A recent New York Times article features comments from a Curves franchise owner who regrets not having dumped her four Curves for Women franchise locations on some other poor schmuck when her sales were good.
In a recent post on “You’re the Boss,” NYT editors solicited readers’ stories about businesses that did not survive 2009. The owner of four Curves franchise locations (Joan Donofrio of Concord, California) — shared this comment:
“I made my biggest mistake by not selling my first two clubs when they were raking in the money. I could have made a profit of $700,000. Instead I ended up broke and in bankruptcy court. Not knowing when to get out of a business is the biggest hurdle people make…Not having an exit plan is the biggest peril of all.”
According to the writer, business broker Barbara Taylor, the moral of the story is to make sure that when the music stops, you’re not the moron left without a chair . Writes Taylor: “It can be difficult to let go of your business in good times, as well as bad. No business owner plans to fail, but many — like Ms. Donofrio — fail to plan their exit strategy.”
Really? Donofrio’s biggest mistake was not sticking some unsuspecting buyer with her doomed clubs so they could lost $700K more than she did?
Did it occur to Donofrio that perhaps buying a concept that could not withstand overexpansion and/or an economic downturn was her biggest mistake? Or not taking steps to reverse her declining sales? Or perhaps not organizing with other franchisees to demand more support from the franchisor?
The irony of Donofrio’s statement was not lost on commenter Quasimoto, who responded:
Let me fix that for you.
“I made my biggest mistake by not duping an unwitting bagholder into overpaying for my first two clubs when they were raking in the money hand over fist by preying on insecure women that had access to credit. I could have made a profit of $700,000. Instead my greed landed me broke and in bankruptcy court. Not knowing when to get out of a Ponzi Scheme is the biggest hurdle people make…Not having a greater fool to bail you out of your greed laden binge is the biggest peril of all.”
So what was Joan Donofrio’s second biggest mistake?
Perhaps it was posting her true regrets to the New York Times for all to see.
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