinja and WireFuse.
You invested too much effort, but there is so little gain that it would not be worth the effort. Starting a business is tough. But, as some owners have experienced, closing it up can be even tougher. Many business owners hold on for too long, simply because they don’t want to close their doors and officially admit defeat. But knowing when to throw in the towel will save you further heartbreak and lots of money.
So if you are a business owner who is not sure if it is time to shut your doors, here are 8 warning signs indicating it might be the time to quit your business.
Warning #1: Your Business Is Not Growing Anymore
If your business is not growing in two – five years, with no profits or revenues after a few years, then you should throw in the towel. Yes, quit your business and move on. Your business has to show some kind of growth years from the start of its operation.
If your business is consistently unable to meet its liabilities like debts or expenses, on time, that’s a red flag – there is something wrong. Strained, or negative, cash flow may be indicative of the fact that it simply costs too much to be in business.
Warning #2: You’re Not Growing Either
Establishing your own business is also establishing a better version of yourself. Yes, to improve yourself is the very reason why you have started out this venture. But when your business is starting to head south, you, somehow, slowly loses your value and become almost unrecognizable. This is because, in order to save your business, you inadvertently start hustling hard and start working hard, that you fail to consider your social life. This makes you socially inept and causes problems to your personal life. Simply, you are not growing too. That too is a warning sign that it’s time to quit your business.
Warning #3: You’re Not Meeting Your Goals After 2-3 Years
Your business should have a clarified set of goals and objectives, both personal and professional. It’s more than just profitability. Why are you in business? Regularly assess how you are doing against your set goals. If you already have years in a row where you are not meeting your goals, it’s time to seriously reassess. Your business is heading toward the danger zone. It may be time to explore other opportunities. Be honest with yourself in this process and don’t force the visions. When you can no longer envision the success of your product or service, it’s time to move on.
Warning #4: Self-Fulfillment and Happiness
Happiness in work, particularly when you work for yourself, is usually directly correlated to happiness in life. If your venture isn’t contributing to your happiness, you should probably rethink things. If you can’t whistle a happy tune and you dread the day, it’s a warning sign to move on.
Warning #5: Your Key Employees Are Leaving
One of the gloomiest parts of running a business startup is saying goodbye to your key employees. Take it as a caution when your expert team starts dispersing and resigning from your company. And the saddest part of the gloomiest part is when you are always the last person to know that they are leaving. When that happens, note that there is something wrong.
Warning #6: Your Customers Aren’t Coming Back For More
To increase your customer retention rate, you basically need to give them enough reasons to come back. Customer engagement is the key factor here, if you fail to deliver what the customer requires, it might end up your company losing customers and hence your business will suffer its consequence. While not all businesses have the same opportunity to gain regular, repeat business, one mark of success is customers who return again and again. So if your customers are not coming back for more, it’s already a tale sign that your venture is rolling downhill – things need to be reconsidered.
Warning #7: Your Health Is Suffering
The stress is more than is tolerable and has led you to some major health issues. If you find that your health is being deteriorated, try to reconsider if this work is worth risking your health. Being unhealthy and tired due to long hours of hard work and tasks to keep the business alive is very much different than the wearisome work that you get when business is growing. Working long hours under immense pressure and stress can lead to anxiety attacks and in the end, you won’t be able to do your job properly. If you are dying, then it’s dying!
Warning #8: You’ve Maxed Out Your Value
You have established that business of your own to gain value and to compensate your living. However, if it turns out that you are losing instead of gaining, you have to rethink things all over again. Maxing out your value isn’t a good sign of business prosperity – it is the reverse. You as the owner somehow feels empty like you are falling into a slump which takes the time to recuperate.
Making the choice to quit your business is not an easy one. The key, however, is recognizing the signs that it’s time to quit your business. After all, staying on a sinking ship for all the wrong reasons isn’t going to work out. Be courageous enough to recognize that it is time to bid your company adieu, thank it for the memories, and move on.
This is a guest post from Geraldine Mills. She’s a single mother of two boys, She is also a Loan Processor at My Loan Solution. When Not working she also blogs about small business and marketing.