I have had many people come to my office confused not knowing whether to close their business and try something else or continue to push on just a little more.
“I feel the business isn’t working and I am exhausted. I feel I no longer want to do this anymore. Herbert what should I do?” they ask.
They say business success is about persistence. You have to persist just a little longer for it to work. If that’s the case, how then does one tell there’s a dead end no matter how long they persist?
The biggest skill any business owner can have is the ability to know when to keep trying or when to count their loses and move on to avoid losing more time and money. At what point do you throw in the towel? That is the million dollar question.
The first thing one should do before quitting is to assess what they have been doing. Have you been doing the right thing the right way? Have you given yourself enough chance to succeed because doing the right thing the wrong way will surely never yield any results no matter how much you keep at it.
So it’s important to ascertain you’ve been doing the right things to put yourself in a position to be able to get the right results.
If you have been doing the right thing then the next question should be how long you have been at it. Some people that come to my office amuse me when they say, “I have been doing this for two, three or five months and it’s not working. I feel I want to quit and do something else.” Surely at this point I can’t help but laugh out loud sometimes.
I know it’s not right but I am only human and some things you can’t hold yourself back from doing [haha] as they happen naturally.
How do you quit after five months or so of doing business with the claim it’s not working out. The average time it takes for a business to start reasonably making money is three to five years.
If you haven’t been at it for about that long then you haven’t been at it long enough to say it’s not working out, can’t work out or won’t work out. For one to start questioning whether what they are into will work or not should happen at least after three years.
If you have been doing the right thing the right way and aren’t getting the right results after three years, then it’s evaluation time. It’s time to start asking yourself the tough questions.
An honest audit of the past three years should be done and based on the result of the audit you can either push on for another year or close although pushing on for at least one more year would be advisable.
If after that, the fortunes of the business still don’t seem to be promising then the business should be closed right away.
The other factors that should be considered before closure are your ability to keep learning, your passion for the business and its effect on other working ventures.
If you have reached that point where you can no longer learn anything new, that point where you’re no longer enthusiastic about the whole thing you find it hard to wake up and go to it or that point where it’s affecting your ability to make money elsewhere then you shouldn’t be thinking twice about closing.
You have definitely reached the end of the road with this. Just carry along with you the lessons you’ve learned to the next one.
Don’t be scared to close shop. I know many times we fear to look like failures but trust me there’s nothing like failure if you end something that wasn’t ever going to work any. Failure is not bringing to end something that wasn’t going to work in the first place yet consuming a lot of your time and money.
Failure is not having lessons to walk away with but for as long as you pick up lessons from your attempts to make something work despite not doing so then you haven’t failed.
You just discovered another thing that didn’t work so dust yourself up and continue searching for that one thing that will work.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Business Consultant, Writer and Public Speaker with YOUNG TREPS a business management and consulting firm that helps people start, run and grow profitable and sustainable businesses.