The Emotional Side of Closing my Small Business
Should You Sell or Close Your Business?
Recently I have had the unenviable task of closing our business after 14 years. In addition to not only the physical work involved in closing a business - has been a far more unthought of aspect of closing the business - the emotional side.
There are few resources even on the Internet to turn to when your business hits the skids and you are faced with the possibility of either closing or selling your business. With the economy in a shambles right now, more and more small and even large businesses are closing their doors, and the emotional baggage that is carried around with the owners, employees and even family members can be enormous.
Closing a Business - No Easy Task
Consider Getting Business Counseling
I am not even going to try to go into all the details- legal and otherwise- that go along with closing a business. To begin with in this article we will discuss some of the emotional things that happen when you close the doors to your business- and perhaps, this article will give you some insight to even whether you should - or even have to - close those doors.
First of all: If you are in the place where you are considering selling your business, or closing the doors to your business, have you considered getting some wise business counseling?
There are some great small business resources out there - one of them is called SCORE, and they offer free business counseling. I have used SCORE services on a few occasions, both when our business was new, during the course of our business, and also when we were considering closing our business. The people that work for SCORE are usually retired former business owners that use their wide variety of business experience to help fledgling, developed or struggling small businesses. I would highly recommend that if you are considering closing your business that you first check with SCORE, or even call your local Chamber of Commerce and find out if there are other free or low cost business counseling services. Getting good advice at this stage of the game is not only critical for your business but also for your emotional well being.
Re-Entering The Corporate World
If you have already closed your business and feeling in a funk and don't know where to turn: You can also get free advice from most local unemployment or career centers. In our area (the San Francisco Bay Area) we have what are called career centers - where people seeking work can get counseling, free help with their resumes and also free networking groups for former small business owners looking to either reenter the work force or who are considering another small business venture.
After you have been in a small business, reentering the corporate world can be a very daunting task -and your emotions may be widely swinging between the loss of your business and the daunting task of changing careers, possibly relocating or figuring out what your next steps should be.
People that have been in business can testify to the fact that small business owners literally put a lot of their heart and soul into a business, and when you close your business doors it can feel like a piece of your heart and soul got closed with those doors. It's no easy task closing your business, even if it was a welcome decision or you are happy to have made the move. Whatever the cause (reason) it's still an emotional and highly charged decision.
Some simple advice? If you have closed your business doors or are considering closing your business doors, just remember that life doesn't end here, it's just another turn on the road-map of life. It can be a highly emotional decision but a positive step at the same time. Just remember to get advice and/or counseling if you need too. Wise advice is worth it's weight in gold and can help you get through the emotional side of closing your business doors.
(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer and former small business owner)
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