Perhaps your business started great. Your plan kicked butt, cash flow was tremendous, and customers loved you. They kept coming back. Now it is a few years later (or more), and your business seems to be flat-lining. It needs a comeback, it needs jazzing up again, and you can make it happen. (No one else will!)
Identify What Is Going On
What is the problem, or more likely, what are the problems? Perhaps you simply need time off because you are burnt out. Train someone capable, and enjoy a month or six in the sun!
Chances are, though, that the issues run deeper, although burnout may be part of them. Companies fail for reasons including too-quick expansion, an inability to gauge the competition, and a business model that is not sustainable for the long term. It’s going to be painful, but you need to dig within yourself to figure out why your business is in a rut. Outside perspectives can be a great help, too.
Check Key Aspects
If you are still having problems identifying what is causing your downward spiral, look again at each aspect of your business. In fact, do this even if you think you know what is going on per #1 above. It could be that you have concurrent issues. Finances, processes, strategy, branding, products/services, customers, people, and marketing are all critical areas to study.
Get More Education
Your business could be in need of a comeback for a good reason! For example, maybe it grew too quickly and went stagnant from there, but its potential remains tremendous. Or perhaps you have a great idea but iffy execution. In many cases, furthering your education is just the trick in reviving your company. Schools that offer MBAs abound; for example, if you get more information about Washington State’s online mba options, you learn that business schools strengthen your collaboration skills, get you more comfortable with the world of international business, and introduce you to people who can change your life.
Your company is far from alone. As an article from the University of Maryland explains, Delta, General Motors, and even Apple (yes! Apple!) have all rebounded from serious trouble. You can seek support from fellow business people who have found success despite dire odds; inspirational books abound.
Bring in Someone from the Outside
This was touched on earlier and deserves more explanation. You might be too close to your business to see it’s flaws—and its potential. Outsiders such as consultants or even marketers can lend insight into the mistakes you are making as well as what you are doing well.
Of course, it is possible that you simply are ready to move on from your business. Maybe it has run its course, or your desire to own it has ended. If this is the case, you have plenty of options such as selling it or taking a largely hands-off role. In any case, the suggestions above should help you stage a business comeback—if that’s what you want. As a quote commonly attributed to Winston Churchill goes, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”