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Top 5 warning signs that your business is declining

The hardest thing to admit for a business owner is the fact that their business is slowly dying.  After all, what business owner would want to admit that their once future hope of building an empire is forever to remain in the realm of wishful thinking?  Thus, the owner of a failing business continues to hold on and on until their knuckles turn white and face becomes so blue from holding their breath.

Before this happens to you, look out for warning signs that impending death to the business could be lurking just around the corner.  This way, you can still do something and not give up without a fight.

Tell-Tale Signs that Your Business Could Be in Trouble

1.  Exodus.  Your employees are doing an exodus a la Moses towards the promised land of another company.  You just can’t seem to hold on to them any longer although not much has changed with the way you’ve been regarding them from Day 1.  Perhaps herein lay their issues – that there is no growth in your company.  You are perhaps the reason why they’ve become stagnant.

Do an exit interview and find out why your employees are leaving.  From what you learn, you can improve your employee relations and perhaps keep the new ones or prevent the rest from leaving as well.

2.  Paying off debtors has become hard.  Although the original idea was to borrow more so you can meet your other payments and perhaps turn things around, you ended-up having more debt than assets.  Now, you find yourself asking your secretary to keep debtors’ calls at bay and you have fallen into the nasty habit of giving post-dated cheques way after your due date.

At this point, talk to your accountant (if you have one) or a financial consultant.  Find out what your assets and liabilities are, and explore your options for paying off your debts once and for all.  Find out, too, how you can prevent yourself from getting deeper in debt.

3.  Your loyal clients are jumping ship.  Suddenly, regular customers are no longer visiting your store or returning for more.  Find out why.  Are your customers deserting you because your service has deteriorated?  Are your customers leaving because of quality or price problems?

Find out why your customers have stopped buying your products or using your services.  After you have done so, look for the underlying reasons.  Has your service deteriorated because of staff morale problems or lack of manpower?  Has quality deteriorated because of carelessness?  Has your competitor cut prices?  Solve the root problems that you uncover.

4.  You offer your products and services at below profitable prices just to keep your clients or get new ones.  It doesn’t help to lower your price drastically just to be able to keep your business afloat.   In the long run, you will still end up losing your business.

5.  You feel more tired, pressured and unfulfilled than in all the years that you’ve been running the business.  While it’s natural to feel these from time to time, it becomes another matter entirely when you start feeling like this everyday due to your business worries.  If you’re not happy anymore, perhaps it’s time to swallow the bitter pill and admit that it’s time to fold-up and move on.

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