Inc Magazine cites Jane Muir on Exit Strategies

Personal Finance Writer Helaine Olen, writing for Inc. Magazine asked, “Is It Just a Slump, or Should You Call It Quits? Here’s How to Tell; Sometimes grit wins out–but sometimes you have to know when to walk away” in an article published in the Winter 2018/19 edition of the publication.

“Alexis Tryon co-founded Artsicle in NYC in 2010 to sell original art online to the masses–people wanting to decorate their homes without dropping millions of dollars at auctions. The company’s early days were promising, with glowing reviews and artists signing up to sell their work on the platform every week. Venture money soon followed.

But then business plateaued. A hundred customers signed up the first year … and the second year … and the third year. “A hundred needed to be a thousand and then 10,000. But it never happened,” Tryon recalls. So Artsicle pivoted, trying to reach a bigger market of companies looking to decorate their offices. But the slow and painstaking strategy involved more cold calling than website curation. Another new product, an online platform for artists to display their portfolios, was popular–but not lucrative. Investors started getting impatient. “They wanted us to grow big or go home,” Tryon says.

Finally, in 2015, Artsicle shut down. Tryon’s only regret? “We should have done it sooner,” she says. “But we weren’t emotionally ready.”

It’s a problem all too many business owners face. The hard fact is that many startups, even if they do moderately well, will not ramp up as much as their founders hope. According to the Small Business Administration, only about half of all companies survive as long as Artsicle’s five years. But it’s hard to know when enough is enough. “Entrepreneurs are inherently optimistic–otherwise they would not have taken the risk to go into business,” says Jane W. Muir, a Miami attorney who specializes in business operations and contracts.

So, how do you tell the difference between a rough patch you should gut through and a terminal business condition?”

To read the full text of the article, click here.

Written by Jane Muir

Jane Muir