Is it Time to Walk Away From My Business?

Many entrepreneurs may ask themselves if they should begin to consider walking away from their business, perhaps more often than most would imagine. When the business is not performing up to the owner’s expectations, or the owner has begun to lose interest in the responsibilities that come with managing a startup, it is an opportune time to examine the available possibilities. While entrepreneurial personalities do not tend to be swift to surrender, sometimes it may be a positive choice to exit the business in order to maintain one’s livelihood. Stepping away from one’s life pursuit can be an extremely difficult decision, but oftentimes it is a necessary one. The following guide examines various situations and helps ask the questions: is it worth moving forward or time to walk away from my business?

1. Financials

The first time that most entrepreneurs begin to question their endeavor is when their financials are not up to par and the business is not as profitable as he or she anticipated. However, just because times have become difficult, this does not mean that it is worth throwing away all of the time, money, and sacrifices that have already been invested into the business. It is important to ask oneself the following questions. Is this just a bad month? Could something be done differently in the sales and marketing aspect to boost the client base? Is there an outside factor that is contributing to this decline? If all resources have not yet been exhausted, then it may not be worth giving up on quite yet.

On the other hand, if the owner has begun using personal credit cards for business purchases and it has become difficult to keep employees on the payroll, this is when an option to dissipate the business must be seriously considered. If months have gone by and there has only been a decrease in sales and piling on of debt, it is not worth the risk of owner ruining their own credit and delving into an even deeper hole of debt. In most cases, an owner can allow their company to go bankrupt without allowing it to affect their personal finances.

2. Emotions

Many business owners may extend themselves for longer than is reasonable because they feel that they have invested too much time, energy and money to allow it all go to waste now. This is a poor excuse for not walking away from something that is making one deeply unhappy. It can be an extremely difficult decision to walk away from something that has consumed so much of one’s life. However, it is also important to consider how much has been learned during the process. All is not lost if one has become a better businessperson (or person in general) and has gained a lot of new, marketable skills.

Think back to the purpose of establishing this business in the first place. Was it to be free of a corporate ladder, or was it due to a need to pave one’s own way? Are those core values still being achieved? While quitting whenever things get hard is not the way to live one’s life, on the other hand, it is important to do what feels best in order to live a more fulfilled life. If the business disappeared today, with no monetary repercussions, would the owner be a happier person?

3. Outside Feedback

The business owner’s perspective is going to be a biased one no matter what, which is why asking for outside feedback from family, friends, and business partners will allow one to make a more balanced decision. Perhaps the business owner had not been aware of the negative affect being at the office all day had on the children, or others may see financial warning signs that the owner chose to ignore.

After receiving the opinions of others, remember that the decision is only truly up to one person.

Selling the business can be a positive option for someone who feels that it is time to exit. A new owner with different resources and a fresh outlook may be able to breathe new life into the business. A business broker can offer counsel on how to best approach the exit. He or she can determine whether or not the company would be good on the market, and can assist with finding the right buyer for the business. Should the owner be unable to sell the business due to its financial state, an auction of assets is the best plan of action. Rather than simply closing the doors and paying back all business debts, use the remaining assets to cover these costs.

We at George & Company would love to assist you in making the correct decision about what you should do about your feelings towards your small business. Selling a business is often a beneficial choice for those who are no longer interested in running their startup. Feel free to contact us in complete confidentiality to learn more.