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Is it time to walk away? How to rethink your business

21 March 2018

We understand why you’re considering walking away from your business. You’re tired of the daily grind, and you’re not making as much money as expected. Worse, your original fantastic idea has lost some of its shine and you’re not even sure you like it anymore. Sound familiar?

Well, don’t make any hasty decisions just yet. It could be a passing phase or something relatively simple that you need to change for it all to click into place.

A passing phase?

Building your business from scratch is going to be hard work; there’s really no way around it. You work at it until it’s successful, or you quit.

We recommend asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Do you still recognise yourself? Has the effort of saving your business led to you becoming a person you’d never thought you would be?
  2. Is it too much to handle? Ask yourself honestly if you can do this by yourself.
  3. Has the thrill gone? Do you no longer get a feeling of pride when you tell people you own a business?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, it might be time for a rethink.


If you have decided to stop, there are a few options to consider. Do you want to sell, hand it over to someone else or wind it down gradually? Here are some methods for exiting your business.

Sell - putting your business up for sale on the open market could be lucrative, depending on timing and the position of your business. For example, is it profitable and still maturing?

Close - for a failing business, closing is an option. This means closing up, selling off the assets, clearing debts and walking away. Before you do this, there are some legal considerations involved.

Transfer - if you work with someone, or you have a family member or friend who is willing to take it over, this is a good option.

A succession plan - usually, this is a method for transferring the business to a trusted employee - a good option if you don’t want a stranger to take over the business you’ve spent so much time building up.

Bring on a partner

Of course, there are other options to closing up or selling the business permanently. If one of the reasons you’re thinking of quitting is because it’s too much to handle, perhaps bringing on a partner to share responsibility is a possibility - a fresh perspective and new ideas could be the injection of energy needed to boost sales.

If you do decide to go down this path, make sure you get the right advice when preparing legal documents to avoid any unpleasantness further down the road.

Analyse your business

Before you throw in the towel, take a long, hard objective look at your business and consider where you could make improvements. Are you talking to the right audience? Could you make improvements to your core product? Think about these ideas:

  • Organise focus groups - even though it might reveal some home truths, asking focus groups about your product could uncover new ideas that you hadn’t previously considered.
  • Research your industry - what are the latest innovations in your sector? What can you use to improve your offering to customers?

  • Get a mentor - getting guidance from someone who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt, can be invaluable for gaining a fresh perspective on your business. A wise head could make you look at your business in a positive new light.

Perhaps taking on board some of the above learnings will mean your business processes suddenly click into place, giving you the impetus to have another go from a different angle.

The important thing to remember when you’re tired of the daily business grind, is that you have options available to you. Ask yourself if it’s really time to quit or an opportunity to redefine your focus.