Last weekend a fellow entrepreneur and friend told me that he was turning in his notice and shuttering his business for good. "Unfortunately", he said, "things don't always go as planned." He continued to tell me about the successes he's had, increasing his customer base, expanding his distribution to several retail stores, growing his online sales, etc. So, if things were getting better, what was the cause of this new shift?
In his case, his family has a series of ongoing medical issues. So his family business, consisting of two partners, is now down to one. His spouse, who is undergoing treatment, is the one with the specialized skills for creating their products. It just so happens too that they have not had much success with outsourcing in part for three reasons. It was specialized, they did not have the necessary volume, and most importantly this was a labor of love for them.
My friend had a dilemma, and in the end decided to trade working in his small business for employment elsewhere. The upside is that he will work less hours, have a consistent income with benefits, and have more time to spend with his family. The downside is that his customers will need to go elsewhere (but I'm sure they'll understand), and it will take some time to get over the loss of a dream he's devoted many years of his life to.
A small business owner will encounter many such dilemmas during the life of his business for which he/she has to make many considerations. Sometimes the unfortunate decision is shuttering the business often due to inadequate funding/resources, competition, illness, burnout, and more. For many of us failure isn't an option, until it is. Nevertheless, the good news is that there is an upside.