I’ve owned a design build remodeling firm for 28 years. My main business struggle has always been sales and having enough work in our pipeline for consistent business results. I’ve wanted to hire a sales person and/or marketing person many times over the years and a couple of times have gone through interviews and then not been able to follow through with the hire because of a cashflow slump.
At this point in time I’ve been able to keep up with payments for everything but am about to not be able to. I’ve only got a couple of weeks of meager work signed up and no very good prospects.
Without cashflow to pay our existing debt service and minimal overhead I’ll be quickly overwhelmed with debt I can’t pay. It will be 50k to 60k by the end of September. I’ll have to lay off my guys shortly, they will go to work for others, as most contractors around seem very busy now, just not us. Then I won’t have anyone to do any work even if I do get some.
I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed and cant see any options. I don’t know what to do. All of my credit is maxed out, I have no reserves left.
I don’t expect you will really have any advice for me, I’m just desperate and in despair.
I’ve sat here for quite a bit and stared at the screen, trying to give you the best answer possible.
The result is their is no perfect answer.
Any business that is not comfortable making sales, in some way, is not going to make money. There is an old adage that says, “Nobody makes money till something gets sold.” That’s very true.
But I wonder if dealing with sales is even something you even want to tackle.
You mentioned that other firms are busy and what I wonder is if it might be time to close up your shop and go to work for someone else who already has a mechanism in place to deal with sales.
If you are inherently not excited about either doing the sales yourself or bringing on a full-time sales person, then maybe the time has come to find a way forward where you can shine and ditch the rest.
I have no idea what kind of value your firm has or if it is something you might be able to sell to a competitor or bigger company in your area that is similar. Companies merge or get bought out all the time. But without sales in the pipeline, your client list or team will have to be the value you bring to the table.
When you run into the debt panic it is the wrong time to develop smooth sales skills. It’s typically the time desperation overrides inspiration and those growing debt moments leave you paralyzed and afraid to take any action. You wind up in exactly the spot you sound like you are in.
I honestly don’t see the next 20 years suddenly being more comfortable for you to have a relationship with loving sales so maybe it really is time to think about a different path forward.
If you do decide to go the route of working for someone else and you can’t find a buyer, then I would strongly think about talking to a local bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state. Closing the door on the business, if you elect a different path, as quickly as possible will make more financial sense.