SOS… My business is failing

Maybe you don’t want to admit it but….your business needs help. No one said running a business would be easy. Eight out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. Whether your finances aren’t where they should be, you aren’t getting responses to your recent job posting or your sales are declining rapidly, sometimes help is required to revive your business before it is too late.

The first step is to identify that there is in fact a problem. Below are signs to look for to confirm that your business may be in need of some help. In later posts, we look to expand further on each topic and provide insight on what to do if these signs appear in your business.

Struggling budget

There are many facets to a business budget, and when you are cutting from necessary areas to cover your basic expenses, it’s time to make a change. Identify what priorities you are struggling to meet. Then, research some options for assistance and determine their feasibility within your current situation. Consult expert resources as needed.

Staffing issues

Staff retention is vital to a successful business plan. When you lose employees, you also lose efficiency, knowledge and dependability. Every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it can cost the business six to nine months’ salary. Furthermore, training new employees takes time and resources, and while they may be eager to learn, new employees aren’t familiar with your brand and therefore may not represent it appropriately, which could potentially lead to customer service missteps.

Brand inconsistencies

Brand inconsistencies are a red flag that your company may be in trouble. Sit down and think about the mission of your business and what truly differentiates your brand from your competitors. Go back to the basics, remember why you created your company and realign your brand with your original mission.

Declining sales

While declining sales is most likely the most obvious sign that something’s not right, surprisingly, many businesses try to ride out slow times rather than taking action to find out why sales are decreasing. Are you selling a new product that isn’t gaining traction? It’s been noted that 42 percent of businesses fail because there isn’t a market for the product or service they are producing. Is there a new competitor in the market? Are there recent changes in your industry that could be affecting sales? Figure out the reason you are losing sales, and work to address the problem quickly and strategically.

It is critical to have your finger on the pulse of your business operations so you can identify these negative trends and address them before they turn into a serious problem. Furthermore, it’s also important to remain proactive in driving business to your company, and the Chamber can serve as a valuable resource for business networking, referrals and marketing/advertising assistance. Check out our website to learn more about the support functions we have in place to help you maximize your business’ potential.