How to Know when It’s Time to Walk Away from a Business

Walking away from a business is always a tough decision. Even if it’s a much-needed cathartic relief, there’s still the matter of the unknown as to what comes next. Regardless of circumstances, you should know that it’s ultimately the right decision. That’s not always an easy thing to do because it’s human nature to second-guess or to look back with 20/20 hindsight. If you’re thinking about walking away, that notion certainly doesn’t come out of nowhere. There is something driving it and you need to understand when it’s no longer worth your time and effort.

Walking Away from a Business doesn’t necessarily Mean Shutting It Down

Let’s begin with the fact that it’s not always a bad situation. There are definitely times when the right move is to move on to something new. For example, you’ve set a goal and now have realized it. So, go out on top and start something new. Or, if you’ve always wanted to try this or that and the company you’re running now is humming along, then go for it.

In business, it’s important to understand the difference between bad luck and bad judgement. Misfortune will often masquerade as a mistake, and has caused many talented people to walk away from their business ventures prematurely. Getting a startup past the first year is commonly regarded as the biggest challenge to any entrepreneur. Sometimes hitting a bump in the road is just that and the best approach is to weather the storm, keep calm and carry on. But how do you know if your business still has a future and how do you turn around the fortunes of your struggling enterprise? —The Guardian

The point is, there are times when it’s perfectly fine to walk away from a business without having to close the doors. You can hand over the company to a protegé, or pass it on to your children. It’s healthy to build something up, watch it grow, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Signs It’s Time to Walk Away from a Business

Now, it’s not always the case that you succeed. And, failure does come in many forms. You just need to know when it’s time to throw in the towel. Now, not all are as obvious as a natural disaster, but, there are some which do mean it’s no longer worth the fight:

  • It’s consistently busy but unprofitable. This is perhaps the most perplexing circumstance but it does happen. Some businesses have enough or more than enough business, yet they simply can’t realize a profit. If you’ve already reduced your operating expenses and if customers/clients will not pay more for your services or product, and you still can’t produce a profit, staying open is just an exercise in futility.
  • Key employees keep leaving. You might well be profitable but only marginally. What’s worse is that you can’t seem to keep the best talent. This is a sign there’s something serious going awry and if you can’t identify it, it might just be time to walk away.
  • There’s no clear path forward. If you can’t seem to envision the future clearly, there’s definitely a reason why. And, without a clear path ahead, you’re essentially walking blindfolded, which can easily lead to a bad set of inescapable circumstances. Do you have an accurate picture on your backorders or pipeline of prospective business that is required to meet your sales to produce a profit?
  • Customers have mixed experiences. Another sign it’s time to move on is inconsistent feedback. You hear good and bad without any obvious reason. If you can’t get to the bottom of it, you’ll never make it work right.

What other signs tell you it’s time to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!

Interested in learning more about why your business isn’t performing? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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