Should you just give up on your business right here and right now?
Has frustration set it? Is the feeling of failure overflowing your brain and body. Do you have a feeling that you have no way out of this mess that you have created in your business?
Maybe your family and friends already told you that you would fail and now it seems like you are almost there.
You are trying to grow your audience, consistently posting, going to shows, listing your product everywhere imaginable but all you hear is crickets.
The money isn’t coming in. You have product piling up and cannot sell it. The term overwhelm is an understatement. So what do you do? Should you just give up on your business?
I can’t tell you a definite yes or no on whether it’s time to hang up your business hat. But I can help you understand where you are at and what you will have to change for you to be successful in your business.
What is going wrong with my business?
First I want you to think about what is going wrong in your business. What aspects are you having trouble with? It could be all of them, or only some of them.
But understanding the things going wrong in your business is the first step to deciding if it’s even possible to make them right.
Possibility #1. Enough people aren’t seeing your stuff.
The answer here is either better engagement and reach on your Facebook page or better pictures and SEO for your Etsy, Amazon. If you are trying to grow traffic to your website, then focus on building your social media and driving that traffic to your website.
Possibility #2. Enough people are seeing your stuff but they aren’t buying it.
The answer here is either tweaking your product to meet what your audience wants or attracting the right audience for the product you have. Nothing is more frustrating than having built an audience that isn’t full of buyers.
It may look like you have tons of potential clients, but they aren’t going to buy from you because they aren’t the target market for your product. Think of it like having a Facebook page filled with parents of newborns and you are trying to sell them car insurance for their kids. Make sure your products and your audience match.
Possibility #3. You haven’t been consistent enough.
One of the biggest mistakes you make with your Facebook page is to be inconsistent in your posting. This sends a signal to Facebook and to your customers that you are not to be trusted.
If you go several months without posting and then start again, it takes time to get Facebook to trust you and show your items to people again. And depending on how long you ignored or neglected your page, the work you have to do to get seen can be a severe uphill climb. It’s possible. But you have to be willing to do the work.
Possibility #4. Your customer service isn’t stellar enough.
If you have bad reviews on Amazon or Etsy then it will tank your listings in search on those platforms. If you can’t get found in search then you don’t get sales. You can come back from poor customer service.
But it takes commitment and communication to your customers about what happened in the past and how the situation has been resolved. And then you have to have amazing customer service to build your reviews back.
When should I just give up on my business?
Now that you have a better idea of what has gone wrong, lets talk about some legitimate reasons that you should throw in the towel with your business. I urge you to look honestly at these questions.
Some of these may cause you to dig deep. But if you want a real answer then you have to look at all of these and evaluate where you are. So let’s dig in.
1. You should give up on your business if you don’t know what is wrong and you don’t want to learn.
It’s okay to not know what is wrong. It’s okay to not know how to do something or to not understand an aspect of business.
But the key is a willingness to reach out and find the tools you need to learn. I am not a techy person. But when I come up against an aspect of my business that I don’t understand I Google, Youtube, reach out to my accountability groups, check in with my business coach, ask in groups I am a part of. I don’t quit until I figure out the answer and find a way to move forward.
If you don’t know how to do something then are you willing to reach out and find some answers.
One of the most common questions I get from those wanting to build a following on social media is, what is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group?
The second most common question is should I sell on Etsy or Amazon Handmade? There are experts, and blog posts, and videos out there to help you learn what you don’t know. But you have to commit to being willing to learn.
2. You should quit your business if you don’t want to do the work or hire others to do the work.
Business is work. It may be more flexible work. It may at times be more fun work. But it is work. There are frustrations. There are setbacks. You are going to work for your money.
And if you don’t want to do the work, then you need to hire help for your business. If you don’t want to do either of those things, then it’s time for you to hang up your business hat. It’s not possible to run a business without work.
I honestly get so frustrated by some influencers and even some of my fellow business coaches who say that you don’t need to work. There are for sure elements of your business you can automate. Hiring help is an amazing thing to help you have time in your life. There are tools, software, and people that can help you work smarter, not harder.
But, if you think you are going to sit back on your couch watching TV, or recline in a beach chair on tropical sands and money will just flow to you, then it’s time to find a new business.
Business takes work. It takes learning. It takes implementing. Even being a boss is a job. If you are willing to do the work, you can do anything. But if you aren’t, then it’s time to quit.
3. You should consider giving up on your business if you’ve lost the passion for it and don’t really want that passion back.
We all have times when we experience business burnout. We get frustrated or tired. Setbacks happen. But if you’ve lost your passion for your business, then you need to either get it back or quit.
To get your passion back there are several things you can try. Have you thought of outsourcing the parts of your business you don’t enjoy? How about building time into your week to focus on the things you are truly passionate about?
Are you taking the time to be creative and search out in the real world for inspiration? Do you take small breaks from your business to spend time with the people who matter the most?
What was your why for your business? Do you still have one?
Examining these questions is so important to finding your passion, or to realizing that you no longer even want to have it.
4. You should definitely consider quitting if you don’t want to make the things your customers want.
As business owners we can be stubborn about what we think our customers want. But occasionally your customers are requesting and telling you exactly what they want to see, and business owners don’t listen.
No, you do not have to follow trends and keep your product lines updated with your customer’s likes. But you may not make as many sales.
So what do you want? If your customers are constantly asking you for a style or color scheme or line that you don’t want to carry, then you have a choice.
Offer what your customers want or run the risk of going out of business.
Businesses need to be adaptable. Today’s dusty pink is tomorrow’s lime green. The llama that everyone loves this moment might be a toucan the next.
Do you want sales? Or do you want to just make what you want?
The only other option you have when your product doesn’t meet your current customer’s needs, is to attract a new audience of customers. This can be done, but it takes work.
5. Give up on your business if what has always worked before isn’t working, but you don’t want to try anything else.
Another way business owners get stubborn and set in their patterns is by being frustrated that what used to work well for them doesn’t work anymore. Actually, I get it.
Things change often in online selling and we have to adapt. It can be frustrating. But to stay in business, you have to change when something isn’t working. There are slow times in our business, but that just means we have to get creative with the ways to increase online sales.
If you as a business owner are saying, “Well it always worked before so I’m just going to keep doing it.” Or even “that never used to work, so I won’t even try it.” Then you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Business owners need to be teachable. Maybe you don’t like social media. But it’s possible to make thousands of dollars a month from a Facebook group. Maybe you don’t like SEO, but Amazon Handmade and Etsy can both be amazing platforms for sales.
If things aren’t working for you, then it may be time to take someone else’s advice and try a new way. No, it’s not required. But it is smart. And smart may be the difference between success and failure.
6. Consider letting the business go if you don’t really need the money, community, or fulfillment and you’ve already got one foot out the door.
Another reason to give up on your business is when you have the mindset that you don’t really need the business. When you say things like that, you show your customers, your friends and family, and yourself that you already have one foot out the business door.
It’s okay to do something just because you love it with no thought of growth or profit or expansion. But it’s probably not really a business.
If you don’t need the business for the money, or the experience, or the customer interaction, or the fulfillment of growing something meaningful, then it’s probably time to give it up.
Business is hard. And unless your business is fulfilling a need in your life, it probably isn’t worth the work.
Making the decision to continue or quit your business.
Okay, some of that stuff made you dig deep. You should have a better idea of what you want to do with your business if you’ve been honest with yourself. So what did you decide?
Either…I really want this business to be successful. Now what?
One thing I can tell you is you have to focus on one thing and do it really good. Many times we have so many irons in the fire we don’t do one thing good and we find ourselves going through the motions.
If we are doing a little bit here and a little bit there, then it’s only logical to think this is exactly how the money follows…a little bit here and a little bit there. It isn’t until we grow and feel comfortable with our current order process that we take on one more thing.
If there are some things in your business that need to change, then change them. Maybe there is a product line you need to let go of, some automation you need to introduce, new employees to hire. Change what isn’t working and keep what is.
Or…I’m ready to call it quits with my business. Now what?
I think it’s a very brave thing to decide what you want, even if that decision is to stop doing something. If you are sure that this isn’t the path for you, then I encourage you to go find the one that is for you.
Just make sure that you aren’t going through a perfectly normal episode of business burnout. Business is tough. Business burnout is real.
But if this feeling is temporary and can be fixed, then you don’t want to dump what you have built only to regret it later. Read through our signs of business burnout and implement some strategies to get you back on track. Or if you are sure that this is the end of the line, then own that choice, too.
Go forward with your business choice.
It’s important to remember that in business often our biggest stumbling block is ourselves. We want so badly to be successful. Sometimes we say we are doing everything we can and in reality we aren’t. And deep down, we know it.
Has there ever been something in your business you were really good at and then you strayed away from it? Don’t do that. Stick what you are good at and build on that.
If you are reading this and thinking I don’t know what I am good at, think long and hard about this. I had you look at the weaknesses in your business. But what about the strengths?
Are you good at relationships? Are you good at tech? Are you good at being a mom which means you are a master of many things? Yes, you are good at something.
Marketing can be done in many different ways within our business. Get rid of the excuses above that would take you out of the game. Take the thing you are good at and implement that into your marketing. Business is about taking action.
If you are ready to get more help with this, then our Creative Codebook Course might be the perfect thing for you. We guide you through 8 weeks of action steps and learning with Facebook, Facebook Ads, Facebook Groups, and the basics of SEO. You get 24/7 access to ask questions and weekly group video coaching calls with a coach that is in the online selling game.
We only open twice a year, but you can get on the waitlist and get notified when we open next.
Find an action you can to take today that can get you closer to your goals, no matter what they are.
Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board, pretty please.