Questions by Business Start Ups: how do I know if I’m flogging a dead horse?

There comes a time in every young business when the cold light of day suddenly comes peeping through the windows of the illustrious entrepreneur who has been tending their new business with the love and care that befits the bright young thing of their imaginations.

The sunshine -welcomed in the real world of cash flows and budgets – is not of the warming variety though; it’s rays don’t contain the healing properties of ultraviolet light or the emotional buzz of the infrared. Instead, this sunshine shows the business up for all its deficiencies. The cash flow doesn’t flow; the market place is saturated with lookalikee businesses who are all struggling against the wind that blows down their alleyways; the business idea is just that – an idea which is not a business but just a bit of a wizard wheeze, dreamt up after too much Stella Artois, Indian takeaways or other toxic dream makers.

The bright young entrepreneur will say to themselves, after this cold shower of sunlight, so, what’s it all about Alfie? Is this a dead horse I’m flogging? An ex parrot I’m trying to resurrect? Or just a business idea that had a short but sweet life and has now outlived its usefulness and purpose in life? Does it matter any more?

And the bright young entrepreneur will recognise that there are just two questions which will provide the answer to that dilemma. Simply, is there any cash in the system? And do I have enough desire in my bones to make this work? If the answer to either of these questions is a resounding Yes, then there is still a possibility that all will come good.

A business without desire but plenty of cash will last for some time, but like the Titanic, will sink slowly and inexorably to the bottom of the ocean. But a business built on desire but without short term cash is not completely impossible; your desire will make up for that shortfall and there will always be a better, golden tomorrow when the cash flows to meet your febrile desires.

But If the answer to both these is no – ‘no cash, no desire’ then the BYE needs to throw back the curtains, let the cold light of day flood their apartment, pack their bags and get the hell out of town. Any further energies on the idea will be a waste of good time, sense, money, relations and sanity.

Read more on the desires of new businesses here:

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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