How Not To Close A Business

How do you close a shop?

First, you start earlier than you did.

No, earlier than that.

No. I mean, you start closing your shop six months before you’re going to close.

We’re going out of business! You announce. And then you mark down everything to cost and you grit your teeth and you wonder how the hell people can walk through three rooms chock full of merchandise at 50% off all the while exclaiming how cool this is and how beautiful that is and darned cute the other thing is, and not find one thing they want.

You find yourself wondering if anyone ever bought anything at full price, once upon a time before you were going out of business.

But they did. They bought a lot. And more importantly, they liked this little shop. Many of them because repeat customers.

In fact, many people who never bought anything still loved it. And they told you so, over and over…each time they came and didn’t buy anything…never realizing that one cannot run a shop for them to visit next year on the purchasing power of pretty words. In other words, one cannot pay a mortgage on compliments. They are all so very very sad now that their favorite store is closing: “but yours is the best store in town!” But I digress….

Anyway, start your sale early. Because you have literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of inventory to sell, and – let me say this very clearly – you do not want to bring it all home with you.

No, you do not.

The prospect of “bringing it all home” is what is causing me to flinch these days. It’s not enough to have elderly parents to juggle, or someone that you love struggling with a massive challenge, or less money coming in to pay the bills than you need or an unprecedented wave of family illness. No, on top of that it’s icing on the cake to imagine one’s home an instant eBay/hoarder warren of boxes labeled “vintage lamps” and “game birds” and “American pottery” and “silverplate”.

Boxes and boxes of silverplate.
With all the silver being melted down, I figured that silverplate would come into its own.

Maybe? (or maybe not, she said, laughing.)

It will all work out. It turn out great.
But we have to believe….and I’m starting to do that.