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15 Signs Your Business Has Run Its Course

When you’re an entrepreneur, your business really is like your baby; you nurture it, give it everything you think it needs to thrive, and you love spending time with it, helping it to grow and become better. So, when things aren’t going as well as they should be with your company, you are often blind to it; you don’t want to see it because you don’t want your baby to fail, you don’t want your efforts to have been for nothing.

The thing is, businesses can and do fail all the time, They run their course and the best thing you can do is to accept that, move on and try again It does not necessarily mean that you are a bad entrepreneur just that the timing wasn’t right or the idea was not perfect for the time.

That being the case, it’s a good idea to know how to spot the signs your business has run its course, so let’s take a (humorous) look at them below:

  1. Your Most Frequent Customer is Your Mom

First off, hats off to moms everywhere for their unwavering support. But if the only time your cash register sings is when your mom swings by to “check on how things are going,” you might want to rethink your business model. Unless, of course, your business is selling “World’s Best Mom” mugs, in which case, carry on.

  1. You’re Using a Fax Machine Unironically

If you’re sending faxes in [current year] and it’s not for a niche retro business or because you’re a time traveler from the ’90s, I hate to break it to you, but even the office plants are judging you. Technology called, and it wants to introduce you to this century.

  1. Your Business Plan Includes the Phrase “Trust Me, It’ll Go Viral”

Ah, the eternal optimism of going viral. If your business plan relies heavily on the hope of becoming an overnight sensation due to a fluke internet meme, you might be banking more on luck than on solid strategy. Unless your cat is the next Grumpy Cat, maybe it’s time to pivot.

  1. You’re Not Just Riding the Struggle Bus; You’re Driving It

Every entrepreneur knows the Struggle Bus. It’s where you spend more time fixing problems than actually running your business. If you’ve named the bus, have a designated parking spot for it, and know all the regular passengers by name, it might be time to hop off at the next stop.

  1. Your Business Logo Still Features Clip Art

Nothing screams “I peaked in the early 2000s” like clip art in your logo. If your branding looks like it was crafted using Microsoft Word ’97, it might not just be your fashion sense that’s stuck in a time warp.

  1. You Get Excited About a “Like” on Social Media

When the highlight of your day is getting a single “like” on your business’s latest social media post (and it’s from your second account), it’s either time to up your social media game or reconsider your life choices, and maybe look into company liquidation. You know things aren’t going well, right?

  1. Your Idea of Networking is Adding Randoms on LinkedIn

If your networking strategy involves adding everyone on LinkedIn in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will care about your business, it’s time to rethink your approach. Quality over quantity, folks.

  1. The Market for Your Product is as Crowded as a Clowns’ Car

Entering a saturated market isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your business, but if you’re trying to introduce the world to yet another brand of artisanal, gluten-free, non-GMO, fairy-dust-infused beard oil, you might be too late to the party.

  1. You Think “Pivot” is Just a Friends Reference

The business world’s favorite buzzword, “pivot,” means more than just Ross Geller trying to move a couch. If the idea of changing your business strategy sounds as appealing as a root canal, it might be a sign that you’re more in love with the idea of your business than the reality of making it successful.

  1. You’re Reading This Blog Post Hoping For a Sign

Let’s be real. If you clicked on this post looking for a cosmic sign about the fate of your business, then, my friend, consider this it. Sometimes the universe’s messages are subtle, and sometimes they’re in the form of a snarky blog post.

  1. Your Business Meetings Look Like Séances

You’re gathered around a table, the lights are dim, and everyone’s summoning the spirit of motivation – but all you get are eerie silences and awkward glances. If your team meetings feel more like attempts to contact the other side than actual strategy sessions, it might be a sign the business spirit has left the building.

  1. You’ve Become a Connoisseur of Instant Noodles

Your diet is a direct reflection of your business’s financial health, and lately, you’ve become an expert on the nuanced flavors of instant ramen. While there’s nothing wrong with a good noodle slurp, if “gourmet” to you means adding an egg to your Cup Noodles, it might be time to reassess your cash flow.

  1. The Highlight of Your Sales Pitch is “It’s Not a Pyramid Scheme”

If you find yourself reassuring potential investors or customers that your business model is, in fact, not a pyramid scheme, you might want to reconsider your pitch. A solid business idea should stand on its own merits, not on the assurances that it’s legally distinct from a scam.

  1. You Use Your Business Card More as a Toothpick Than Networking Tool

When the most action your business card sees is when it’s cleaning your teeth after lunch, it might be a sign to refresh your outreach strategies. A great business card should open doors, not just dental gaps.

  1. Your Office Mascot is a Dust Bunny

If the most lively thing in your office is a dust bunny you’ve named “Gary,” it might be time to inject some life back into your workspace – or consider if your business still has a pulse. Remember, a clean and lively office space reflects the health and dynamism of your business.

Spot several of these signs, it could be time to act fast and try and pull your business back from the brink, but if that is not possible, you might just need to let it go!