Business Advice….and a cup of coffee will get you!
I have three small businesses I started in order to pay the “extras” our family needed. It has been four years and I’m tired. One business is steady, easy, with no overhead; another is volatile, requires inventory, yet pays well; the third is steady, requires little to no overhead, but is something I can continue beyond retirement. Friends suggest I pick one and run with it. What do you think? First, let me compliment you on your energy level – three businesses! Since I don’t detect the level of “enjoyment” you have for each business, I will assume that you enjoy all three equally. I will only be able to take a logical approach in answering your question. I recommend you let go of one business at a time. From your question, it appears that two of the three have little to no overhead. I would suggest you let go of the business that requires inventory. The more a business costs to run, the more stressful emotionally. Income must cover both the inventory and your time. Once that business is gone for a period of time, you need to reevaluate your income needs. If the needs have decreased, I would let go of another business. I recommend that you maintain the business which allows you to earn beyond retirement age. Many retired couples would like a little for the “extras” that fixed incomes don’t usually provide. Again, the approach I have taken is purely logical. Logic might need to go out the window if you enjoy one of the three businesses more than the others. Your decision should definitely take the “passion factor” into consideration. Money isn’t everything – enjoying what you do and excelling in it does matter. Businesses are like children sometimes. We expend a lot of emotional energy birthing and raising them. If either of the two businesses you intend to give up is transferable from a skill perspective, perhaps a friend or a grown child would benefit by taking it over. This could keep the business alive and provide a gift of independence to someone else. Many can’t start a business, but they are excellent at growing one.