When It’s Time to Close a Business and Move On

This is probably the last thing you’d expect to hear from your bookkeeper, after all, most will be happy to take your money as long as they can. But having done this enough, I can say there have been times where the best thing to do was accept that the business had run its course and move on.

Sometimes the business made fatal mistakes years earlier and somehow managed to keep the doors open long after they should have. Sometimes it’s out of loyalty to their employees and/or customers. Sometimes it’s nothing short of denial by the owner that the business isn’t working. Some just don’t want to admit they failed and have to go back to working for someone else.

Many cling to the hope that things will suddenly change. They often don’t accept responsibility for the lack of success of their business. It’s the economy, they can’t find good employees (correction: they can’t get good employees at the pay they’re offering), there’s a new competitor that’s hurting their business, etc. They’ll forget that the business has been struggling for years and years and it’s only been getting worse. This business is not going to suddenly turn around (at least not without drastic sudden changes in how it’s run which most won’t be able to suddenly figure out and even if they do, they usually can’t afford the needed changes after struggling for years).

Running a small business is hard, it’s not for everyone. Not everyone has all the skills needed and doesn’t recognize their limits and therefore hire the right people to pick up their weak areas. But at some point, most business owners hit a point where they need to just let go, cut their losses, and close the business.