This current recession in 2008 and 2009 is marked by how low the economy has gone, the increase in unemployment, but most frustrating of all, how long it has taken before the “green shoots” appear. If your business is struggling and you think your only option is to close the door and hand the keys back to the landlord, here are some things to consider.

First, it’s rarely as simple as closing the door and handing the key back to the landlord. If your business has a lease you obviously need to discuss the situation with the landlord. If you have a good relationship and feel you can handle it on your own to save hiring help, take care as you handle the issue. Bear in mind the landlord is no different to you. They lease the real estate to make money. If you close the doors, they need to find a replacement for you which may take time to achieve. This can be a talking point with the landlord as you may be able to bring a tenant to replace you. If this is the case, make sure this is correct as the landlord may become frustrated if the person changes their mind. Similarly, the landlord is not required to accept the person you bring so be aware the landlord has options.

Second, and this is the main reason for this article, some businesses are cash poor and so are struggling to keep their doors open. That is, they are unable to generate enough sales to produce the profit that allows them to keep their doors open. However, some of these businesses are rich in assets. If this is the case, a real option is to manage down the assets to either keep the business going or get the best price possible for the assets. Here are some suggested strategies.

If the business has a lot of excess inventory but limited cash, move the excess inventory. This means going through each piece of inventory to make sure it’s in good condition. If its condition is questionable, discount it but get it sold. Better to have a few dollars in the business and free up some space than have it sit around and collect dust. This is especially true if the business is paying to store any inventory as costs can be reduced by eliminating unnecessary storage space.

Most buyers are interested in two things when buying a business; cash flow to service debt and provide an income to sustain the buyer’s lifestyle and potential. Buyers are not excited about buying a business and managing it down to a smaller business. If you own a business that is challenged by cash flow and limited potential, your buyer may be someone in the industry who is looking to add the assets of your business to their business and therefore take you out as a competitor. These buyers can be harder to find and they are almost always only motivated by paying as low a price as possible.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Rogerson is a 5 time business owner who currently specializes in helping entrepreneurs enter or exit owning and operating their own business. He’s also the author of four books on business ownership. For more information, visit Andrew’s website at and order a copy of any of his books including Successfully Buy Your Business: Expert Advice from a Business Broker or Successfully Sell Your Business: Expert Advice from a Business Broker. Andrew is a Sacramento Business Broker.