Question :
 Hi there, My husband and I have owned our business for close to 10 years and built it from scratch to a now successful and known brand. We employ 8 people currently. It took a long time and many hours of work to build it up and it is only in the last few years we’ve been able to reap the rewards. It’s been a tough year mentally and we are at a point where we want to throw the towel in. Not because of Covid or financial stresses, the business is doing well at the moment,  but because we are sick of dealing with the day to day dramas of staff and managing people which takes away from the reason we do what we do and the reason behind why we started this business. We’ve also been thinking lately about what is our end goal, what is our exit plan and where to next, can we expand, if so how, do we sell? To who? Close down? What about our lease?  We don’t really want to just throw away 10 years worth of hard work for nothing…But it is getting to the point where this is draining and we feel like we have no real direction. What are our options and who can we go to for advice with this sort of thing? I feel we need a mentor to advise and help guide us on what the next step should be. Would love to know your thoughts. Thanks in advance. An over worked family. 

Question submitted 29/10/20 @ 10:03pm
Industry: Leadership
  • Up

    Morena – I saw this question last night, and felt the weight of what you are going through. Would be very good for you to talk to someone. I would say that many business owners feel like you right now, it has been a tough year as you say, and then you also have the pressures of thinking about the future.

    Of course you can keep chatting online here digitally, or we can suggest some offline discussion – options include, Business Mentors NZ – you can apply here – https://bmnz.qlbs.com/home/signup?_ga=2.31657854.1989445369.1603995166-1629123381.1603995166&_gac=1.253439867.1603995166.CjwKCAjw0On8BRAgEiwAincsHM-oNwxeSadWyf0xtuDm7MrAzrKn1D94kSV5HkIoxgdPn4tbajvrGBoCqkYQAvD_BwE

    Another option is for you to contact your local Regional Business Partner – can you tell me where you are located or if you want, email me direct on andy.hamilton@manaaki.io and I can refer you.

    You got this I am sure, just need to work through the options, and I think you are very courageous in expressing this, so well done! – Andy


    Just saw this and I feel for you too. Sounds like you are at the end of your tether and a business coach could be useful to support you in identifying what might need a ‘culture re-set’ in your business given it sounds like the team is not united if the people issues are so draining. No one will be motivated to work on our business as much as we will and engaging a team on a united mission is no easy task if you don’t have the people on board who are committed to success. I am happy for you to call for a chat re the people side of things and team development but preparing a business for sale is not my bag so I encourage you to take Andy up on his contact offerings. You can email me direct on flyon.aj@xtra.co.nz to make a time to chat if you need a safe ear to talk through whats going on with the team. Sometimes simply acknowledging the frustration out loud as you have here can shift the energy – I hope that happens for you but we are here if you need support. Keep the faith and all the best.


    Firstly thank you for writing this down, that took courage. I too can really feel the emotion you are talking us through and feel the weight that is sitting on both of you.
    I agree with some of the others comments about about getting support, connecting in with a mentor who is impartial can help you see the wood through the trees sometimes.You don’t need to go through this alone!

    It has been such a hard period to navigate but from what you have talked through you seem to be in a solid position and should also feel pretty proud that you have build a business that supports yourselves and 8 employees, that will put you in the upper quartile of businesses in NZ so well done!

    I know from my experience this year has had different effects on different members of the team and Ive had to be really conscious to not look or react to the behaviour I see, but look for the root cause. There are many things we and our employees are having to deal, some of which we have no idea about. My advise on the staff issues is to be curious and try and see through their truths not your own, it could help build a better understanding for both of you.

    Good luck working through your options with the support and if I can help director support in any way I’m more than happy to connect.


    Hi there, I totally agree with the advice above.

    What I’d like to suggest is a step in between – to make sure you get the most out of any coaching you may get. Because that feeling being stuck is suffocating.

    It takes a lot of time and energy to get a new person up to speed on your business and it’s intricacies. That new person also needs to be fit for purpose – you don’t want to waste time on the wrong problems.

    Can you step away from the day-to-day to work through these questions? What are the family dynamics? If the answer is yes, can you start carving that time out now to start on some of this?

    What are your bottom lines – what debt is there, what commitments beyond your lease are there, who is out there that could buy the business? What would you need to do to get the business ready for sale? How long would that take? What are the elephants in the room? During what time if the year?

    Can you answer these yourself or with your family – or do you need an external party to work through them?

    If you have a bit of a plan/framework to go about getting some answers to your questions you’ll gain some momentum and a plan will emerge.

    Happy to chat if you need to bounce some ideas off anyone.


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