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Quitting Your Startup? 5 Key Considerations.

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by Startacus Admin

Bettina Pickering is the founder of Aronagh (, a leadership and behavioural change consultancy, that helps entrepreneurs create and adopt the mindset and behaviours, they need for success. Quitting your Startup?  5 Key Considerations

"500 000 new businesses were registered in the UK in 2014 according to Companies House. This number seems to increase year on year. 50% - that is 250 000 - of these startups will have closed their doors within 2-3 years of starting up say figures provided by insurer RSA.

Research cites numerous reasons why these start-ups do not make it beyond the 3-year mark including:

  • Lack of focus

  • Cashflow problems

  • Work/Life Balance Issues

  • Lack of knowledge

  • Insufficient funding

  • Productivity issues

  • Lack of customers

  • Inadequate technology & automation

Most successful entrepreneurs have faced these reasons at one time or another. Most found solutions that work for their business to ensure that these start-up failure reasons do not happen to them again.

If you are thinking of quitting your startup because of any of the above reasons, here are five things to consider first:

  1. The big WHY

Quitting your Startup?  5 Key ConsiderationsMost entrepreneurs I know start their own business because they believe in their idea and they believe in something bigger than themselves.

Before quitting, go back to your big WHY – the real, compelling reason why you started this business in the first place.

Write down your WHYs. Do it. Don’t let yourself of the hook from making those millions, making a difference in the world or getting your message out there.

If your original big WHY does not resonate with you anymore, find out what your big WHY is now. There is no shame or failure in this. Things can change.

Once you have your current big WHY you can make a decision based on total clarity whether to quit or stay, and what action to take next.

  1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get – be a leader and ask for help

One reason why startups fail is because founders often

  • believe they need to do everything themselves. Or they believe that no one can do it as well as they can.

They get overwhelmed by minutiae low value activities instead of doing what they should be doing: focussing on the big picture, generating ideas and getting their business out there.

  • do not ask for help! They believe they have to figure it out on their own or go it alone. That is a total fallacy.

  • believe that there is no help out there! And that is wrong.

In fact, there are a whole lot of government or foundation sponsored programmes, mentors, and investors who are willing and able to help.

So before quitting your startup, investigate what start-up help is out there, get an outside second opinion from a good business mentor or reach out to networks such as Startacus to be put in touch with someone who can inject impactful quick win or turnaround actions.

  1. The Power of ‘What If’Quitting your Startup?  5 Key Considerations

What is the true reason that you want to throw in the towel.

  • Fear of success?

  • Fear of failure?

  • Too little work / life balance?

  • Lack of money?

Whatever it is, ask yourself what if this problem did not exist? What if I had all the funds I needed? What if ……..? What would I do then?

If your answer is that you would continue with your start-up, it is time to get creative or get help from someone who’s been there and done it. If your answer is, that you would quit regardless, continue to point 5.

  1. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Make an inventory of your learnings and your startup reality right now:

  • what is great about your start-up (the GOOD)?

  • what could be improved (the BAD)?

  • what is a mess (the UGLY)?

Have a look at your three buckets, and ask yourself: Does the good outweigh the other parts? If not, what is your motivation level and ability to address the bad & the ugly.

Sometimes it only takes a very small adjustment to refocus a start-up and move it from ‘the point of no return’ to the road to success.

  1. No loose ends

Quitting your Startup?  5 Key ConsiderationsIf you decide to quit, make sure you do not have any regrets, shame or blame. Sometimes running a startup is not the right thing or life circumstances change and we need the stability employment brings. Wind down quickly and get out.

Identify what loose ends there are in the business and for you. Make a plan and close each loose end down systematically. This does not just include actions that need to be completed, people to be informed, legal issues to be taken care of. It does also include celebrating the wins and the achievements, no matter how small these now appear.

A number of my clients found that by closing down loose ends, opportunities that they had not seen before, surfaced. They chose to continue with their startup focussing on those ‘new’ opportunities making their business a success.

Prevention is better than cure.

I always recommend that any start-up or micro business invest some quality time on a quarterly business review.  

When done right and honestly, these business reviews can highlight significant blind spots, core business issues, missed opportunities and growth quick wins that otherwise would never be noticed. Once identified these business derailers can be addressed quickly before they hurt the business and stunt its growth"

Bettina would love to hear how you have used any of the above ideas, what insights you gained from this article or what brilliant results had! You can email them to [email protected] or tweet them @Aronagh_Coach.

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Published on: 17th September 2015

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