08 Jun When to Give Up and When to Keep Fighting?
A lot of people say, “Never give up!” They say that if you just work harder and continue to stand up whenever you fall, everything will eventually turn out great in the end. These are great sentiments but they are not always the most practical way to go, especially with business.
When you are operating a business, you have to spend money every day: the salary of workers, equipment cost, office supplies, electricity, utilities and other operational necessities in running a business. Keeping these up just because we were told growing up never to give up might end up getting the business at an even worse situation. When it comes to business, know when to give up or keep fighting.
Here are some of the ways to determine whether you should pack up the business or continue fighting for success.
Keep fighting: When product or service is something people are willing to pay for
Give up: When your product or service is already offered by others that have been in the game longer
Give your company a chance to gather enough actual data on whether your product or service is something people actually pay for. Look at your numbers in a year—does it show that your product or service was only sold during the first month? This would mean that people were only buying the product or acquiring the service out of curiosity. But if data show that people pay for what you offer day in and day out, even if the business is not making enough profit as it should, then perhaps the marketing strategy is at fault and not the product or service. When you know that your company has a following, continue fighting. But you have to learn why you are not making enough money or getting enough customers. Keep the current customers loyal and develop strategies to entice more clientele.
When your product or service is similar to many other businesses in the neighborhood and your business is not making enough profit, then it might be time to pack up. Say you are in the restaurant business serving Mexican food, but there are at least three other Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. If you are not making enough profit—and especially when the business is already drowning in debt due to lack of customers—it might be because the other restaurants are serving better and cheaper food than you do. This means that you are not offering something better or something different. You could still do something about that but if your planned improvement is anything less than spectacular, then maybe you should not bother. Four Mexican restaurants in one neighborhood are too many anyway.
Keep fighting: If customers are satisfied
Give up: If customers are ‘meh ‘
The good thing about living in this generation is that feedback is quick. Don’t be afraid to google your business and learn about what people are saying about your product and service. If many of your customers are raving about your products or services, propagate this review and aim to do better. If your business is not doing too well despite the smashing reviews from people, then you just have to develop better strategies in attracting more customers and keeping your current ones loyal. Work harder to keep customers satisfied and introduce more products or new services to welcome new clientele.
However, if people are not talking about your business, then it means that people don’t care about what you are offering. Fighting for it will be a losing battle and you will just be wasting your energy as well as your money.
Keep fighting: When you have an effective team
Give up: When you don’t have enough help
No entrepreneur can run a business on their own. Every business owner has to have a team or reliable people that can run the business efficiently. If you have a great team, then there is no question about it, you are going to fight for your company. And you will do so with the help of every individual that is part of the business—more minds are always better. This means there will be more inputs on how to improve the business. Listening to your team also empowers the group. Your trust could propel them to do better and work harder.
However, if your business is already on the brink of ruins and you are also surrounded by incompetent employees who are not willing to pull their weight, then there is no sense fighting a losing battle. They will not be worth fighting for anyway. Any employee who doesn’t fight for his company to stay afloat has no business working. Fighting a battle by yourself is going to be stressful and unhealthy. No business should ever be worth a person’s health or life.
Keep fighting: If you are passionate about your business
Give up: If you are no longer happy with the company
Passion is as important in business as knowledge. You may have the wits to run a business, but without the heart to work for it, the business will not be as fully gratifying. With knowledge alone, there is a possibility that the business will become successful. But the passion for that business allows you to have fulfilment and happiness to be doing something you actually enjoy. Every business will have its ups and downs. Without passion, you might not be able to get over the downs. However, when the business is something you love and are passionate about, you will do anything in your power to change the course of the business. You will fight tooth and nail for the business to see the light of day again.
On the other hand, if the business is really just something that gives you financial pleasure and not an emotional one, then a downturn in the business could leave you depressed and unhappy. No business should trample on your happiness. Life is too short to spend it on something that will not give us enjoyment.
Knowing when to quit and fight when it comes to business is a matter of introspection. There is no black and white answer—everything is gray. The above points are guides that could help you make a thorough and appropriate decision on the next step for your business.