When you have two revenue streams firing on all cylinders, it’s like financial harmony. Your day job takes care of your bills, and your side business allows you to put money towards your future, whether you’re saving for retirement or to splurge on something wonderful. However, with ups come downs, and sometimes, they’re more than you can handle. As a result, knowing what to do when your side business begins causing issues for you is extremely important.
How Do I Juggle My Responsibilities?
When your side business is struggling, it’s important to try and keep your multi-tasking skills on point. Yes, your side business will require more and more of your time. However, chances are that if things aren’t going well, your main job is probably going to be your main source of income at this point. As a result, it’s that much more important that you are able to keep your production up there while you are putting out fires with your side business. A good idea when things start to get to much is to start committing them to paper (or word processor, depending on your tastes). Business issues mean stress, and stress means that it is that much harder to try and focus on the various tasks at hand. By creating a master chart or list of your responsibilities, it will be that much easier when the time comes for you to try and recall that one thing you forgot to do.
Is My Business Going Down?
Part of running a business is working through the rough patches and coming up with strategies to minimize the chance of them happening again. However, sometimes this doesn’t work out the way you planned. Here are some indicators that your business isn’t just going through a rough patch, but may be headed towards its end:
- You haven’t spoken to new customers or clients in a long period of time (like a month).
- Your business isn’t generating any sort of attention or discussion, positive or negative.
- You have a history of being unable to pay bills on time.
- Employees are beginning to turn over rapidly, if you use any.
- By the same token, frequent shuffling of duties to different employees.
- There are no competitors in the market. This may seem like a good sign at first, but it may be that there is no market left for what you offer.
- Your growth has happened too fast, and you can’t keep track of every facet of your business.
Any one of these things may be something you are able to overcome and work through. However, when you start seeing multiple items on this list, your business may be on borrowed time.
What Can I Do?
When the time comes and your business is coming to an end, you may want to stop pouring time and energy into fighting the tide and try to think about an exit strategy. Depending on the size of your side business, this may mean declaring bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common item here, used by those who don’t have a lot of property or other assets. When this takes place, a trustee is appointed by a bankruptcy court to take possession of the assets of the business and distribute them among the creditors. Following this distribution process and payment for the trustee, the business receives a discharge, releasing the owner from an obligation to their debts.
The bankruptcy process can be a long one as you go through the legal process, and just like a failing business, it can be stressful. Don’t ignore the emotional toll. According to The Law Offices of David M. Offen, “You might feel surprised and even overwhelmed by the depth of your feelings when you decide to file for bankruptcy. Some people sink into anxiety and worry, while others try their best to put their emotions aside. This is not necessary.
Instead, honor your feelings by allowing them to flow through you. Notice and accept that you are doing the best for yourself and your family. Reading, relaxing and meditation are just a few common ways to calm your mind without repressing your feelings.”
The American Dream is intertwined with entrepreneurship, but what often gets left off the table is the fact that it is very likely to fail as well.