Can someone help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
Can someone help...
8
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 1:38am
At the end of my rope...need advise - WON'T CLOSE MY BIZ!

Self employed, single-no spouse financial support or benefits, no dependents

Been in business (sales type of service business) over 3 years & won't close up!

Only income is gross biz income which varies from 1/3 - 2/3 of my monthly living expenses 9 months of the year. Other 3 months income is slightly over monthly living expenses. 9/11 hurt my business and it's coming back very slowly. Had clients go out of business and did not pay me.

High cc debt plus personal loans (family, friends, not banks) low car pmt. No savings.

1 mo behind on carlease pmt,2 mo on 1 cc,1 mo on 2 other cc;will be further behind this mo

Pay most bills every other month to try to keep up

Living circumstances - live rent free (agreement is no roomate) but pay utilities, phones, and so on.

Work 60 - 80 hours a week. Can't take on second PT job because I need to be available to clients & other business people I work with 8a-6p daily & frequently on Sat/Sun. Nites & week-ends are needed for paperwork, additional client meetings, creation of service "packages" customized for my different clients. (this takes a lot of time)

Have cut back as much as possible and work out of my home. Need 2 phones (1 business & 1 for fax & DSL internet hook up-main line is incoming/outgoing business & 2nd line is for incoming/outgoing faxes (lots) and for internet hook-up-necessary for my work. I get lots of complaints that both lines are busy so I'll have to add third line soon. Also need cell phone as I am gone from the office a lot and need to be able to monitor my messages, make/receive business calls and so on.

Have dropped lawn care, gym and so on. I do need cable, least expensive service possible, for the business I am in. Car expenses (gas high) are fairly high because of the driving necessary for my business. (Some days I put over 100 miles on the car.)

Do you have any suggestions on how to get by? Credit is trashed right now due to using them to help with living expenses so unable to obtain loan.

Thank you so much.

mslvp@sbcglobal.net

Cruise and Group Specialist

HAVE A GREAT DAY!  (OR EVENING!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 1:43am
Oh, I forgot.

I don't eat out, go to movies or anything like that. I also don't entertain in my home - well maybe one time a year. I get books at the library.

Thanks to you.

mslvp@sbcglobal.net

Cruise and Group Specialist

HAVE A GREAT DAY!  (OR EVENING!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 6:12am
You say that you won't close your business. But if you can't pay your bills, you will go out of business, won't you? If you don't pay your phone or cable bills, those services will be shut off. If you don't pay your car lease payment, the car will be repossessed. You can't borrow money anymore; there aren't any sources left to borrow from. You can't run a business without a car, phone, internet service, supplies, etc. You are going into the hole each month, and the hole is getting deeper.

To me, the really important question is: How are you going to support yourself once this business comes to an end?

What are your talents? What is your experience? Where is the best place to look for a job? Those are the things I would be concentrating on.

I'm really sorry you've had some reverses (due to 9/11) and haven't been able to make a go of your business despite your dedication and hard work. But it seems to me that it's time to cut your losses and look for a job that will pay an income you can live on.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 7:46am
Welcome imyssy! It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation. I can understand wanting to keep the business you worked so hard to build. I built my own business and regard it like one of my children. To me it sounds like you are facing some really tough questions. In order to keep your business going you are going to have to work some other job too. There have been some years with my business when I worked a full-time job for someone else and ran my business half time. I got jobs that put me in a position to make contacts that would help build my business back up later. It worked for me though it was back breaking for a few years. As you describe it you must do something of that nature or give up the business entirely and just work for someone else. ellenbapt makes a good point that if you are not making sufficient income to cover your business expenses then you will lose your business anyway.

For you I suggest that you get your hands on these two books ASAP and read them; Earn What You Deserve by Jerrold Mundis and How to Get Out of Debt Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis. He has a similar story about his own business and being in debt and perhaps his experience and wisdom can help you.

You have found a supportive group of people who have "been there and done that." Here at the DSG we offer lots of emotional support to one another as we struggle to get out of debt. Each person has found their own way of doing this and has much to share to help a newcomer.

We have a weekly check-in on Mondays. Try to be sure that you check-in then as well as posting often and becoming a part of our caring community. Please check out all the other Money boards as well. Many newbies find the Debt Questions and Answers Board to be an important source of information as they are starting out.

I urge you to visit http://www.quicken.com/planning/debt/ and use the Quicken Debt Reduction Planner to calculate how long it will take you to get out of debt with a reasonable payment plan. http://www.debtorsanonymous.org is a valuable website for understanding this affliction of compulsive debting. I have found http://www.flylady.net to be an important source of help for simplifying my life and dealing with the blues and a general sense of depression that I struggled with when deep in debt. And lastly I always ask people to check out http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com, Mary Hunt's website is a source of much helpful information and inspiration.

We are glad you joined our group! We welcome you with open arms and hope that you come back often.

I wish you the best of luck sorting through your choices and finding solvency, sanity and a bright future.

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 8:41pm
I'm making enough to cover the biz expenses. It's my living expenses I can't cover - anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 each month - a couple months out of the year, I make a little more than my living expenses.

I will NEVER give this business up. NEVER EVER NO WAY! PERIOD!

I need help in finding ways to stay in business, not give up and quit.

I'm just looking for stop-gap measures to get me through a few more tough months. Ways to economize, pay just the essential bills, "find" some extra $$$, and so on.

When I first started I went after companies who were too small. Now I know what size company I need to approach. I'm not a superb salesman so it's tough. But my company is improving and will continue to do so. As soon as I can pay for workmen's comp I plan to hire a commissioned only salesperson - that may be hard to find.

Thanks so much.



mslvp@sbcglobal.net

Cruise and Group Specialist

HAVE A GREAT DAY!  (OR EVENING!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 11:40am
Check out the resources I recommended in the last post. You should find lots of info on methods of economizing. Finding $$$ is not something I could advise you on. I've had to work like crazy for every $ I have and never "found" any easily.

Good luck to you, glad your business is so vital to you.

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: mslvp
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 11:50am
Sounds like you're asking for an impossible solution, or maybe asking in the wrong place. If your business isn't bringing in enough $$$ to cover your living expenses, and you've already cut expenses down to the bone (sounds like you have), then what options do you have?

Increase your revenue or close up shop.

You purposely don't say what business you're in, so I can't even offer suggestions about where to go for ideas to boost your sales/revenue. Have you considered bankruptcy for a fresh start?

Good luck - I hope things take a turn for the better for you very soon.

Msfit

                  &nbs

Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 6:46pm
Obviously, something has to change because things aren't working.

I don't know what type of business you're in but are there ways that you might

branch out or offer other services? It sounds like you could use a mentor.

Do you know anyone who's running the same type of business successfully?

Maybe you could check with the small business bureau for a referral.

In the meantime you might have to work another job. Or think of ways that

you could bring money in. Sell things on Ebay. Have garage sales. Pet sit.

I'm concerned that you're looking for temporary measures. What if business

really doesn't pick up in a few months? I've always been told that if you're going

to start your own business that you should have a large safety cushion- nine months of living expenses in the bank or so. Could you put the business on hold and work for a year or two? You could always go back to it if it's that important.

And with money in the bank you could concentrate on your business instead

of how to pay the bills. It must be very stressful to try to run a business when

your mind is on your unpaid bills.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
In reply to: mslvp
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 11:07am
I know several companies in this field that are very successful. Some have 20-25 employees & some have just one person like me. This is a very, very lucrative business for a lot of people.

I won't give up & it's not feasible to do it part time. I need the 8-6pm daily & often on week-ends to meet & be available to my clients & vendors. Need most of the other time for paperwork, creating "proposals" & the like. I could probably work from 9pm-4 or 5am but I'd be really exhausted because I'd be sleeping for 2 hours or so. And, last nite & Sat. nite I was doing something for a client from 7pm to 12m or just past 11:30p.

Thanks everyone so much.

mslvp@sbcglobal.net

Cruise and Group Specialist

HAVE A GREAT DAY!  (OR EVENING!)