How Long Should You Hang Onto Your Home-Based Business Dream?

by : Vishal P. Rao

A home-based business becomes for the business owner, an entity in and of itself. Because so much hard work, blood, sweat and tears goes into every home-based business, it is easy to view it as having a "life" of its own and a home-based business can be more real to the business owner than anything else in their lives.

However, there is also a dark side to a home-based business, especially one that is failing miserably. Part of being successful within a work-at-home dream also means knowing "when" to quit, or "fold". A home-based business can be like a game of cards, when the "losses" exceed the "wins", it may be time to give up on the business and either start another one, or look into other forms of outside employment.

It has been said, "that most entrepreneurs fail three to five times" before they actually start a business that succeeds. Although it is imperative that entrepreneurs be persistent, not being able to accept failure, when it is obvious that failure has occurred, can be extremely detrimental.

So, how does an entrepreneur "know" when it is time to give up or when they should continue? Simple, the amount of actual "suffering" needs to be measured. The following "suffering measurement" should take into account:

1. What type of debt the entrepreneur is accruing, and how many bills and necessary needs are being neglected. No one should live without food, clothing, shelter or the necessary medical care needed for a gratifying life. If a home-based business is constantly leaving the business owner without funds with which to sustain life, then it is probably time to quit.

2. What type of emotional pain is the entrepreneur facing? If the business has become so stressful because of mounting debt, or the entrepreneur's family is turning against them because of the business, then it is probably time to quit.

3. If there is a chance of losing a home or other holdings and property because of the bills engendered during the business, then it is probably time to quit.

4. If the frustration of having the business and handling the day to day operations surrounding the business is greater than the pleasure of owning the business, then it is probably time to quit.

Notice I have only mentioned the fact that it is "probably time to quit". No one but the actual business owner can sufficiently measure when a business should be declared a failure and when they, the business owner, should walk away.

Let's face it, even older businesses can face renewed challenges to their survival. Markets can change drastically sometimes, seemingly overnight. Consumer behavior also can change quickly. Newer businesses can face start-up challenges, but older businesses can encounter significant "bumps in the road" to business success as well.

All the above factors need to be weighed carefully before deciding either to "quit" or "stay" with the home-based business.

There are some methods that can be successful for alleviating some of the financial and emotional stress that accompanies a failing business:

1. An outside source of employment can be taken "temporarily", and the business can be worked on "part-time" in an entrepreneur's free time.

2. Loans and grants can be taken to alleviate financial strains until the business becomes solvent.

3. The entrepreneur can enlist the aid of family and friends, by allowing them to "buy into" the business, or by forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), wherein the business owner is no longer solely responsible for debts or liabilities. Most new business owners start with a Sole Proprietorship model, so switching to the more encompassing LLC may indeed aid the business in its quest for survival.

4. Business owners can "downsize" their expenditures, both in the business, and in their personal lives. Downsizing of expenditures can literally save thousands per month and may indeed "save" the business from ruin!

In reality, there is no "shame" in failure. Failure at anything only teaches valuable lessons, lessons that may be incorporated into success at another time! If you're suffering in your home-based business, don't allow pride to stop you from admitting defeat and moving forward in another area of life! That's what being an entrepreneur is really all about.