8 Key Questions to Ask Before You End Your Business

Even with extensive research and planning you still may come to a point
where you need to reevaluate your business strategies. Knowing when to
“take a loss” and move on to something different is key to the
successful future of an entrepreneur. You have to first ask yourself
are you giving up or simply redefining your plans? You don’t want to
get into the habit of moving on to quickly simply because things didn’t
go as you expected.

Even with extensive research, using this site, and planning you still
may come to a point where you need to reevaluate your business. Knowing
when to “take a loss” and move on to something different is key to the
successful entrepreneur. You have to first ask yourself are you giving
up or simply refining your plans? You don’t want to get into the habit
of moving on to quickly simply because things didn’t go as you expected.

Below are some questions to ask yourself when your business seems to be going nowhere:

How well did research my market? Many times a business will fail
because they have jumped the gun, especially in the area of market
research. You may think you know what your market wants but that is not
enough. Complete a thorough investigation before investing too much
time or money into any venture. If you feel you’ve conducted the right
amount of research ask more people about your failed endeavor…your
new survey questions may include, “Why wouldn’t you buy this product?”
or use a simple rating system which will allow you to determine just
where you went wrong. The key is introducing products to stay in line
with trends but you don’t want to be too far ahead of the game. Think
of the artists that our society only appreciates years after they’ve
passed away!

Is your pricing level correct? If you’ve set your prices too high or
too low you can have serious problems. Too high will discourage much of
your target base from becoming customers and too low could possibly do
the same thing in addition to losing you money. Each way will ensure
you won’t ever see a profit for your new business. Instead of quitting
right away, adjust your pricing to adequately address your markets and
then try some grass roots advertising to gain your market’s attention
to your new affordable or accurate rates.

Is this the right business for you? Despite completing the worksheet in
Chapter 4, you may still find yourself in an industry or business type
that just won’t work for you. Are you a carpenter who suddenly wants to
become a web designer? Unless you’ve got some design training, you
should hold off any and all efforts to start your business. Make sure
it is a business that utilizes your existing skills and talents. Don’t
get into something that is currently beyond your reach.

Do you have enough capital? Lack of adequate capitalization is one of
the many reasons a business can fail. Although, you can start a new
business for less than $500 in some cases, you still want to address
all the concerns listed in Chapter 4. Give yourself some time to save
money and create a back up plan so you will feel comfortable and
capable of starting a new venture if the original one doesn’t pan out.

Not enough networking? No one can buy from you if they don’t know about
you. Networking doesn’t have to be an “in-your-face”, phony type of
approach. It is merely letting people know what you do and how well you
can do it. When meeting friends and associates, be sure to leave your
business cards with them. Many of your friends will be the first to
refer you when they discover someone they know who is looking for your
product or service. Also become active within your community doing
something you enjoy. For example, if you have a record label, why not
sponsor a talent showcase with other area businesses? Or why not
volunteer to help children in your community.

How realistic are your goals? Don’t set yourself up for failure by
setting your goals too high. Make sure your business planning reflects
sound research and estimations. You should contact experts in your
community to help you keep your feet on the ground, so to speak.
Contacting a group like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) for
example is a good way to get sound advice regarding your business plan.
Contact them when creating or editing your business plan and you should
be able to work with the difficulties of presenting realistic,
attainable financial and business growth goals. Contact a Scores office
near you by visiting the following site: http://www.score.org. These
are retired, successful business executive or owners who offer free
assistance to business owners just like you.

How is your time management? Not managing your time can make your
business suffer. Get into the habit of setting a schedule and sticking
to it. You are solely responsible for your success and how you manage
and organize your time will dictate how it all turns out.

Have separated personal from business? Are you still chatting with
friends when you should be working on a new project? Have you set up
separate banking accounts? Does your family friends understand how
important your new business is to you? You should ask these questions
when you realize you can’t seem to get anything done because of
interruptions due to your personal life.

So before you wrap up your new venture, be sure to ask yourself all
these questions. Mainly, you want to identify what is going wrong so
you can correct it to make your existing business work or so you won’t
repeat the same mistakes with your new business venture.

And again, the key to successful businesses is a fierce determination.
It takes many small businesses two years to turn a profit. If that’s
too long for you, consider having a partner, working part-time, or
keeping your full-time job. Try different things to make sure you don’t
give up on your new business and becoming an entrepreneur.