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When anyone embarks on a startup, they do so in the knowledge that things don’t always work out. In fact, an estimated 90% of startups flounder and die, with 50% doing so in their first year. Those are pretty bleak statistics for anyone investing in a new enterprise. But, if you have an idea and a passion for pursuing it, you might have cast caution to the wind and tried making a go of things anyway.

But, things didn’t entirely pay off, and you now face the reality of failing. Profits are collapsing, and you’re starting to see holes in your business plans. In fact, your savings are the only life support keeping things afloat, and those are fading fast. So much so that you’re considering pulling the plug and letting your startup die in dignity.

In truth, there are some situations when this is the best choice. Knowing when to give up will always be better than trying to breathe life into a dead startup. But, many entrepreneurs also make the mistake of pulling the plug when a company still has life left in it. Rather than a kindness, this is a cruelty to your dreams. So, look for these signs of a pulse before even thinking about putting an end to things.

You have loyal followers

Often, startups fail because they can’t find an audience. That’s a pretty fatal flaw to come back from. But, in some instances, a strong following is the least of your worries. Instead, it may be that you can’t afford to make enough products, or that you’re unable to expand. But, that’s nothing you can’t fix by applying for business grants. A lack of audience may be the nail in your business coffin, but finance issues are easy enough to fix. So, check your audience. If you have decent amounts of followers who still believe in you, pulling the plug might not be your only option.

Your staff still believe in what you’re doing

If you’re lucky enough to have a team on board, consider whether they still have faith in what you’re doing. Employees are always a good judge, given that they’re only really with you for monetary gain. If your ship was sinking, they’d have no real reason to stay on board. So, if they’re still faithful enough to fight, it’s a sign that the situation may not be as bleak as you’re thinking. And, given that they’re still willing to work hard for you, they could provide the kiss of life your company needs.

More ideas in the brain bank

Even something as simple as a backlog of ideas could be pulse enough to justify carrying on. If you’re dried up and done on the idea front, then things stand little chance of improving. But, if you still have a wealth of ideas for product improvements and marketing strategies, then giving up would be foolhardy at best. After all, any one those ideas could strike gold for all you know.