This economy is really beating us up, isn’t it? Just when things seem to get better, we slide back down into the hole we’ve helped create. For small businesses, this is truly a time of soul searching, especially when you can’t make ends meet.
But should you shut your doors and let the economy win? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine the answer.
1. Do I Think the Business Can Weather the Troubles to Come?
We don’t know when the economy will get better. You don’t know where your next customer will come from…or if he will come. Only you can decide whether your business is solid enough (and whether you have enough savings to cover the rough patches) to sustain whatever awaits you for the next 3 months, year, five years.
If you don’t think your business will survive, it may be time to scale back, shift gears, or close up shop altogether.
2. Do I Truly Love What I Do?
If the answer to this is “no,” get out immediately. There’s no sense in going bankrupt doing something you don’t feel passionate about. Maybe real estate made you millions a few years ago, but is drained dry these days. If you don’t have love for the game, why waste another minute doing it?
3. Do I Have a Backup Plan?
What if you lose your biggest account? Do you have a plan of how you’ll make it without the income? Do you have savings to keep you going? Do you know how you will pay employees, even when invoices are late being paid? It’s a good idea to have answers to all these questions, otherwise you might find yourself in a sticky situation.
4. Can I Adapt?
Maybe you’re in a luxury niche market that just isn’t going anywhere right now. Maybe your products are rendered obsolete by technology. Whatever the case, determine if you can shift gears to regain market share.
5. Do You Want to Keep Chugging Away?
Sometimes we do things because we think we’re supposed to. But ask yourself whether you want to keep working long hours on your business. The answer might surprise you.
Photo: Flickr user takomabibelot. Creative Commons 2.0.