5 Ways to Conduct Business CPR

It is a grim reality that more than half of new businesses fail within the first five years. Keep in

mind, however, that firms rarely fail overnight. In fact, if you take a closer look, it becomes clear that there are some key signs to look out for to help you identify a failing business months in advance.

Some of these signs include growth grinding to a halt, poor cash flow management, and a lack of innovation or differentiation from competitors. One common mistake that business owners make when trying to revive a dying business is to cut expenses, but this tends to only delay the inevitable. So what can a business owner do to shift back into gear?


Pivoting can mean many different things to different businesses. For some, it may mean changing your business model. For others, it can mean shifting your target customer. Perhaps you thought you would get better sales figures with beauty gurus when you actually stand to have better luck with hairdressers.

You might also need to consider selling an entirely different product or service. This can tend to happen when a business owner didn’t properly validate their business ideas or products before launching.


A rebrand isn’t typically the first thing business owners think about when sales begin to plummet. Still, at times when products or businesses aren’t properly positioned, a rebrand might be necessary to breathe new life into your sales.

A rebrand that jump-starts a dying business isn’t as simple as changing your logo. Instead, a total overhaul is required: your brand’s approach to how it positions itself in the market will need to be reconsidered.


When a business owner takes on too many projects, it is easy for a business to begin to stretch itself too thin. In some cases, a lack of focus can mean that the firm’s target niche is too broad; if your target customer is “everyone”, what that really means is “nobody”.

As such, getting specific about your target customer is essential. Make sure you know who your customer is. Don’t try to be all things to all people.


Re-evaluate your current marketing plan. Are you making the most of social media? Is your website optimized and appearing in searches when your customers are out looking for you? Or maybe you overestimated your market size, or your market research needs an update.

A new marketing plan can help reinvigorate your business by giving you a blank slate. If your business is on the way out, then clearly your current marketing strategy isn’t working out. Time for a new plan to get out of that rut.

Take More Risks

Many businesses interpret a challenging time as a time to play it safe. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth: in a time of crisis, taking a bold risk can often be the best course of action to save a dying business. It sounds harsh, but it’s true: this is the time when you have the least to lose, so you’re better off trying something new than being conservative.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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