Is your business showing signs of distress? Or is it straight-up tanking? There are simple measures you can take to bring it back from the brink. Your business might be dying, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s over.
Here are five things you can do to save your dying business and also help it thrive.
1. Evaluate Your Situation Honestly
Before physicians treat a patient, they do all kinds of tests and make a diagnosis. So when you realize that your business is in serious trouble, stop. You need to take a good, hard look at your company to evaluate and assess what is going wrong. You can’t take action without knowing where to start.
The recent explosion of Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket might have seemed like his greatest failure to date. The first thing he told his followers on Twitter was that he was going to take time to evaluate what went wrong. Even though it seemed like a failure, Musk and his team continue to push through toward future success.
2. Rethink Your Strategy
The way you think about your failures is key to your success. After re-evaluating your company, chances are you have found where you went wrong and are ready to redefine and rethink your strategy. You have decided to not give up, and are determined to succeed. This is a great step in reviving your dying business — but also a hard one.
A good example of this for entrepreneurs is Steve Jobs, who was constantly rethinking his products to service the world better. Apple went from being nearly shut down to giving us the iPhone just a decade later, according to Forbes.
3. Focus on Your People
You may think that the problem is in your software, hardware, or your data. But the best businesses are the ones that run with soul. Your most important assets are your people—your employees. When your company seems to be failing, re-evaluate not just your strategy, but those who need to execute it. If necessary, get rid of those who are slowing you down, and hire those who can help revive your dying business.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is known for his unconventional approach to hiring and selecting a team. He often bases his choice on a person’s talents and attitudes rather than their skills or diplomas.
4. Let Go of Pride and Fear
Rather than playing the blame game—which will get you nowhere—successful CEOs and business leaders know that admitting their faults and showing genuine humility will help rebuild and re-boost their organization. When business leaders are unwilling to change, or stick to preconceived ideas of what they think will work, it is a recipe for disaster.
Pride is also a form of fear. If you’re unable to admit you don’t have a clue and are unwilling to delegate tasks to others who are more capable of them, you will cause your entire organization to fail.
If you still fear failure, take a lesson from billionaire Richard Branson, who said, “Failure is one of the secrets to success, since some of the best ideas arise from the ashes of a shuttered business.”
5. Don’t Lose Your Passion
Passion is what made you start your business in the first place, and it will help you to keep going. Passion may not always come with the voice of reason, but it may be the fuel you need to reignite that fire.
Nick Woodman, who invented the GoPro camera and was a billionaire at 36, said his success came only after he created a business that brought his passion for surfing to life. He had already failed at two businesses before his passion launched him to global success.
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This article was originally written on October 31, 2016 and updated on June 16, 2022.