Home – New Forums Other discussions when to know when to let the business go.

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #978781
    mediaman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 148
    Up
    0
    ::

    The more I talk to people in small business these days, the more I realise it is tougher than ever.

    Sure, thete are some businesses thst have found an exclusive niche and are ‘killing it’ and good for them. But some of us have been in business for years; the landscape is changing and perhaps our product or service is no longer as desired as it once was.

    I have always made decent money from the business but, either because of bad management or whatever, we have never – in 20 years – been able to have a decent financial backup or savings account for when times are hard. Most years have been good but there are indeed tough periods…and this year is probably our second year where the financial stress is at the point where I feel it is perhaps time to rethink.

    Sure, I have dreams for the business moving forward, but we neither have the money or time to chase ‘dreams’. Even more relevant as the family has grown to 4 kids.

    I am sick and tired of having no money. So is my wife. And it puts major stress on the family. Every year wr have periods ehere the financial stress is almost too much to bare.

    So, even though this business has been my sole source of income for 20 years and I do have dreams for it, when do you decide to simply walk away?

    We are currently experiencing some financial stress, but not as bad as last year. I am actually thinking of getting some shift work so I can work nights and do at least some of my current work through the day.

    Its hard, though. Getting older and feeling your ‘dreams’ slip away instead of getting closet as you had hoped they would.

    Then again, I reckon having at least some financial certainty by getti.g a job would outweigh the disappointment of your business slipping away.

    #1109475
    mediaman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 148
    Up
    0
    ::

    Something I forgot to ask was have any of you decided to close a business and it was the best thing you did, or do any of you supplement your ability to run a business more successfully by also having an outside job?

    #1109476
    yourvirtualboard
    Member
    • Total posts: 569
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m sorry to hear things are tough for you, as for walking away, with your 20 year history you’d probably be the best judge – sure many will tell you to tough it out and never give up but sometimes and for some businesses there comes a time.

    If your heart is no longer in the business or you believe there are more suitable alternatives for you and your family then these need to be weighed up. Hanging on because it’s expected or general consensus isn’t the best strategy. We get one go around on this planet and doing something that doesn’t bring joy shouldn’t be how to spend it.

    Before making any final decision I’d recommend writing up all the pluses and minuses (objectively) and then working out what makes the most sense.

    #1109477
    SuzsSpace
    Participant
    • Total posts: 692
    Up
    0
    ::

    Things are tough in the outside world, getting a job is pretty hard and there are so many people who are being retrenched/sacked (use the word you prefer). If you can find the energy I’d recommend going the night shift to supplement the business rather than quitting completely.

    #1109478
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Mediaman,

    I’m also sorry to hear times are tough – and clearly playing on your mind. However, it doesn’t sound from your post like you are actually ready or wanting to move on from your business. Your use of the word ‘dream’ a couple of times suggests to me that you would love for your business to continue and provide what you need it to?

    You said you have been in the biz for 20 years. Maybe it’s time, rather than walking away, to find some ways to supplement some income like you suggested – and, find a way to invest some $ and time into revamping a marketing strategy or focus on newer strategies etc? If you have survived 20 years, it suggests you have a good business and for the most part are able to gain clients/work etc and make an income from it. With the right marketing strategy, ideas and/or consultant perhaps you can move the business forwards and achieve the dreams you have for it?

    Perhaps a separate thread over in the sales & marketing forum on Flying Solo could allow you to get some feedback, thoughts and advice about your current promotional activities and what you might be able to do to step it up a notch, without having to invest too much money? You mention that perhaps your product/service is no longer desired. Well, perhaps it is – you just need a new way of reminding people they need your business?

    Promote your business wherever you are – including adding a signature to your profile here on Flying Solo so we can all see your business and what you do etc.. you never know where new business might come from!

    Just my 2c. I hope that all goes well for you, whatever you decide :)

    #1109479
    LifeIsABeach
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    Up
    0
    ::
    mediaman, post: 121821 wrote:
    Something I forgot to ask was have any of you decided to close a business and it was the best thing you did, or do any of you supplement your ability to run a business more successfully by also having an outside job?

    It is not surprising that when business is tough it is also very tough to get a Job. If you can get extra work and have the energy to do both then go for it I would say. You have 4 kids to look after so you cannot shirk your responsibility to the family either.

    There is this story of a wild elephant who was chained for several years. after many years the new owners let him go and guess what? He did not want to run – he did not know what freedom was anymore. This is exactly what happens we chain ourselves in mental shackles and never realize we always have the freedom.

    You need to analyse if:

    a) new thinking can bring a turnaround for your business OR
    b) your business is no longer profitable due to external factors

    But you need to find a Job first.

    #1109480
    kathiemt
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,167
    Up
    0
    ::

    I think it’s time to take a reprieve. Not end your business but rather take a break from it for a short time. The best way (in my thinking) is to find a temporary job, or perhaps a part-time job that hopefully brings in decent casual rates, so you can step back from your business for a bit to start doing some clear thinking. When we’re stuck in the middle of the forest it’s hard to see beyond it.

    Have you ever had a business coach look at your business? I went through a stage when I was feeling dry, like I didn’t have anything more to give and wasn’t sure whether to continue or retreat. Then I met Stuart who encouraged me to come to a group coaching session where you plan the next 90 days in your business. What I learnt that day made me realise that even though I’d been working with business coaches for some years as clients, I’d never actually had one assess my business (which was 12 years old at that stage) or help me see outside the box. While I thought I knew all that business coaches might tell me, the reality was I didn’t.

    End result was that I was able to get away from working 7 days a week as I’d had been, and drop it back to 5 and eventually 4 days a week for clients. I still work 5 days a week but the fifth day I keep for myself to write blog posts, do bookkeeping, marketing and all the other things I need to do to keep my business going. Stuart showed me ways to improve my working hours while maintaining my income. I actually began to move forward again and really enjoy the process – and achieved a long-term goal, writing and publishing a book. That was back in 2006. I’ve since written and published another book and have helped clients do the same thing – it gave me another service offering in the process.

    #1109481
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,528
    Up
    0
    ::

    dont waste your time talking to struggling businesses. nothing wrong with taking a step back to take two step forwards.

    you’ve been struggling all your life. sorry to say but that’s not business. we sometimes make the mistake of confusing years with experience. two different things altogether.

    get a job and clear your head. then go do a course on business growth strategies.

    most struggle because they don’t understand the changes in consumer behaviour since the GFC. i say consumer but mean people in general including b2b.

    once you learn how to connect and engage with prospects in the new economy, go and test it out for other businesses and make a deal where you get a good slice. get them to invest in the outlays. they will be happy to trial.

    when you start producing results, talk about getting a share of the business by out of the increased profits if you dont have cash.

    never walk away. just stop to think and reflect. if you’d like to have a chat (no charge), just pm with your number. just understand that your 20 yrs has not exactly been a waste.

    #1109482
    Warren Cottis
    Participant
    • Total posts: 807
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hey Media Man

    After 20 years of self employment you are not going to get a job commensurate with your ability unless you are unbelievably lucky or have a friend in government.

    As an employee you are going to die every day after the initial rush of ‘the first 30 days sensation of safety’

    What business can your business evolve into?

    The lady who opened up here about her children’s party business got some great suggestions… so let’s hear more about you please

    #1109483
    Divert To Mobile
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,751
    Up
    0
    ::

    after 20 years its easy to forget why you initially started.
    Think about your initial motivators for getting into business and see if they’re still applicable before making your decision.

    Steve

    #1109484
    TheGoldenGoose
    Member
    • Total posts: 860
    Up
    0
    ::

    So sorry to hear. This post breaks my heart.

    Sounds like you need a couple of weeks off, if possible?

    If you decide to move forward, you will probably need a good lot of strategising/rethinking/reshuffling your business to help get it started again.

    I think this is also key to your motivation too.

    As you mentioned, 20 years is along time, and in recent times there have been major shifts – social media, online shopping etc so will be worth seeing how it can keep up with the times.. of course, keeping in mind your budget.

    It is hard all round at the moment, all I keep hearing is businesses close their doors so by no means will this be an easy decision.

    Best of luck.

    #1109485
    jamee88
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
    Up
    0
    ::

    Getting a job nowadays is far more difficult. you should stick to your already established business. What you must consider is diversifying into related areas so that if one product has become less desirable, you atleast have another backup to keep the income flowing in. Plus you must sit and think out where you could possibly try to market yourself again, and this time try out newer methods as old ones may have become obsolete and ineffective:)

    #1109486
    mediaman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 148
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks to you all…great advice and ideas.

    Our main problem is that our cash flow is sporadic and our client base is too limited to maintain any kind of cash flow when times are slow as they are now. As with any business, our ever increasing outgoings don’t afford us the luxury of periods of time without income. And we have no savings…they were all spent in last years downturn!

    The business still has potential and I still have the passion, I just need some kind of regulated cash flow either by getting a job to work alongside the business, or to embrace the other perhaps unseen opportunities my business has in front of it. Feeling yourself going broke means it is hard to focus on anything. The pressure at the moment on me, my family and the business is intense to say the least…and keeping your head clear is next to impossible.

    I think I have some excellent ideas. But they will all cost time and money and getting opportunities off the ground doesnt fix the immediate problem of lack of cash, anyway. We need a solution now and I think that will come in the form of a nightshift job while maintaining and repairing/mproving the business the best I can.

    I know it will be hard, but I am also aware I wouldn’t be the first one to have more than one job to keep the family home !!

    And there are jobs out there…perhaps the answer is not to be too choosy.

    Again, thanks for your responses.

    #1109487
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
    Up
    0
    ::

    Good on you mediaman, and thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Hope things turn around soon. More power to you.

    Jayne

    #1109488
    ABC
    Member
    • Total posts: 32
    Up
    0
    ::

    Media man
    Stumbled onto your post and I am sorry to hear about the difficult times you are going through.

    You sounded tired in the first post (understandable) but your last post sounds like you are getting a clearer mind and keeping perspective. If you can take on a second job then it will buy you some much needed buffer and hopefully, with that, less stress and a clearer mind.

    You are probably already doing this but it is worth revisiting a budget for your family and the business. On the latter, what is the minimum you can manage the business without jeopardising the business – and on the personal front, what are your fixed expenses and what is discretionary. It can be scary having a snapshot but it will put you back in control – and you will know if the extra work will help and to what extent.

    Some other things to consider is whether you can, with a growing family, tap into some of the government benefits. It is not taking a handout – more drawing from the ‘tax’ bank account you have paid your share into. It is there to help when you are in need so please ensure you take advantage of it to create the buffer you need. Before long, you will be back in the swing of things and contributing back to the pool.

    Good luck
    abcvic

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.