The following is a list of “symptoms” of decay in a small enterprise that is in decline and delaying taking the action needed to turn the situation towards survival. Decay sets in and delaying of action strengthens the decaying process. The list is not exhaustive and was developed from conversations with small and micro enterprise owners, especially those who had survived start-up, but were now experiencing a flattening or even decline of their initial growth curve.
1. You’ve never really properly set up – the legal form isn’t appropriate, clear nor fully committed to
2. Tinkering with a web site you aren’t really satisfied with. The web site isn’t getting hits, and is never satisfactorily completed
3. You keep re-inventing yourself,. There is no clear internal or external identity
4. You have a “fine” concept and ideology but haven’t persuaded customers to buy
5. You have an alterative model of marketing that makes sense to you, but isn’t quite working
6. You have bursts of effort and motivation but it isn’t enough so far to effect a successful launch
7. You haven’t genuinely developed a business plan that you find authentically useful
8. You keep tinkering with the product
9. Advertising is patchy, inconsistent and not planned nor derived from the business plan
10 You keep engaging in displacement spending and effort
11. You are plagued by self-doubt – will it work? Is it worth it?
12. Your concept is too complicated and requires too much justification and explanation
13. You are burning out doing your own administration
14. You are stuck having to earn money from other sources to survive which saps the energy required to really launch