Having a business fail to launch or quickly go under is devastating. It can make you question everything, and you may even think about throwing in the towel and giving up on your dream altogether. Entrepreneurship is about risk and learning from failure. The difference between successful business owners and unsuccessful ones lies in how they see failure. The former sees it as a learning opportunity, and they're able to put their wounded egos aside to try and see the bigger picture. They still ask, "What did I do wrong?", but they also follow it up with, "Now, what can I do better next time?" If things aren't going very well for your business right now, don't lose hope yet! You don't have to give up on ever making your own career. Being your own boss is hard, but it can be done with the right attitude, skills and knowledge. Perseverance and adjustments are key!
Don't avoid dealing with the problem. If your business has gone under or you are close to closing, look at how much money you're going to lose. Put the gears in motion to save as much as you can, which may include downscaling your operations, selling unpopular products off to another vendor and looking for potential business buyers. You need to protect your financial future now to give yourself more opportunity in the future. You'll likely need time to regroup, but you can soften the blow by preparing in advance.
You've probably tried everything to save your business. It's true that some problems can't be resolved with a positive attitude. Simply not having any money left to operate, for example, doesn't leave you with a lot of possible options. But could you acquire a small business loan? Could you even get a private loan, or set up a GoFundMe? Maybe you should shift gears and transform your business model to a more lucrative niche. There are many businesses close to going under that rebound by shifting to a different market. Think about other ways your goods or services could be used, and find ways to advertise them ASAP. Even if it doesn't work out, at least you can say you've tried absolutely everything. You don't want to be left with any lingering sense of guilt or what-ifs.
You may need to use what money you do have to try and save your company by reaching out to other professionals. A freelance marketer, for example, can work on your budget and schedule to build a stronger online reputation and attract new customers. You can also learn from professionals you outsource and implement their strategies on your own; social media marketers use video to text translation services that allow them to quickly write blog posts, video transcripts and more. This process is faster than by hand, and it can be used for a variety of other tasks too, saving you time and money. Outsourcing is designed to work on an as-needed basis, which makes it perfect for business owners who are not able to financially sustain an internal employee. You can master simple tools of the trade just by watching what a temporary hire does.
So, what do you do when your business is failing? Pretending everything is fine only to go under and be straddled with tremendous debt is not the way to go. You have bills you can't pay, and creditors need their money. It's in both of your best interests to work together. Contact your creditors and lenders to figure out what you can do. You may be able to lower monthly payments, reduce interest or extend payment deadlines, which also frees up some money you need now to stay afloat. One of the most common reasons small businesses fail is underestimating how much money they really needed to operate. Another reason is failure to address problems early on; prevention comes in many forms, and one of those is identifying your business's weaknesses and facing them head-on.