At one point, every business owner will close down or sell out and everyone has a different reason for doing so. I sold out because I became particularly spellbound by what I had been missing as an independent buniness owner. My growing obsession for vacation time, lunch breaks, gym memberships, and beautiful employee benefit programs won me over and it became my mission to conquer Corporate America and revel in its vast riches.
The benefits of reverting back to employee status after being self-employed were so seductive that I could’t resist. So, I closed up shop and followed my muse. The decision, however, was poorly construed and it led to deep financial despair.
Ironically, going out of business provided the necessary motivation I needed to make the absolute best financial choice – getting back in.
I should have more carefully considered the financial ramifications of packing up too soon and you might too if you’re a business owner on the fence.
Getting Stuck In a Rut
I owned a small business in a small city. Demographics limited my chances for growth and expansion. My tax and employee burdens seemed colossal in comparison to my modest sales. I finally hit my tipping point and left it all behind to try my hand in corporate management. It seemed like the only sensible thing to do.
Sensible, it seems, would have been taking time to resurrect passion for my business.
It’s Lonely At The Top
A number of factors influenced my decision to close down. I had simply become bored, lonely and a maybe a little complacent in my business in addition to:
- Having very little competition;
- Suffering unappreciative and unenthusiastic customers;
- Lacking a collaborative peer experience -it’s lonely at the top.
Big Dreams? Keep Dreaming
Finding the right employer would allow me to share my knowledge with someone who could really appreciate it and fund my ideas for explosive growth, right? Wrong! That enormous company became enormous by following their proven successful strategies-not mine. I had been off the corporate ladder for so long I had forgotten my job description was to take orders, prevent failure, and act as the boss’s punching bag if failure ensued.
Money, Money, Money
Can you afford to close your business or sell out now? There are on-going tax concerns, lifestyle considerations, and a score of financial consequences to swapping the bosses office for a time card.
I had significant business related debt and believed that careful planning around my salary would buy enough time to service the debt but I was wrong. Because of a salary’s limitations, I strongly advise jumping only with a parachute.
Today, I operate a reorganized version of my former business and it is once again on the rise. Though smaller in scope, it is successful and I am happier knowing that returning to proprietorship was the best decision I ever made.