It takes a lot of self-reflection and guts, and likely many sleepless nights, to decide that it’s time to shut down a struggling business.
Owning a business is a labour of love and grief. There are the highs and the lows. As well as a huge amount of work it takes to get things off the ground.
Thinking back I did not want to let the business go, more out of fear for the unknown than anything else; but the pressure started to mount up and the problems we had accumulated over the last two years became untenable. We were having a really hard time paying off past debt, while trying to buy new stock and keep up with rent and everything else.
On top of the financial problems, the new line of service we were offering weren’t selling. There wasn’t enough sales and cash-flow was tight. We didn’t have money for new stock and so the business wasn’t performing at its optimum level. We became stagnant and we couldn’t fix it without improved cash-flow.
We weren’t happy or proud to be considering closing down but we felt like we were wasting time sitting there, waiting for something, anything to happen.
In the beginning the business was very profitable and we had endless enthusiasm and confidence. That had all but washed away so we decided that we needed to trust our intuition about closing and start again.
In the beginning it was special, very creative with a lot of exciting things happening and people passing through; the energy from the new venture rubbed off on everyone, people wanted to be involved.
However it became a different place when the third recession hit us hard. Rents were going up, skilled labour was at a shortage; overheads, like electricity and business rates were rising. The marketed shifted due to the abundance of online suppliers with cheaper competitors joining the market.
After such a long time in business people thought we would be sad to close the business, but we saw it as a chance to reinvent and get smarter from my past mistakes.
We had made some poor judgements on certain monetary decisions and said yes to the wrong people, to give them a chance, against better judgment.
I think when something is right you know it.
We weighed up the pro’s and con’s of shutting the business and the pros outweighed the cons.
The pros were a new start, a new business model, a new approach.
It’s not bad to rebuild something if it needs to be reinvigorated.
The times have changed drastically in UK in the past 10 years—even in the last five years. Technology is moving so fast. The economy, and the way people buy goods, the way people perceive value has all shifted.
What is considered valuable varies from one person to the next.
You want the client to have a great feeling and experience. You want to be their favourite place and for them to know they can trust you.
There are many variables that make things work or not work, changing the colour of a button on your website can affect the amount of people who will press it. That’s scary when you think about it!
With a fresh approach and no debt a business has time to try and test new ways to market. Starting again can be so refreshing and bring new life to you and your business.