by: Sherman Ray, Publisher Black Success Magazine
You’ve started a business. Things are going well. Then all the sudden you realize, things are going like you think they should. Something is wrong and it aint changing. Here are 5 Tips on When It Is Time to Pull the Plug on your Business.
You aren’t making any money
The number one sign that it’s time to pull the plug on a failing business, You aren’t making any money. Here’s the deal folks. Startups generally don’t turn a profit for the first couple of years. On average most businesses fail within the first 5 years. That’s right. A huge number of businesses, 50% will be out of business within the first 5 years. Of those still in business, 50% will die in the next 5 years. This is a high rate, but it is reality. If your business has consistently been in the red and not in the black year after year, with no signs that it is going to recover, it may be a sign to pull the plug.
There isn’t any passion left for the business
When you first started your business, it was all you could think about. What color would the walls be, how many beverages could you pour in an hour, what was the height of the chairs, etc.… Now you find yourself looking at the clock around noon, you can’t wait to get the heck out the door, so you can have some fun. This is a tail-tell sign that the love has hitched a ride on the last train leaving the station. Unless a miracle happens, love, passion may never return to this train station.
You find yourself doing other things during working hours.
Here is one that most of us probably didn’t thin about. Are you constantly filling your work day with projects OTHER than your business? This could be an early sign that you are cheating on your business with another mistress. Whatever his or her name might be, they have your heart now and you are this close to doing the dirty deed with another lover. Get help or pull the plug, you can’t do both and expect to survive.
There is no growth
All businesses hit plateaus. Sometimes it is seasonal, sometimes the economy takes a turn but if things persist, you must face facts, “Nothing is forever, in life or business.” The harsh reality is, businesses have a cycle like anything else in life. In my own business, the stress of several other players coming into the market took a huge chunk out of a very solid business model. We could keep sliding down a slippery slope or pull the plug and look for greener pastures elsewhere.
You are spending so much time, you get lost in the business
Most business owners are workaholics, that’s why we are owners and not employees. We have the capacity to get up early and go to bed late. It is in our DNA BUT…… there are limits to the amount of time we spend and the office and personal time. If all you do is get up, go to your business and go home, with no ME TIME, this is a sure sign things are out of balance.
I have seen my share of business owners who don’t know the difference between dedication to their business and being a slave to it. If there is not even time to enjoy the spoils of your business, then maybe it isn’t a business at all. You’ve just created a JOB!
In business, you can expect to spend long hours growing your business. It is the only way it will achieve the level of success. This may last many years but there are signs that no matter how much time you spend at the office, things just will not get better.
Take these tips as a guide to making your decision. As with all things, you will ultimately have to make the final decision. Proceed with caution.