So it’s been a few months, maybe a year, since you invested in a new business opportunity and you don’t seem to be getting the anticipated results. Consequently, you are getting discouraged thinking you have made the wrong decision. The only logical thing to do now would be to accept you have wasted all your savings and go back to your day job. Sounds familiar? You are not alone.
More than 80% of new entrepreneurs give up on their business within the first 18 months. This is just heart-breaking. I’m not going to argue that nobody should ever give up on their business. Clearly there are cases when one needs to have the courage to admit defeat and move on as most successful entrepreneurs have done at some point in their careers and rightly so. What I am going to talk about today, however, is a few key things to consider before making the decision to pull the plug on your business.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Why are you giving up? Is your business really failing and if so, why? Are you giving up because you are not enjoying this as much as you thought you would? Is it because you are not making enough money? Is there anything you can do to change things? Taking some time to really think these questions through is essential. Next, I recommend discussing your decision with friends, family and other entrepreneurs who are able to give you honest advice. Make sure you listen to what people have to say and critically evaluate everyone’s opinion before you make an impulsive decision.
2. Have you really been in touch with the business? Do you genuinely believe you have done everything that you should and could have done to make your business successful? It is not uncommon for young entrepreneurs, especially those who enter a partnership or buy into a franchise, to sit back and relax after investing their money in a business opportunity. If this is you, it is time to step out of your bubble and realise that even though you are not alone in this, and yes there are people who support you, as a business owner you are the number one person responsible for the success of your company, so start acting like it! Waiting for a new business to magically start generating money, even if it’s a proven model that works for other people, is reckless at best.
3. Have you communicated your unique selling proposition clearly? You will be surprised how many people have started a business having an incredible idea or the most innovative product, yet failed to communicate their usp to their audience. In reality, using proper business communication can be harder than you think and inexperienced individuals tend to overcomplicate things and confuse the audience. It’s never too late to hire a marketing professional to get the job done properly for you, though.
4. Have you realised it is your baby? You’re the owner, the leader, the boss! Whichever title you prefer; one thing is clear – you’re the one responsible for that business. As most things in life, success is also a matter of perception. The sooner you start seeing the company as your own little creation, the sooner you will commit to it in terms of time and effort.
5. Have you ever thought that it still might be too early? Entrepreneurship is by default an unpredictable route. Give it some time. Every business is unique, but in most cases I’d allow at least a year for things to start stabilising and for you to realise what exactly you are up against.
6. What if this is all just too much for you? I’m sure when you first started your own business, you loved the idea of being your own boss. However, with what seems to be total independence comes great commitment. Being an entrepreneur means you need to be ready to accept pressing calls and emails at all times or run to the office whenever you are needed, even if you have planned to take the day off, simply because you’re the boss. The reality is that you can never be completely ‘off’ as work will always be on your mind whether you want it or not. If you feel that all this responsibility is too much for you to handle, just know that this will soon change. I know that this sense of responsibility can be intimidating at first, but I can guarantee that as soon as you make your first real sale or hit your first target you will want to be in the office and work will soon stop feeling like work – and let’s be honest, isn’t that what everybody wants?
I hope these points give you some food for thought and ultimately help you reach a conclusion. Whatever your decision might be, I’m confident it will be the right one. After all, nobody knows your business better than you do.
I would love to hear your thoughts on giving up on a business, so please feel free to comment below and share your experiences!
This weekend my wife and I have left the kids with nana and grandpa and we've travelled to Buxton in the Peak District, apparently England's leading Spa Town, nice. The weekend escape in February is an annual event that we commit to every year, visiting a different destination each time, we love it.
I do all of the planning. The research usually starts in November, and the challenge for me is to find an interesting town or city where Abby and I can spend a whole weekend not tied to the usual demands of a busy family and work life.
"I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood."
The break away from it all, is a very important event in our calendar and one that plays a significant role in my business life too. Don't worry, I don't spend the whole weekend working, quite the opposite in fact (except for this blog). But, as a certified, got the t-shirt entrepreneur, I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood.
When I'm away from the businesses (my staff and business partners know this) the constant contact that we get so used to is intentionally policed. That combined with the removal of family commitments (my weekend role is usually taxi driver, tutor and punchbag) my brain unwinds very quickly and I often have some inspired ideas that are implemented on my return with much enthusiasm.
The idea of taking a break away from it all to unwind is nothing new, but these days how much of a break do we really take when we have our phones in our pocket? Part of the ethos of our annual break is being disconnected from texts, LinkedIn, Facebook, What's app, phone calls and all the other distractions in our connected world. Here in Buxton for example, I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts. It was following one of my “thoughts", I felt compelled to write this blog as testimony to the power of the disconnected weekend break in Feb!
'I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts."
However, "embrace the beauty of technology" is one of BLAM's, and therefore my, core values and detaching myself from that technology in order to think creatively is something of an irony. The key thing for me is having the discipline to connect and disconnect to get the best results, something that doesn't always come easy to me.
I am writing this blog on my disconnected mobile, with relaxing music playing, in a clothes shop that has given me free coffee whilst Abby tries on several outfits. There's no signal so no interruptions, heaven :)
It's a well documented subject, the idea of intentionally unplugging and getting away from it all. My advice to our BLAM Partners is to make sure you diarise the breaks the same way you do with the work behaviours and consider the amount of connected time you allow yourself whilst you are there. Like me, I'm sure you will find hidden inspiration in your unconnected escape.
Next week, I will be refreshed and technology will be fully embraced once more and I'll be loving it! Now, where's that awesome little bar with craft beer on tap I spotted earlier, that looked really inspiring...
Pay-Per-Click advertising is one of the quickest ways to attract traffic to your website. Everyone knows that building your following organically can take quite a while - and for start-ups in particular time is gold!
Most people who attempt to set up a PPC campaign, however, tend to feel overwhelmed and often give up. There is such a wealth of possibilities when it comes to PPC advertising and so many different factors that need to be taken into consideration – not to mention the industry jargon which confuses people – that most beginners feel lost before even starting.
Despite these difficulties, we have identified a few simple steps that can lead any start-up to create a successful PPC campaign quickly and easily.
I would love to know what your thoughts are with regards to PPC. Are you planning to use PPC as part of your marketing?
Perhaps you’ve just had this crazy idea. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about it for ages. Whatever your situation, this article aims to help you realise why now is the best time for you to start your own business.
First, let’s define the term social media ‘strategist’, ‘expert’,
‘specialist’ or whichever title you prefer to use to describe that particular
marketing specialisation because I understand it
often causes confusion. I have picked the
term ‘social media strategist’ for this post’s title as for me it is the most
accurate to describe the role. A professional in this industry will never
proceed to manage anyone’s social media platforms without properly planning a
detailed strategy first, and that is usually the main difference between those who are qualified to do the job and those who
A social media strategist, therefore, is the professional behind any successful social media business page. That person is responsible for aligning a company’s social media activities with the overall marketing direction of the business. For some, this might still seem generic and difficult to understand, but hopefully, the rest of this post will shed some light into this role’s specifics while answering some common queries I often hear from clients.
Having said all that, and even though social media are a powerful tool, people should never make the mistake of thinking that a solid social presence is all it takes to ensure a good level of sales. The purpose of your social media strategy is to complement and augment your overall marketing and sales strategy. One cannot do well without the other, and anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn’t be trusted.