Business Failure Isn't Sexy!
Business failures are sure in the news these days! And every time I read or hear about another small business closing, my heart breaks for the person involved.
I've experienced the failure of a business first hand. It was very painful and I didn't have anyone to talk me through it. There isn't much information about business failure online. It seems like a topic that few want to talk about... maybe it's one of the few taboos left!
According to small business statistics,
50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. That's a sobering statistic, leaving lots of dazed, depressed, angry and confused former business owners needing help.
If what I've learned about how to coping with business failure can be useful to you, I'll feel better about my own experience.
Yes, my own failed business was one of the reasons I started the Hungry Entrepreneur website. My skate shop started off doing well, and then we ran into a 'bumpy' economy. I was able to keep my store open for 8 years, but it was really on 'life-support' for the last few years.
If you're business has hit hard times and is still open, here's warning signs of a
that you should read about. If you recognize yourself, you may want to think about closing your business. Here's the first things to do
when closing a business.
Once you've made that hard decision, here's some steps you should follow so you're
closing a business
the right way.
I didn't declare bankruptcy because of how it could affect my husband's business. Anybody thinking about bankruptcy should talk to a lawyer that's experienced in that area of law. (I know you're broke but... do it anyway. Seriously.)
When I closed my store, I was very depressed and had no one to talk to about it. Nobody really can understand this kind of loss unless they've been through it themselves. So former business owners often suffer in silence. If you're depressed and have access to medical help, please talk to a professional. Or look for low or no cost help through your local government assistance programs. Please, do it!
In addition to depression, you'll be under a lot of stress. I have done my own research about dealing with
related stress. My favorite stress-buster was getting chickens. (The other stress-busters are much less extreme.)
They gave me something positive to focus on that I could control. And it's hard to be depressed when 6 chickens come running across the yard, looking for a treat. They looked like feathered football players! It made me laugh, and laughter's powerful medicine!
I feel so much better now- maybe "time does heal all wounds". But I was in a “deep funk” back then. I'd used credit cards to keep my business afloat. At the time, it was common to use credit cards as business capital because they were so easy to get. Now I know that was a dumb idea. Live and learn!
When my business finally went under, I was deep in debt. And I had no money to repay those bills. I was stressed-out because of that debt with no idea what to do next.
I needed quick cash and had leftover inventory, so I looked into
starting an eBay business
. I was already familiar with how an eBay business worked. It's an easy and low cost home business to start.
But while I was getting my Ebay business started I still had to deal with debt. Because of my unpaid business debt I had debt collectors calling morning, noon and night. To avoid them, I'd wander at bookstores and thrift stores, It was a cheap stress-reducer for me.
I started buying and reading books about business. (I should have read earlier.) Since I'm an antique dealer, I'd find old books of poems about
small business failure
from the early 1900s. Some books had
that made me feel better. And there were
more failure quotes
in the business books I was reading.
In the end, the same optimism that had kept me from closing my business kept me going throught my business failure. It helped me to put a positive spin on the situation. Well, one thing lead to another, and here I am today... with this Hungry Entrepreneur business website!
When dealing with your own business failure, try to concentrate on what you've learned from the experience. In fact, you may realize that your
may have been a blessing in disguise! Take the knowledge you've gained and apply it to your next venture. (You're still an entrepreneur, right?)
Because of my business failure, I decided to try to help business owners avoid failure. You know, wherever there's entrepreneurs, there's going to be failed business. That's just a fact entrepreneurs need to face.
I want to help you with starting a business without making the
that I committed. And encourage you to pick yourself up if it fails. And, of course, to start all over again!
Click to return to the Hungry Entrepreneur home page from Business Failure.