Super confused on what to do

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by JR23, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. JR23

    JR23
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    Hello all, my name is Max. I'll make this as short as possible. I need some advice and none of my friends or family even has a clue about what business owners face. I am 30 years old and I stated a business in the electronics industry about 5 years ago (basically a pawn shop for electronics). I won't get into specifics but I have been self employed for about 5 years and the business has done quite well in the last two years. Nothing special but I am on pace to earn about 100k this year after taxes...not bad for a single guy.

    Basically after 2 years, I really dislike working the day to day operations, customers, merchandise, negotiating et...almost to the point when my lease is up on the storefront I am tempted to just walk away. The business is payed for (no loans) and I have made all my money invested back. Took about $30-40k to start. There was a couple employees for about a year but it didn't work out well from an accounting standpoint. I am almost tempted to say I am anti employee (not the right way to look at things maybe but letting you into my mindset. It's just how I feel, as much as employees are an assent, I feel they are the biggest liability a company can have). I decided to make this into a 1 man operation when it should really be 2.

    If I can get over the fear of hiring, In a perfect world I would like to have this completely run by employees where I would just have to monitor a couple times daily...however that would bring the profits to about 2-4k a month instead of 8-10+.

    Honestly, employees are my biggest fear of owning a business. I have a hard time trusting people these days and let's be honest, it's hard to find someone who actually cares about their job that is payed under 35K a year. Problem is, this business would not be making the kind of money it does with added employee expenses. Not to mention employees are generally a pain in the rear and make life difficult (probably more difficult than it already is).

    I am going through some growing pains, I am not really a people person, I am professional and friendly but I really just dislike dealing directly with customers all day (more introverted). The work load is not too bad, I can handle it. The business seems to be complicating my life beyond what I like. The money is very good for a single guy so that's what keeps me doing it.

    Basically I started this business because I like electronics and wanted to earn a living. Now it's come to the point where I can't even stand to be around electronics anymore. I feel like this business has cost me my interest in that and just an overall quality of living. I don't seem to enjoy days like I used to and it's hard to wake up when I used to be excited in the mornings before work.

    It feels like I am just trapped basically. Day to day operations take up so much time I don't even have enough time to expand the business or even work on hiring at this point.

    To sum it up, I have come to a point in life where I have never had more money but never been unhappier. I'd give it up in a minute but the big questions looms "then what". I remember how much money and effort it took to get this business going, I don't know if I am interested in going through that again. I don't want the easy way out but starting a business one time has made me think twice about doing it again. I don't mind putting in long hours or working on new challenges but right now I feel tapped out mentally. All my creativity seems gone and the future worries me because this business is my life right now and if I get rid of it I will be back to square one. Might seem like I am whining but but advice would be greatly appreciated, most confused I have ever been in my career. :confused::confused:
     
  2. justinmahar

    justinmahar
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    I bet you've gained a LOT of experience in those 5 years... experience you could share with others. You also have a track record for success. Have you considered consulting? The rates for consultants, especially good ones, are crazy high. Maybe you can set up a website and offer consulting services for new business owners in the technology niche. That way you can work with clients you like, you're not "forced" to do anything, and you can take on as much work as you can handle. You also probably have a lot of people who would readily offer testimonials. That's great. And you can say "I created a 100K+ a year business from scratch in 5 years". That's also great.

    Thoughts?
     
  3. taxtorpedo

    taxtorpedo
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    JR23:

    (1)Make sure your books are in order. (Audited)

    (2)SELL the business.

    (3)If you get a good price you will not be back to square one.

    (4)If you are not a people person, start an online blog where you do not have to
    deal with people directly.

    (5)Clearly, you are not happy. Act immediately.
     
    #3 taxtorpedo, Nov 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2014
  4. Tandy

    Tandy
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    Hi Max just a suggestion:How well you have done:)
    If you employ someone to work for you - you can keep an eye on them. Meanwhile begin a business on the internet. Take a look at the report on New membership sites on my website. You have enough knowledge to build it in no time. I love the exciting challenge of what I am doing, hopefully it would give you a new viewpoint and challenge but would use all your squired knowledge. You can sell your business when you have built this up.

    Best wishes
     
  5. webdesignphx

    webdesignphx
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    This is a simple solution. You are stressed out because you are working too much. You have fear of your employees because you have had bad experiences in the past. What you need to do is STOP working so much and hire employees, but you need to hire better employees. How do you do that? You interview a lot more!!! What we do is hold 2 large Group interviews. Where you bring 20 people in. Have cookies, coffee, vegetable snacks etc. Talk to everyone about the position as a group. Have the same questions for everyone. See how people answer in the group. Then after seeing everyone in the group pick 5 or 6 to pull to the side for one on one interviews and send everyone else home. Do this 2 times and out of the 10 people you pulled to the side pick 3. Then bring back all 3 on another day and interview them again separately. You will get the right one. You just have to pick your employees more wisely.

    The crazy part is, that right now you are not making as much money as you can be. Because you are spending all your time at the shop selling the products. What you need to be doing is having some else work your shop. Then spend all your time marketing and growing the business. By hiring a good employee you will not free up your time for marketing and growing but you will make much more money. Right now you are concentrating on the money you are losing by hiring. The other perspective is to think about how much money you will make when you are free to sit, think, and market all day.

    Hire the right employees and make sure you have Cameras on them. Make sure you have rules and regulations in place. You will make much more money!
    Good luck.
     
  6. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee
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    Your story sounds very familiar, I've been there as well. My advise is that you deal with your unhappiness, it's normal. We human beings are not predisposed to being happy, this is just nonsense pushed upon us by Hollywood, religions and silly politicians. As a species our core directive is to survive and you're obviously doing a sterling job there. I don't recommend that you hire employees as they will just drain your energy more, considering that you're an introvert. Just gradually change the work hours of your business so that you can have more free time. Perhaps you can open your store an hour later or close it an hour earlier, provided this doesn't hurt your sales.
     
  7. Jacob Conway

    Jacob Conway
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    From years of consulting and managing $123,000 per month in marketing budgets I think I can help...

    When choosing a company to start the first thing is making sure that there's a market for it.

    If you already have a shop no problem!

    let's take a look at how we can make sure we are only offering what people want.

    it's the 80/20 rule or 80% of your business is from 20% of your audience.

    Let's see what people want

    You can do this by using google trends to discover what people are looking for.

    If you like electronics you can find which ones people are dying to have VS finding products no one cares about.

    For example right now college football is taking off and that would be 1 example of what people are searching for.

    if you look you will see the number 1 keyword right now for college foot ball is "North Dakota state football"

    I can guarantee you that if someone has a "North Dakota signed jersey" they will find no problem finding someone to sell to.

    but if you are trying to sell "Lansing Community college jersey" you could spend every dime you have and not see a single sale.

    why? because you're not following the traffic but trying to force things people don't want to an audience that was never looking.

    You need to set up a web store and try to find, buy, and sell what people want not just anything.

    You need to setup Paypal on your store to accept payments and start selling the right way.

    here is a quote that should help you understand what I'm trying to say.

    "As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about."-- Larry Weber
     
  8. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane
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    This is an interesting thread to me, because I'm also somewhat of an introvert, and much prefer dealing with people online to actual in person communications. It sounds as if you are totally burned out, and at the breaking point. That's not good for you or for your business. I like a lot of the suggestions above, and I think many of them could be very useful for you. I don't know whether you have considered taking on a partner, but that could be another way to remove yourself somewhat from the daily grind. It's very important to pick the right person for a partner though, and if you do that, make sure it is formalized with an attorney, so that everything is delineated, and each of you knows what to expect, and how to proceed. I'm interested to see what you decide to do.
     
  9. kitchie

    kitchie
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    I totally understand you but sometimes instead of being burn out why don't think with the positive side of your business. I know many business who went bankrupt but yours is doing good given the fact that it was just your first time to start a business. And I suggest you take a break once a in a while. I always believe in the saying that when you work hard, you play harder..
     
  10. Corzhens

    Corzhens
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    My hunch is that you are having a burn out. If it is possible, why not take a vacation. A week or 2 in Hawaii or in the Bahamas will do you good. Or maybe you take a trip to Disneyland. I'm not humoring you. A respite is needed not only by the body but also of the mind. It's just like getting a space so you can breath and think well again. Now, after that vacation and your outlook did not change then I guess it's time to close shop and consider a paradigm shift.
     

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