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Struggling to Turn a Profit

December 3, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHoliday music was playing in the background at a beautiful, free civic symphony concert given by a shopping mall. I was drawn to the event because a woman entrepreneur I knew had opened up a café in the mall and wanted to show me her new venue.

In the midst of symphonic tunes, this woman told me about her six year struggle to keep her business afloat at the old venue. The quaint brick house, which was home to her restaurant, boutique and catering business for six years, simply didn’t attract the clientele she needed to be profitable. Every year she contemplated closing the business and giving up on her dream.

The week she finally decided she would make the heart wrenching decision to close up shop, a woman who found her business through our online business directory, approached her about opening up a second café in their expanding shopping mall.  After inspecting the space, which was double the size of her current café, with an affordable rental fee and automatic higher traffic pattern, she seized the unexpected opportunity. Proudly she told me she had been making monthly profits since making the decision – the first monthly profits in years.  I’m not sure which was more joyful – her smile or the music playing behind us.

If you have been struggling with making a profit, take some advice from this story.  Women start companies to make money and create a financial income and future for themselves. We don’t intend our businesses to be hobbies where we dedicate time to something we love without generating revenue.  So if you’ve been struggling for three to five years to turn a profit, something’s not right. You owe it to yourself to make some changes; and those changes might involve larger risks.

Second, trust your instinct. Pay close attention to why you believe your business is not doing well.  Is it location? Is it pricing? Is it a saturated marketplace? Is it your sales approach? Empty your gut instincts onto a piece of paper and then research the hard, cold facts of your business to see if your instincts are valid.  Third, if you want to make your company profitable, seek counsel from a business advisor, revise your business plan and take the extra risks you need.

If you find yourself on the precipice of giving up, dedicate more time to making the right decision to lead you to a more joyful new entrepreneurial year

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