Handling business failure
“My business is failing. What do I do? I need to know how to save my business from closing.” These are not words any business owner wants to say, but if you find yourself in the position of holding or folding, they’re questions you must ask. Whatever the final outcome – whether you decide to save your business or move on to your next endeavor – there are strategies you can employ to reach a decision with confidence. As you work to get to the bottom of what’s really holding your business back, you’ll discover what you need to move forward, whether it’s overcoming your fear of failure, revising ineffective business operations or another solution.
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If my business is failing, what are my options?
If your business is failing, your options hinge on why it’s failing – and on your reasons for being in business in the first place. Depending on the cause of your company’s struggles, you may be able to turn things around. To find answers to the question “My business is failing, what do I do?” you must commit to absolute honesty and objectivity.
As a business owner, it’s easy to conflate your professional and personal motivations. Take a deep breath and get back in touch with your vision for your business and the passions that inspired you to entrepreneurship. To prevent your own bias from muddying your progress, take a comprehensive approach and solicit outside feedback (positive and negative) on your product and operations. Consider hiring an independent consultant to review your company’s salary structure and accounting procedures. By remaining impartial in your review processes, you’ll get the clearest view of your options for saving your business.
As you amass reasons for your business’ struggles, make a list. Then go through each reason and counter it. If you reason that a competitor is stealing your clientele, ask yourself for proof. If you don’t have proof, or if your proof is weak, consider the possibility that you’re operating out of your fears or making excuses to avoid progress. Go through your list and find ways to replace your limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs. As you evaluate your business objectively, you’ll find that asking “how to save my business from closing” launches an uplifting process of discovery.
How to save my business from closing
If, in the course of asking “My business is failing, what do I do?” you determine that it’s feasible to save your business, there are strategies you must embrace to right your course effectively.
Invest in your team.
Your team needs to be your strongest ally and asset. Prioritize staff morale, and embrace policies for recruiting and retaining an all-star team. Focus on transforming your company culture and your company will grow in strength from the inside out.
Prioritize customer input.
Make use of your existing customer base. Ask for positive and negative feedback on your product, sales, advertising and marketing strategies. With a crystal-clear view of your company from the customer’s perspective, you’re able to map out a strategy for making improvements without taking excessive, unjustified risks.
Start from scratch.
Knowing when to pivot is a survival skill. Starting over might mean changing your business model, narrowing or changing your target market, rebranding your product or changing industries altogether. If you opt to pivot, it is critical that you look before you leap. Thoroughly validate your business idea and product before relaunch, using your current struggles to create a newer, better product or service.
Make a plan for your assets.
Trading your business’ assets may be the lifeline you need to stay afloat while reordering your business. You might consider leasing out buildings or machinery through a rental or leasing arrangement. If you must sell assets, try to retain some proprietary rights. These strategies provide an alternative to the knee-jerk temptation to sell and, in tucking tail too soon, lose everything.
Case studies in saving a failing business
You’re not the first business owner to say “I need to know how to save my business from closing.” Take encouragement in the struggles and successes of others. The famous chewing gum brand, Wrigley’s Gum, started out as a soap company but pivoted to selling chewing gum in response to customer demand. As soap merchants, Wrigley’s incentivized soap purchases by offering a free can of baking powder per bar of soap purchased. When demand shifted to reflect a greater interest in the baking soda than the soap, the company pivoted to sell baking soda, offering free chewing gum with each soda purchase. Now, Wrigley’s has achieved a modern-day brand identity well-known around the world.
If you find yourself asking, “My business is failing, what do I do?” you’re not alone. Get the support you need and hone new skills with Tony Robbins’ 7 Forces of Business Mastery, a content series full of empowering information to help you make smart business decisions.
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