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small business headaches
Old 04-23-2006, 10:46 AM   #1
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small business headaches

I'm coming up on 50 years "young" and have been thinking about retiring early and or doing something else part time for quite some time. I own a small midwest manufacturing business that I started 21 years ago. I currently have around 45 employees and I have gotten so tired of all the headaches that come along with running a small business, especially dealing with employee issues. I pay my employees very well with a good wages and a nice benefit pkg. but it's still a struggle. It just seems that more and more it's such a fight everyday to "make it happen". I keep thinking how much easier it would be not to have to deal with everything related to owning and running my company. I constantly keep getting ideas and thoughts about selling out and leaving much of this stress and hassle behind. At first I kind of figured these thoughts were a mid life crisis, what ever that is, but I have come to realize that they are for real and I feel I need to take action and look for some serious changes. I used to worry that I wouldn't find fulfillment after getting out but I don't think that way anymore. I have worked so much over the past years that I've dropped most of my recreation items and hobbies but I feel confident I can get back in the swing. Are there any ex small business folks out there who have made the jump? Any thoughts and coments are most welcome. Great forum, I'm glad I found it.

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Re: small business headaches
Old 04-23-2006, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: small business headaches

If you are FI, sell the business. A business is meant to generate income to you. The danger is when you feel like you and the business are inseperable. Sure that's a feeling you have when you start up and while you are in the middle of a humming business, but it's a feeling that you have to let go of if you want to really enjoy other aspects of living.

I'm not sure if you are the type that could stay on for a few more months or years as a consultant to the new owner(s) without feeling you still must be the ultimate problem solver. If you can position yourself avoid the peripheral problems around the buisness, you might actually enjoy the business again. If that would work for you, it could be a way for you to ease out via semi-retirement for a while until you can or want to fully retire.
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Re: small business headaches
Old 04-23-2006, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: small business headaches

Hi Spark..I know exactly what you are talking about. I am the CFO of a small mfg firm (300 employees). I have been in my current position about 16 years and it is getting more difficult every day to show up for work. It has become a struggle to deal with all the issues you describe and more. For me the answer is to hang in there 24 more months and join the ranks of early retirees. The choice for you, of course, is somewhat more complicated since I assume the bulk of your net worth is tied up in the business. At the end of the day, however, we are all going to be dead for a long time and I have concluded that the time I have left needs to be spent in a more rewarding and less stressful enviornment.
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Re: small business headaches
Old 04-25-2006, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: small business headaches

Roadkill,

Thanks for the comments. I have left some cash in the business mainly because over the last few years it seemed like the safest place for me to put it. My business is very capital intensive so I've personally financed some equipment purchases and can fairly easily roll some cash out and on to other investments if needed. I suspect Iím very similar to a lot of small business owners in that the business is a good piece of my net worth. Selling the business has its own challenges but something is telling me itís time to start the process.*
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Re: small business headaches
Old 04-26-2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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Re: small business headaches

Spark.....As you begin this process, I suggest that you consider obtaining some help in establishing a value of your business. Your CPA may be able to assist you in this regard.*
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Re: small business headaches
Old 04-27-2006, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: small business headaches

As a victim of what we used to call the "Power Elite" in the merger and acquisitions world, I'd like to ask that you consider selling the business to the employees first. I know it is probably of little consequence to you who buys it but the first thing a new owner will do is try to figure out how to export his labor costs. After all, if you can figure out how to sell a $6.00 pair of running shoes for $80.00, "just do it."
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