How to Save Your Failing Business


by Dan Radak, World Executives Digest |

Not every startup survives long enough to see its harvest years. In that case, maybe the soundest thing to do is to admit that it is over and start drawing plans for the next business venture. On the other hand, quitting is not something that will get you into the heights of the corporate world. It goes without saying that one must know when to quit and when to keep fighting, but giving up before all the possibilities are exhausted is never a good idea. In many cases, what seems like an end is actually only a rough period. When the slope becomes too slippery, you can try to do one of these things.

Shorten sail

Behind every startup lies an ambition. In the first several weeks, the most important task of a business is to rise above the competition, make an impact on the industry and set the bar high. Unfortunately, reality never sleeps and things often turn out different on the ground floor. Although you might find yourself fighting for survival, you have to put the business goals first. Regardless of the disappointment, you will do right if you scale down your immediate objectives and concentrate on long term ones. On stormy seas, only those who shorten sail reach the other shore.  

Call spade a spade

In some cases, it is the outside factor that has contributed to the failure of your company. And in others, it is not. You shouldn’t be afraid of admitting that someone inside had made a mistake and you definitely should find out who and how. The whole point is not in discovering the perpetrator, but in trying to figure out if you can reverse the process and slow down the collapse. Apart from some more obvious reasons, there are many causes that can harm your business, ranging from the unmotivated sales department to outdated marketing. Still, statistics say that the problem is money-related in most cases.  

Expand your budget

Since the most probable cause of your business problems is going to be financial, you need to revise the costs of running the business. How is it possible that the budget that you previously anticipated is now not enough to stop your startup from collapsing? While you are figuring that out, you are going to need an injection of capital to stop further degradation. Companies willing to invest private capital are a solution worth checking unless you are planning on taking a loan. However, since you have already taken one or two to set the company up, applying for the third one is maybe not the smartest move.  

Marketing, marketing, marketing

A startup budget isn’t usually generous. Nevertheless, marketing department should not be the place to make cutbacks. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, it is worthless if no one knows about it. Even more importantly, when it becomes clear that your company is between the rock and the hard place, you have to promote it even harder. The last thing you want is to let the competition take advantage of the rough patch your company is going through.   

When a business goes downhill, the problem doesn’t have to be as bad as it looks. Even if your company seems beyond salvaging, the right course of action can get it rolling again. A combination of energetic marketing and an additional source of capital may be just enough to avoid taking some desperate measures. An attempt to save your business can, however, force you to make some less popular moves, like cutting on the workforce or salaries until the crisis recedes.

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.