Do I go out of business? :0( Need help

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by 3rickTheBizman, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. 3rickTheBizman

    3rickTheBizman
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    Hello!

    I need to vent and I need some advice.

    I want to be very frank with you. I'm in a place where I am scared. I have been an owner of my business for about 7-8 years. Things went very well. We quickly grew and grew. We went from running out of a garage to now having a warehouse with employees. It was great. I got married, and was very happy. I had a business partner. We were 50/50 partners.

    This last year, our business had some hard times. Business slowed down a lot, and put us way behind financially. Most of those pains came from losing a couple large contracts all at once. We didn't have much control of this loss. This drove my business partner into retirement this last month. I, myself, am young. I'm 28 years old. We thought with the hard times, having my business partner retire (he is older, and he wanted to retire soon anyway), I would be able to pump his portion of the pay back into the business. It might be too late. We are so far backed up, that 1 of my vendors have cut me off of some products that I need. I am working hard to fix things and get rolling.

    I still have many great customers that I do business with, and I feel like my business is worth something, but I am behind. Technically, about $20k behind with some vendors. Paying them off is what I'd need to feel comfortable again to keep pushing forward. That doesn't mean I'm not in any other debt though. It's just what I need NOW.

    At what point do I decide to throw in the towel? What now? What do I do?

    I am afraid this business is now going to ruin my life, and it's starting to depress me. I am too young to be in this much debt, and be failing at this. I don't want it to end this way, but I am starting to feel overwhelmed!

    I don't have a lot of people to talk to about this, so any recommendations, or support would be helpful.

    Thank you.
     
  2. J Greig

    J Greig
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    If you believe it's worth something, then fight for it. Find some new contracts, advertise more and you could get another partner. If someone invests in the business, you then have that money to help pay off vendors and you also have the stability knowing that someone is there to help you. I'd definitely suggest researching and gaining another partner if you decide to continue. Running a business yourself can be a daunting task.

    If you are seriously considering quitting, sell the business. Take into account what you've done, the current vendors etc and come up with a great price and I'm sure someone will be interested.

    May I ask what your business does/sells?
     
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  3. 3rickTheBizman

    3rickTheBizman
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    It's a printing and design business. I don't necessarily want to get too personal with info here, as this information becomes searchable on the internet.
     
  4. PS9

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    I think you still got a shot to make it work but you may have switch business models to some extent. I'm not trying to make you feel bad but it's my opinion on what I've seen.

    I've known quite a few printing and design companies which went under. I actually purchased a wide format printer a while back from the owner of a company that had 15 or so employees doing graphic design for Hollywood studios, namely Disney and Fox. He ended up closing shop after business dried up, basically the companies started hiring their own people because the printing equipment's gone down in price so they could afford to do everything in house. It sucks but he actually sold the printer to the cause of his problem, people like myself who purchased the equipment and now do everything ourselves.

    Now I will say, I don't think your screwed. Without many details about what you previously did it's hard to recommend the next step but it's entirely possible you could shift to 3d printing and design. You can design product parts and print them on a 3d printer (which are relatively cheap, compared to what they were just a few years ago). The issue I think is eventually you'll run into the same problem but it may take long enough where you're at retirement age before it happens.

    What would I do? I'd lease a 3d printer, or come up with a way to shell out about $4,000 for a Cubify (3-color) printer, and then advertise that I'm doing 3d design and printing. You'd almost instantly be put into a market that isn't nearly as saturated and you can charge a premium because the people you got contracts with aren't going to go in house with this right now. You'd have to find contracts with people who make things and depending on what your previous skills are, you may have to let go of some employees and hire others that know 3d design.

    So it's not going to be an easy thing to save, but it really depends on you. If you want to let it go then sell the company, if you want to give it a shot then you either have to find new contracts or switch what you're doing.
     
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  5. scifi

    scifi
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    Dear 3rickTheBizman

    I am also same age as yours..Have suffered something similar like that in the past personally .First business grew and then all went off with no control on losses(FX & inflation)...

    But somehow I recovered after that by focussing on small things but neccessary one, though it took time....

    My advice is just fight, don't give up...This is the blossom spring of youth and energy is all flowing in our veins..Get motivated and fight back.You will win.....You have whole age left to loose....Don't give up till end...

    A piece of advice...Pay all your attention on existing customer base...Increase the cash flow by asking help from your existing customer base (explaining your difficult times, not whole situation, you can ask money advance agst orders and can rotate this money), increase the quality of your service...

    I am assure that all will help you to get out of this,,,..Just have faith and will in your heart..Don't loose hope... TC
     
  6. Minerva

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    Tried everything to save your business if you think it worth something. get a partner, get a loan from the bank. try to expand your customer pool, such as go national or even international.advertise more, use resources that you have to advertise your business.

    You are still young, you still have the energy and time. tried everything first before you decide to close your business.
     
  7. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Sorry to hear about your difficult business situation 3rickTheBizman, I really hope that you can find a way through it and that it all works out for you.

    Would it be possible to talk to your previous partner about this? Now that he is away from the business he may have had time to think about it from a distance and he may have some good suggestions and advice that could help you.

    It also sounds to me that you need professional advice from an accountant. Do you have any accountant for the business? An accountant should be able to give you an accurate overview of the finances of your business and this will help give you a lot of clarity as to what you need to do to move forward.

    Life is full of ups and downs. We all go through difficulties at different stages in our lives. Sometimes we can work hard and get through them and move on to better times. However, life is short and sometimes it is better to walk away from a bad situation and get on with our lives by leaving it behind. What are your thoughts on this?
     
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  8. Ted

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    You aren't alone. There are way more people who find themselves in your situation than you think. I went through a very similar situation when I was your age.

    When you get to the point you are at, you get so overwhelmed that you can't think straight and you think about throwing in the towel. This is the downside to running your own business that nobody warns you about before you go into business for yourself. They don't talk about it in books. There are many downsides to running your own business, especially a business where you have real employees or a business where you have to be present every day in order for the business to run.

    Fergal gave you some great advice there. Seek help from your former business partner and from an accountant. Tell them you aren't thinking straight and you need guidance before you lose your business.

    If you are in the United States I suggest you contact your local SCORE branch and ask for help too. The people who work with SCORE are wise and experienced. They have seen similar situations.

    If you want to chat about this personally, shoot me a PM.
     
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  9. daytrader

    daytrader
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    Like you said, you're young. I'm sure you have learned something considering you've been in the business for 8 years.
     
  10. 3rickTheBizman

    3rickTheBizman
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    Thanks

    Thank you everyone.

    I would love to get a business loan, but I already have one, and after my business partner retired, I learned that in order for the loan to continue with the business, I would personally have to re-sign for the loan. At this point, there is a very slim chance I will be eligible for it. I find out on Monday. This will then tern it into a term loan, and I will have to pay roughly $800 a month for 36 months. That's not helping my situation.

    Things really are spiraling very quickly. I am looking into the idea of a business partner. I'm just not sure if someone would be interested in buying in right now. We still have lots of clients, but after losing about 2-3 big contracts, we hurt. Then we hit a slow season, and are just now picking up again, but for about 6 months or so, the business held on with a string and a credit card.

    Anyway, I'm pushing forward because I don't have any other options. It helps to hear that others have been in this situation.

    3 years ago I felt like I was on top of the world. Getting married, successful business, excited to be making money. It's weird how things can change so fast.
     
  11. Fergal

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    3rickTheBizman have you looked into ways to cut costs in the business? If you are doing less business you may be able to cut costs such as wage costs. It would be painful to have to let some staff go, but it could help save the business in the long term. Taking a close look at all of your costs, with a view to seeing how you could reduce them, might be a big help to your cash flow.
     

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