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The business I work for has been suffering financially and I believe I can save the business a lot of money by radically changing people's job descriptions. Some people would have to get laid off and everyone else would have to work harder for a negligible increase in income.

I have offered to work for commission to the tune of "I will be able to pay my bills on a typical year." The business will make a profit in the tens of thousands again which was the norm years ago.

How do I convince my employer not to go out of business? This business can be successful, I just believe poor decisions have been made.

  • Make a multi-megabuck sale, sufficient to fund the company for the next five years? – keshlam Jul 6 '15 at 0:48
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    This is not very clear. You want to redefine all the job descriptions, and you also want to work for commission (you don't say why). How are these facts connected? – EleventhDoctor Jul 8 '15 at 14:47
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Short answer: Inquire about buying the business out from your boss.

A person does not reach the point of closing a business lightly. They have gone through a lot of soul searching and no doubt a lot of money trying to save it. If you feel you can resurrect the business, you should see if you can buy it from the previous owner. Otherwise it's not your money that's at risk.

If the owner is looking at closing it down, you may be able to purchase at it a fair (and above all equitable!) price and retain the business's goodwill it has built up among customers, and you can implement whatever reforms you like. I don't know your financial situation or if you either have or could borrow the funds, but that way you have total control over what reforms you wish to introduce.

You may however find that running a business is not as easy as you think, there is a lot of responsibility when you have employees that need to be paid each week whether you have money come in or not!

[Edit]

As per comments where it's unlikely you can raise the funds to purchase the business, what you will need to do is to present a 1, 5 and 10 year plan to your boss as to how you plan to save the business.

You need to incorporate:

  • How you plan to reduce costs (including any redundancies you will make and how much terminations will cost)
  • How you plan to build revenue
  • How long before your plan starts to produce a return
  • How long before your plan covers the additional outlay
  • What you expect to get from it
  • How you are going to help make these things happen.

You need to prove to your boss why the risk is worthwhile, and how you plan to mitigate that risk. You need to give figures. Be very specific and be very conservative. Take your most conservative profit figures and halve them in your projections. Most people tend to overestimate how much impact they will have and how long it takes to come back into the black.

  • I had actually looked at the financials when the announcement was made. When a bank loan is thrown into the works it becomes financially unviable even with about $40K of cost reductions. – user37810 Jul 5 '15 at 3:44
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    Then you can understand why the owner is closing down the business. You cannot expect them to wear that risk and potential further losses. If you want to save the business, you have to put your money where your mouth is. – Jane S Jul 5 '15 at 3:51
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    @user37810 - "you'll be able to pay your bills on a typical year" doesn't sound like a good reason to keep a business open. And that's assuming that your projections work out. They could invest in government bonds and be guaranteed to make a bit of money with no risk. A rational investor would need a much better return to stay invested in a private business and particularly to stay invested in a major turnaround. – Justin Cave Jul 5 '15 at 6:23
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    @user37810 - If you truly believe in this, you should prepare your plans and ask to have a meeting with the bank and the owner. The owner may just be exhausted, emotionally, too. The bank may be willing to write down interest and even principle if you can sell them on your plan. There will be a LOT more detail than just that to go through, but they're looking for good investments. If your plan will truly grow the business's value, they may be interested. Nothing to be "Lost" from talking to them. – Wesley Long Jul 5 '15 at 21:49
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    Private small-business owners often leave it far too late to wind up a failing business because they don't just have money invested, they have pride and personal identity invested too. So there may well be issues beyond the bare financials - caveat emptor. – Julia Hayward Jul 7 '15 at 7:36
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Pretty simple, Make a business plan that shows where the business is now, the changes you would make, and the projected profitability. I am sure the person who owns the business does not want to close it down but they do not see a path to profitability. If you can show a path to profitability your employer should choose to at least try to salvage their investment.

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