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help - desperate work situation(49 Posts)
(I have put this in chat but haven't had any replies yet and am desperate for advice - hope that is ok?)
Sorry if this is long but I am desperate for a solution. I have got myself into a terrible problem workwise and would be grateful for any advice.
I had been doing my previous job for 15 years, it was a job that I had mainly enjoyed and was good at but the last year became intolerable, there was a major restructure at work and the work I had always done was taken away, my post deleted and I was ring-fenced for a job I didn’t want - being managed by someone who I didn’t like. I got the job but really didn’t want it and left. Not before I had sorted something else out though. A year or so earlier my Dad had died and had left me with a significant amount of money, enough that I could have left my job without anything to go to and taken my time finding something else. Instead I listened to a lot of other people including my boyfriend (none of whom knew the full story such as how much my Dad had left me) who advised me to have something to fall back on. So I did what they advised me to do and got something else.
What I did was buy into a franchise, it only used a small part of my Dad’s money and was related to my previous field so I thought it would be good. I now realise that I have made a terrible mistake. I don’t like doing it, there are parts of it I hate, I miss working with other people and I am not making any money yet. I know that businesses take a while to grow and I think this one would/will eventually become profitable but I just don’t like it.
The problem is I can’t get out of it easily. I have signed a five year contract and if I want to get out of it the only options are: to sell it – but it hasn’t been going long enough to make this likely, to pay the franchisors £20,000 to get out and lose my initial investment, to employ someone to manage it (retaining enough from the profit to pay my franchise fees of £10,000 per year) or to employ someone to do the bits I hate. My boyfriend (who now knows my full financial situation) thinks I should either employ a manager or someone to do the bits I don’t like – if I do even some parts of the business though it would be difficult for me to find another job as the business is very time-consuming.
I just don’t know what to do, I want out – but I will have wasted a lot of my Dad’s money if I throw the towel in. I also feel that my boyfriend, much as I love him is skewing my judgement. We are meant to be buying a house together and are due to put our houses on the market in a month or so. The initial idea was that I put in more than him (as I could afford it due to my Dad’s inheritance), I don’t feel comfortable with this as I want the money to potentially cushion me from this situation. He is ok with that but encouraging me to keep at the business for at least another year.
I am tempted to just pay my way out – I wondered what people think – I know it is a crazy situation but how can I get back to a similar job to one I was doing else? And in what order can I do it? If I pay my way out of the franchise I won’t have a job to go to but if I get a job first, it could take ages to sort out the franchise which would be difficult to manage with a new job and how can I deal with potentially moving house with all this on my plate? I just want to bury my head in the sand and make it all go away…
Am really worried and really would welcome any advise, please...
You said that one of your options is to sell the business - if you did that, obviously you'd sell at a loss, but would it mean you wouldn't need to pay the breakage charge of £20k?
If the business has any customer base/footfall at all you'd be surprised what people will buy, even if it's making a loss.
I think you should go and see a commercial lawyer to see if there is any way you can avoid the franchise penalties for an early exit. I also think you should buy a cheaper house you can both pay half for. In any event don't get a joint tenancy.
It's not making a loss - just not being doing it long enough to make much of a profit. I think it is a viable business. I could try to sell it and then I wouldn't need to pay the £20k back but I would be surprised if anyone would want to buy a business that's just started.
Queenofwands - yes re the house. I think all the house stuff is muddling my way of thinking and I don't really feel ready for a move with all this going on. I don't think there is any way out of the franchise in terms of an early exit because I had it all checked out by a lawyer in the first place and knew what I was signing up for.
What is it about it that you don't like? Is it the lack of interaction with other people or a more fundamental dislike of the thing your franchise is about?
I ask because going from working in an office to running your own business is quite hard in a lot of ways, and I think the day-to-day interaction with other people is one of those things which people don't realise how much they need until it's gone.
FuckingLiability (good name btw) - it's both. There's a part of the business, a fundamental part that I don't like and which I could employ someone to do but the problem with that is that doing the rest of it would mean that I would find it difficult to do another job still as it would still be time consuming.
So, do you think I should try to sell up now, get someone in to do the bits I don't like, get a full time manager to take it on or just back out altogether and lose the money?
Can you give away the business, thereby just losing the initial investment, but not the 20k in addition, if you cannot find someone to buy it?
How much of a chunk of your inheritance would paying your way out of this misery cost you?
As to buying a house, I would advise both putting the same amount in as a deposit and sharing all of the costs equally. In fact, I'd suggest you put this off for the time being until your work situation is settled. No-one needs multiple stresses going on all at once.
Yes, I think putting off buying the house is for the best, I don't think I can cope with it at the moment and have also come to the conclusion that we need to put in equal shares. In terms of my inheritance, I can easily afford to buy my way out but have nothing else to go to and it would be a complete waste of money.
You bought the franchise so why wouldn't someone buy the business from you? Or am I missing something
Sorry for your loss - I suspect you were close to your father.
Franchises are usually fairly good at letting you know what is expected (and at making sure whoever they give a contract to are not going to run the name down), so I am surprised that there is a significant part of the business that you don't like. I did notice in your original post that with both your original job and your franchise, you feel that the decisions were made by others and I don't think that is necessarily true.
I'd stick with the franchise for at least a couple of years - get someone else in if you have to - could you postpone the house purchase for a bit until you are feeling more settled? It just strikes me that you feel really unsettled at the moment and it could be for a completely different reason but the franchise is kind of taking the blame for it!
I suppose I feel that the franchise has to show some success before it looks ok trying to sell it, otherwise people would wonder why I was trying to sell it so quickly.
Yes, buying yourself out of the franchise would be a waste of money but it won't leave you destitute and would get you out of this misery. Look at it this way: although it came to you from your father's estate and it would cause guilt to have made the wrong decision with some of it, it wasn't your whole life's savings built up over decades that you've sacrificed just to find that it's not what you actually wanted to do or what made you happy.
You've listened to other people and made a decision influenced by their opinions. Now listen to yourself and imagine the relief of not doing this business any longer. Find a buyer if you can, that would be the best outcome but if you can't, ditch it and move onwards and upwards onto the next phase of your life.
thank you - yes, that's what I want but I don't have a job to go to and I worry that I will then be out of work with nothing to do and no money coming in. I did listen to others, I wish I hadn't because they didn't know the whole situation. I now feel like I need a complete break from everything, including my relationship while I sort the mess that is my life out.
I'd consider seeing it out until it turns a profit, if you think that eventually it will. I did an awful lot of jobs I didn't like to get to where I wanted to be. I moved away from home, lived in rural areas, did boring mundane jobs just to get to where I wanted to be. I always had the end goal in mind.
Think of it that way.
First I would get some legal advice to see if there is possibly a way to get around the get out clause. If not I would try to sell the business and in the meantime employ someone to do the bits you don't like. I think if you buy your way out you might in the future regret wasting £20,000.
I don't think there is a way out legally as I had the contract thoroughly checked out first. My relationship is going to suffer with all this as my boyfriend saw me putting in an unequal share into the property as a good solution to his own problems and wanted us to sell quickly but now I see that as an additional stress. My only real options are making it work with the franchise and doing it for a few more years, getting someone in to do the bits I hate, trying to sell it or getting in a manager - all of which are difficult and I don't know which one to do. Or cutting my losses and trying to get out.
By selling now, you save the franchise fees and can free yourself up earn by finding employment.
It'd come down to the maths for me and only you know the figures to weight that up.
I'd be looking for employment now to see how likely it would be that I could find a job.
If you're better off making the business profitable before selling them It may help you to set yourself a timeline. Things are more bearable if you know they won't stretch on Indefiantly.
If you don't think it will out you too much can you tell us what exactly it is you hate about your business?
I have worked with people who hate a specify part is f their job but when we've broken it down it's because they are scared of it and have had no training. Is it possible that with some help you coud actually come to this oersted or even enjoy it?
I've seen people go for being terrified of something to loving it.
I'm afraid it will out me by revealing it and I'm worried I will be in trouble with the franchise by doing that. There are specific things I don't like about it but fundamentally I miss being in employment with a regular income and a structure to my day and doing a job I was good at. I rushed into this and regret it.
You sound so unhappy about the job, I think you should cut your losses in the easiest way you can.
I know you are under a lot of stress but I have the impression you are having doubts about your relationship too.
One thing at a time, make a decision re your business and research finding other employment. Do all the numbers for all the different scenarios, take your time thinking and you will come up with the best option for you.
OP, this is a concern for me
< my boyfriend saw me putting in an unequal share into the property as a good solution to his own problems and wanted us to sell quickly >
You sound overwhelmed by everything and it's no wonder.
Break down the issues you're having with your life into separate problems and tackle on at a time.
Stop with any house purchasing or moving.
What are your boyfriend's 'own problems' and what is he doing to tackle them? apart from looking at your finances to solve them that is. That's not a basis for a healthy relationship or living together.
How long have you being running your business?
It sounds to me as though you took a knee jerk decision off the back of bereavement and your unhappiness with the situation in the job you had at the time.
Sometimes having money means we do things we shouldn't do, just because it's easy to do them i.e. you had the money to start up the business and it was an escape from the job you'd come to hate. Would you have been so keen to start the business if you'd had to work hard to raise the money?
Thinking about that can help square in your mind what you want to do.
I can't advise you what to do I can only share what I think I would do.
As you're not making a loss and haven't been going long enough to make much of a profit then I'd take someone else on to do the chores I dislike so much.
That would also help with having some other company rather than life just being essentially you and your boyfriend.
I'd think in my head that I was going to give it at least another twelve months and see where I was at with both the business and my private life at that stage - I'd work at having a business I could sell on and also seeing at that point where the relationship was going and if b/f had found a solution to his problems.
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