At GoForth Institute, we’re all entrepreneurs too, and most of us have been business owners more than once. Entrepreneurship is a rewarding journey, but it’s also got its fair share of failures and struggles.
Obviously, we want you to love what you do, but like the song says – sometimes love just ain’t enough. If you’ve been getting that nagging feeling that maybe this particular stage of your entrepreneurship journey is at an end, one or more of these signs might sound familiar to you:
- You’re losing money at a rapid pace. It can take up to three years for a small business to turn a profit, but if you’ve tried everything and still see your money slipping away faster than it’s coming in, it’s not good. Lack of cash flow is the number one cause of business failure.
- Your relationships are suffering. If you’re so stressed that you’re taking it out on your loved ones, or work so much that you never see them, it could also be an indication that it’s time to close up shop. However, it could also be an sign that you need to hire some help!
- You’re bored. When you started your small business, you were thrilled by it and spent every waking hour dreaming and planning. But what if you have no more ideas and are just running on fumes? Could you benefit from seeking outside help with planning or networking?
- You dread your workdays. If the thought of another day as a small business owner makes you feel miserable, that’s not a good sign. Analyze this feeling. Would a new direction for the business help? Some new employees to take the load off? Think about what it would take to make you love your small business again, and plan out all options.
- Your health is taking a turn for the worse. If the pressure and stress you’re feeling about your small business is taking a toll on your health, then something’s not right.
Is it time to close your business?
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or two of these things, you may have a problem. It might be a sign that it’s time to think of an exit strategy. However, it could also be a sign of a problem that can be solved in a different way – a staff member to take the load off, for example.
As we said above, most businesses don’t become profitable until about the third year of business, so we usually don’t advise throwing in the towel after, say, 14 months. However, if you’re starting to feel like maybe you want out, take it seriously. Take time to analyze all options available to you, to make very sure this is the best course of action. If you do decide to close up shop, regroup, reflect, and plan for your next small business!
We should also mention here that skills training can make the difference when it comes to entrepreneurship success. No matter what stage of business you’re in, small business education, like the kind offered by us at GoForth Institute, may help you tip the balance from “What do I do?” to “I have a plan!” Knowledge is power!