Find Business Success In A Bad Economy: Managing A Failing Business

by The Smarter Wallet on April 4, 2009

Do You Seek Business Success?

How is your business doing these days? If you say that it’s not doing too well, you aren’t alone. This downturn has affected us one way or another, but mostly in the pocketbook. I thought to share this interesting article on what to do about a struggling or failing business. Are there productive ways to deal with such a financial albatross?

failing business, business success, sinking ship
Image by Worth100

7 Ways To Handle A Failing Business In A Bad Economy

Here are a few tips for trying to get it back on track.

1. Understand the influence of the economy.

You may have a business that’s done really well in the past, but it may no longer be the case these days. Before you beat yourself over how your business is doing, take into account how your business may be affected by current economic cycles. Think about some positive financial strategies you can employ during this down economy. If you have a way of weathering the next few years, you may emerge better and stronger when the economy recovers. Having an emergency fund — possibly in a high yield savings account during a time like this will help tide you over.

2. Check out the competition.

Maybe there’s been some changes in the marketplace. Take a look at your competitors and see what they’ve been up to. During a downturn, the competition usually gets tighter, as businesses go after a smaller pool of customers. Maybe you’ll need to do something to reinvent yourself or keep up with the new market environment.

3. Peg down your business model.

When the markets change, there’s a need for an entrepreneur to go with the flow and learn how to evolve his or her business. Taking a little risk to see if something works better may be worth a try, especially when business is slow. Though it’s a lot of work, I’ve tried to work on ways to improve my own ventures by tweaking my business model and changing things up over time. By staying stagnant, no matter how successful a business is, it can eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

4. Work on your marketing.

I try to find ways for my business to try to distinguish itself over the many other ventures that exist in the same space. Some ways to stand out? Working to brand your product or service better, and finding ways to spread the news around about your offerings through various means such as advertising, networking and other marketing campaigns.

5. Know your market and your customers.

Make sure that you’re aware of your target market, your customers and your audience. If you listen to what they want, your business has a strong chance of staying relevant, regardless of market conditions. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs embrace the “build it and they will come” mentality, where they place their vision above the desires and needs of their customers. During a boom market, something like this may work, but it’s a tougher sell during a recession.

6. Polish your image.

Your business needs to come across as professional, and should project itself as a quality enterprise. Customers are attracted to quality, and they appreciate well run businesses that offer good value. Your image and reputation is something to protect and uphold, and can reap you benefits and profits over the long term. I know a few business owners who try to cut corners with their operations and though they may do well in the short term, they risk sacrificing their reputation and status over the long term. When people catch on to what they’re doing, they’ll most likely lose business over time.

7. Think of your exit strategy.

Unfortunately, even the best run businesses can fold over a tough economic period. So all business owners should keep an open mind about the worst possible scenarios. If anything, be flexible about how you steer your business — if it turns out that it may be best to retire it, then evaluate the best ways to surrender your venture. There may be a lot of value left in your outfit that you can sell, or you may want to consider a change of hands. Fresh blood can do a lot to revive a failing organization.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Meaghan April 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for the post, it is good advice…and I like the photo!

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