Some businesses are hard to sell. In fact, more businesses simply close down than sell. *
I may have a third option for some businesses.
|Friendly construction workers in Lima, Peru|
(Apparently, I don’t have a lot of
I met a man who moved from the big city to a small town. As he went about building a business and life in the small town, he maintained his construction and remodeling business in the big city, commuting a few days a week. The income was still good, though the non-financial costs were getting too high. Most of his business came through the network of customers he had built up for 20 years. Many other good construction people in the city were short of work, so no one would be able to afford buying his business or even his customer list. He was thinking of just closing the business and walking away. I thought I saw a different solution.
First, he needed to locate a small group of trusted people to take on jobs for him, in exchange for a finder’s fee or a percentage. Then, as customers called him, he could accept the jobs and refer them out, while making sure customers understood who would be doing the work. He would still draw income from the business, without all the additional stress of commuting back to the big city every week.
Of course it won’t last forever. Customers will drift away to work directly with the new trusted people. He’ll see fewer and fewer jobs as he is no longer present in the city.
He found the idea promising, and went off to try it out. I thought you might like to hear the idea, improve on it, maybe share it with someone who needs a third option for exiting their business.
*Note: No one knows for sure how many businesses sell each year, but the SBA says over 600,000 US firms close each year.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.