How Do You Know When It's Time to Quit?
I have been in business with my brother since 1993. The business has kept a roof over my head and has provided for my family's essentials. However, it has not allowed me to save anything for retirement, and the increases in health care costs make it even more unlikely.
I have an opportunity to take a job with a local government that will pay me what I make now or more. I'm 47 and if I was able to stay with this job for the next 20 years, I could be vested with a pension.
Quitting will also be detrimental to my brother. I do the books and have been more consistent with revenue. Though he is my partner 50/50, he is more like an employee. He does his job and goes home. I'm the one who works nights and weekends on the books, collections, taxes. What should I do?
No one can tell you whether it's time to quit based on your email alone. From what you say here, staying with the business could be the worst possible decision, and leaving it could be the worst possible decision.
I suggest you get help from your nearest Small Business Development Center
, where you can get workshops, classes and individual counseling related to developing a good business plan and figuring out how to either grow the business, or sell it. Further, you're talking about a deep long-term relationship with your brother, and that's a tough issue, too.
It does sound like you need something to change, and that you want that, and your brother doesn't. It's time to talk, get help, and fix things.
Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software
, which produces business-planning software,