How to Resuscitate Your Dying Business

Your business is your baby. You’ve given up everything for it. You put your blood, sweat and tears into raising it from day one. But now it’s sick. What was once so promising has taken a turn for the worst. Some people even think it’s time you closed the doors and put it out of its misery.

 photo angel_of_death_zpsccd66ed3.jpg

But not you.

You haven’t given this your all just to see it fall apart. You’re convinced you can turn this thing around. And you will. Or you’ll die trying (not literally, of course).

I admire you. It’s a noble cause you fight for. And whether you win or lose, you represent a dying breed of hardworking, never-take-no-for-an-answer entrepreneurs. You’re willing to go down with the ship if necessary, and I applaud you.

That being said, I’d like to help you in any way that I can—and it’s for that reason that I write this blog post. To offer you some suggestions on how you might be able to breathe new life into your beloved business venture. Ready for some hope? Here goes…

Trim the Fat Down to the Necessities

I’m not going to insult your intelligence by acting like you haven’t tried cutting costs. Obviously, when profits lessen, you are forced to start trimming the fat. But maybe there are some areas you haven’t yet considered. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Are you paying for maintenance that isn’t necessary? Sometimes we maintain things just because we think we have to. Don’t get me wrong, you need to take good care of your investments so they last a long time. However, having the platinum maintenance plan on your company car—is that really a necessity? Do you really need that IT company coming in on a weekly basis?
  • Lease—First and foremost, depending on your line of work, you may want to reconsider leasing an office. Yes, it sounds crazy to many. But I can’t tell you how many small businessmen I know who pay an outlandish lease every month when in reality, they could do the exact same thing from home. Maybe you think you can’t just because you have a couple of employees. Can you not consider letting them work at home, too? This is the age of DropBox, Google Hangout, Basecamp…do you really have to see each other in person to get the job done? Imagine how much you could save if you got rid of the office….

Can’t ditch the lease? Then consider an attempt at renegotiation. Maybe your landlord will take a little less during these tough economic times. Or maybe if they refuse, you could downgrade to a less expensive office.

  • Take a hard look at payroll—Look, nobody likes to lay off employees. However, sometimes successful businesspeople have to make hard decisions. So ask yourself this question and answer honestly: could you make it without that employee? Or could you swap a full timer for a part timer? Or better yet, could a contractor do the same job without needing benefits or a guaranteed salary? If so, consider a change. And if you’re looking for a good contractor, consider Elance.com.

Rebuild Your Company Image

 photo rebuild_company_zps5a852834.jpg

The world is changing at a faster rate than ever before. That being said, the image you created a decade or two ago when you opened your doors may no longer strike a chord with this generation. In other words, it might be time for a rebrand. Here are a few things to consider if you decide it’s time to make the plunge:

  • Talk to people—Don’t just assume that rebrand is going to work and jump right in. You need to talk to people and listen. That means talk to your customers, your employees, your partners, your allies… anyone your company relies on. Ask them about all parts of your company. Do they like your products? What specifically do they dislike? Take note.
  • Measure change in your market—How is your market different than it was 10 years ago? How have the clientèle changed? What has changed around your market? In connection with your market? Take note.
  • Hire a good designer—As a small business owner cutting costs, you may be tempted to handle your own redesigning. Whether it’s print or web, you need a professional who can come up with designs that connect to who you want your business to be perceived as. Don’t DIY this step, or you will fail. If you want to cut costs on design, do it on your printing. Go somewhere like this site to get cheap online printing.

Saving your business won’t be easy. But have faith—it can be done!

Tom Chu is the SEO Manager at PsPrint, which is an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing As well as other similar services. Follow PsPrint onTwitter and Facebook to learn more.

Comments

  1. Good point Tom,

    However, you have to know when to fold em as they say.

    I’ve seen people loose their initial business investment and then they max out their credit cards and loose that too and then they borrow from friends and family and loose that too.

    Business is a risk don’t bet the house and lose everything you may find success in another industry.

    • Hi Darnell,
      I agree, at some point I guess what you really need to do is spend some time thinking about what’s causing the business to fail – it could be that there is no market and no matter how much money you throw at that problem – it will never be fixed. So yeah, at that point, it might be a good idea to just try something different.

  2. Hi Tom,

    I’ve seen many people who just started their business in the hope that soon they’ll be a millionaire and then billionaire. Business is not easy and you must have your plan in place before starting it. You should have clear goals, and should know the ways to achieve them. Lot of businesses end as they lack both planning and clear goals.

  3. Good tips in this post! On the topic of rebuilding a brand image – Old Spice did a great job with this a while ago (with that whole “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”). They realized they were sort of your dad’s personal care brand, and targeted a younger demographic with those ads. Worked great, but need to know what your audience feels about you first.

Speak Your Mind

*

RSS and Marketing Services