When you start a business you don’t always think about what comes next and when/how you want to finish with it. Sure you may imagine creating a great product/company and selling it for tons of money to some big company, but that’s not the reality (or plan) for most business owners. For most (especially small business owners), they’re more focused on what’s going on today and their current customers (or getting customers for that matter), maybe even what’s coming up in the next year or so, than what could happen however many years down the road. But the reality is that that decision does need to be made at some point in time.
This week in the US we see the end of Ringling Brothers’ circus, and I saw an article saying that the number of businesses that were sold in the first quarter was higher than it’s been. I’ve also seen a number of ‘store closing’ signs at what used to be popular retailers. Times change, people change, needs change, technology (the broadest definition of the word) changes, you (the business owner) change. Yes, it’s tough to acknowledge the change, and difficult to let go of something that’s been part of your life for however long. It’s tough to part with the people who have invested time, ideas and sweat into the business and customers. It can also be scary to look at what’s coming next when you no longer have the business to work on each day.
Sometimes it’s OK or necessary to come to an end in business, sometimes it’s just time for us to move on to something else. There’s no shame in that. There’s also nothing wrong with passing the business off (or selling it) to someone who can take it to a level that you can’t for whatever reason. However, many of the businesses that close each month close for reasons that didn’t have to be reality. These businesses are run by people who are greedy, or aren’t willing to look at the truth, or aren’t willing to make changes, or aren’t willing to try things, or don’t treat their people right, or aren’t willing to even try to keep up with their competitors and the larger marketplace.
This week I encourage you to take a look at your business and check if you’ve been holding things back or hurting your businesses potential. If that’s the case i encourage you to make the choice to make changes, and get started on at least one of those changes this week.