I’ve had a few conversations with clients recently about them stopping their businesses, be that for retirement, to go back to employment or because it just isn’t working it – some of these conversations have been upbeat and positive but more often than not they are tinged with sadness, even though it is the right decision and the right thing to do.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is always a tough decision to make for clients and being used as a sounding board in the process and listening to their thoughts is a privilege. From an outside perspective there are some common factors when people decide to call it quits, regardless of the reason why:

It’s not fun anymore

Not every single day of working for yourself and running your own business is going to be fun, let’s face it there are going to be some right crappy ones too. But when the bleurgh days outnumber the fun ones on a regular basis, it’s time for a rethink. Yes, the day to day of running a business isn’t all Instagram worthy photos of pretty desks, coffees and cakes but it should be enjoyable.  If it isn’t then do you really need the stresses and strains of it all? Is it time for a rethink be that return to working for someone else or move onto the next idea?


A lot of us set up our own businesses to give us the freedom we crave, to fit around families, to not be answerable to someone else, to work the hours we want.  But if you are feeling resentful for the hours you work, the time spent chained to your business then have you lost that motivation and reason? It could be you need to review and adjust what you do and get some help so that you get it back again, but if the underlying love isn’t there and you really can’t get this back then is your heart still in it?


The big one: money! If you aren’t earning what you need then is the business working for you? It could be you need to review what you are doing, how you are doing it and your cost base and that will make it work, but this might not be the solution. If you are putting money into the business to keep it afloat and can’t see a way that it will come back out to you again then is the business working for you?  


It is a very personal decision – what works for one, won’t work for another. It is always going to be a tough decision, even if you have fallen out of love with your business deciding to close it down is not one you will come to lightly.  Always find someone impartial to talk it through with and sometimes just going with your gut can be the right thing to do.

Rachael Savage