Small business troubles don't happen overnight. In fact, it's not uncommon for warning signs to exist for months — or even years — before corrective action is taken. Unfortunately, for some small businesses, help comes too late. Knowing the early indicators of potential trouble can keep your business heading in the right direction.
Let's face it. It's easier to stick our head in the sand and ignore what's truly going on in our business. By doing so, we can pretend it’s just a hiccup on the road to success that will self-correct in time. Delaying corrective action, however, places your business in jeopardy as cash flow dwindles and limits your options to turn things around.
The following list contains some of the early indicators that your small business may be at risk for greater troubles ahead. Take heed!
1. Revenue is flat or declining.
2. Difficulty in paying bills and/or meeting payroll.
3. Working more hours just to “hold on.”
4. Potential leads dwindling.
5. Client complaints increasing.
6. Passion for business waning.
7. Prices reduced to spark sales.
8. Client lifespan is declining.
9. Systems overwhelmed by demand.
10. Critical spending cut back.
11. Vital follow-up time postponed or put off.
12. Unable to honor commitments or meet deliverables.
13. Inability to keep up with the pace of growth. “Things” fall through the cracks.
14. Billing cycle lags behind schedule.
15. Dread going to work — and you own the place!
Any one of these early warning signs can put your business in tailspin. Combined? It spells disaster for small business dreams.
The Good News
Are you ready for a little good news? Of course you are! Early warning signs are foreseeable and preventable! Awareness, alone, can help you take immediate action to change the trajectory of your momentum.
Are you curious how your business measures up? Download the Core Business Assessment for insights into how your business is doing.