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Closing my business

Closing my business

I’ve been struggling over the past year or so with whether or not to close a business that I have. Now it’s decision time.

The business hasn’t been making much money, mainly because I’ve had a terrible time booking clients. The clients I do book are extremely happy afterwards — ecstatic even. There just aren’t enough of them! And the advertising and trade show expenses necessary to get those few clients has been extremely high. Add in equipment costs, cell phone bills, memberships, insurance, costs of production, materials, my time, self-employment tax, sales tax, income tax, etc and things look even bleaker. The business is profitable, but barely, and that’s only because I pay myself pretty much nothing. It’s a lot of work for very little return. I could make more getting paid minimum wage.

So I would not miss the discouraging aspects of it. But I will miss doing the thing that the business is based on. I really enjoy that aspect of it, which is the reason that I gave the business another year. I wanted to see if I could cut back on advertising significantly but still maintain my number of clients. Let’s just say that that didn’t work. I only got one client that way.

So I’m sad about this, but I think the business has to go. I just need to double-check on the tax implications, and make sure I’m not missing anything important. There are other questions too, like “What will I do with all of the sales and trade show materials?”. They’re not anything that could be used by another company, since they were all made specifically for my business. At least I will free up some storage space, and some time in my life.

View Comments (7)
  • The reality of self employment and business ownership is, I have found, not what one has in mind when one is dreaming those dreams. The main hang-up that a lot of people have is sales and marketing–getting clients. The work itself is easy by comparison.

    You gave it a shot, though, and if you’re putting in a ton of work and not getting enough back, and you can’t see how to turn it around, then yes, it’s time to cut it loose and look for more profitable ways of working.

  • When deciding to sell our business, I felt almost like I was losing a child. Ownership is so personal. Even now, nearly 6 months later I’m still feeling twinges of loss. Although, to be honest, the new feelings of freedom and time are awesome.

    Life is just too short to work yourself to death.

    Another reason, selling my property is seeming so easy for me.

  • Its a hard decision but sometimes you have to make it. Closing the business doesn’t mean you can’t ever do that type of work again.

    What about the possibility of scaling back and keeping this as a side business?

  • That’s true Matt, and I could always reopen it again in the future if I want to. Scaling back isn’t really an option, since it was a side business to begin with.

  • The easiest (and probably most profitable) way for me to continue doing this would be as an employee or contractor for someone else. I may go for that in the future, but for now I’m letting it go.

  • If it was a side business and you really enjoy the work would it be possible to find other ways to generate clients? Like internet marketing maybe?
    Another possibility is to team up with someone that is better at the selling and marketing side and share profits, etc.

  • I feel your pain. I recently took a job to support my ‘entrepreneurial addiction.’ :-) It was a tough decision but I believe it will be for the best in the long run. Good luck and as others have said. At least you tried, you learned, and you can share your experiences with others!

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