I’m sure we have all had this thought at one time or another as business owners. I have even thrown a little chair tantrum because nothing I did seemed to work. The reason I bring this up is because I wondered how other business owners deal with this situation. When what we are doing is not working. Putting so much time into an effort that doesn’t or will not work. Why go through all this effort just to feel good about working hard and investing time and money to make it work? I’ll even raise the bar a little and ask an even bigger question. How do you know when to change direction or stop altogether?
So many business owners often get to this point almost too late in their business mindset. I can’t help but wonder why we continue to pursue something that is either not there or barely breaking even. I’ve been there. In love with my own idea so much so that I was just happy that someone was buying what I was selling. I suppose that if you put enough effort into something it is really tough to let it go – especially when to let it go feels like failing. What we sometimes overlook are the missed opportunities that pass us by because are beating a dead horse. Some business owners forget to factor in the “what are the opportunities” cost into their marketing and business planning. For instance, if one market or business widget will yield you a 10% profit versus another business widget or market that could yield you 13%. Looking at it this way, said business owner could make more by choosing a different market or widget when the first widget or market fails to live up to their expectation or planned growth.
How much of our time, money and mind space could be put to better use if we get to this point sooner, rather than later? While we sometimes don’t think that this is costing us anything to keep trying, it often does. I’m not saying that you should give up on every idea when it doesn’t work the first time, because if you are like most business owners who believe in their product, most of us keep trying until the wheels fall of. Meanwhile, there are countless other business owners out there who are able to tell when it is time to “let it go” and try other plan, idea or market, thus making better use of their time and money.
The point I am making is that there are tons of opportunities out there that we can take advantage of. While some business owners feel it is better to sit tight and continue to pursue a subpar market or a product that doesn’t perform the way we hoped it would, maybe it is time for others to examine the real cost of inaction and blind pursuit. I have grown to the belief that it’s okay to take a small loss in favor of a better market or product that will give me the returns I’ve been waiting for. I am curious, what do you do when what you are doing is not working? How do you know when you should move on?