Contract over, what now?


A Fin24 user is struggling to keep her business on track after her contract with a large company came to an end. She writes:

In 2010 I started a manufacturing company focusing on personal care products. I landed a contract with a blue chip company but this contract has come to an end.

I'm now struggling to make ends meet and need some advice on which direction to go i.e. my business has no strategic road map.

I've tried getting my product onto retail store shelves but due to limited budget, no marketing is being done and consumers don't buy.

Really in need of advice.

Fetola director Catherine Wijnberg responds:

Losing a major client can be a blessing in disguise, as it forces one to review the vision and re-affirm your expectations. Start by considering what you want for yourself personally - for example, do you have the energy for this business, or would you really rather step back into a job?

If you are unclear, perhaps go through the motions of preparing your CV and scanning for job opportunities, and remember what it feels like to work for a boss (that process alone can consolidate your commitment to your own business!).

Then review your business vision - do you really believe in your products, do you enjoy being a manufacturer, do you love to satisfy your client's needs?

Can you envision where you would like the business to be - and does this feel good to you? Perhaps create a checklist of what you like/dislike about your business and see how you can get around the things you don't like, to create what you really love.

In my experience it is often these emotional barriers that are the real road-blocks to progress, so once you have re-kindled your belief in the future, and re-built some self-confidence (Dr Demartini - Breakthrough Experience is a great book for motivation) you can start a drive for new clients.

Then my recommendation is simply to personally call each potential client and make a friend, find out what their needs are, and understand how you can be of service to this need .

If you need ongoing assistance to turn things around try contacting an SME support group - such as our Fetola Mentor Hotline.

Good luck - entrepreneurs see 'failure' as simply a stepping stone to success - you can do it!

- Fin24

* Share your experience of setting up a business or simply ask a question. Our business panel can put you on the right path.

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