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Question added to topic Grow Your BusinessJuly 28, 2011

How Do I Re-Start My Business?

I purchased a small deli, with no experience and as an absentee owner. After two years, many mistakes have been made and revenues have been declining. I'm thinking of closing the doors. But I still believe it can be a successful business and I'm wondering how to start over -- back to the startup process. But where do I begin? How can I find a manager who can help with the process? What are your suggestions?
Starting over can be smart, but also difficult. There's no set formula that applies. There are a lot of different ways to get there, but nothing is certain, nothing comes without risk and nothing is automatic.

Finding a new manager is a good idea -- especially someone who is knowledgeable and has experience. But the right person might be hard to motivate, meaning it will cost money, which means more risk. There's no guarantee.

Another good idea is to develop a business plan. I write about that a lot here, where I write a column on business plan coaching. You can see suggestions, tips, outlines and more.

A business plan doesn't have to be a big document like a term paper -- it can be a short collection of steps, objectives, projections, market strategy, programs and so on. Most importantly, it can help you take a fresh look and see the business from a different angle.

Related: An Introduction to Business Plans
Related: How to Assess Your Business's Goals and Objectives
Related: Five Critical Questions Your Business Plan Should Answer
Tim Berry is the president of Palo Alto Software Inc., based in Eugene, Ore., which produces business planning software. He is also the author of 3 Weeks to Startup and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press.

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