All entrepreneurs who want their businesses to succeed must be loyal to their ideas. This means being willing to persevere through tough times, even when it seems that they're all alone. However, even the most committed inventors have to face the reality that not all products become best sellers. At some point, an entrepreneur has to consider if it's worth his or her time to continue investing their energies into an idea that has yet to show any potential. If you're a small business owner, how do you know when to walk away from your idea?
1. You can't get a second meeting with any investors or business partners.
A good measurement as to whether you should continue pursuing your idea or not is to count the number of second meetings you've had with potential sources of small business funding like investors. While it's promising to have investors show initial interest in your business, if you can't get these potential partners to commit to your product or to arrange a follow-up meeting after hearing your proposal, it may be time to throw in the towel.
2. No one else is pursuing your idea.
Are you all alone in pursuing your business? Being a maverick is a great quality to have when you're first starting out, but it can also prove to be a liability if you're still going it alone several months or years later. Every business owner needs to have helpful contacts that can help him or her expand into new markets, find new clients, or secure new funding during a tight economy. If you're still the only one following your idea after a long time, you may be fighting a losing battle.
3. Other products in your target field are superior to yours.
Have your competitors surpassed your original idea? If you see other products in your target market that perform more efficiently and sell more regularly, you might be better served to try another idea altogether.
4. You're losing interest.
Your interest level in your company may be the best gauge of all in deciding when to shelve your idea. If the amount of time and effort it takes to keep your business going is sapping your desire or passion, you might not have the drive to go on with your endeavor.
Giving up on an original business idea can be very difficult, especially if you've been pursuing it for some time. However, being willing to relinquish your current project may make it easier for you to find inspiration for a new idea.