By: Christina Mencuccini, MBA MHA – Susan G. Komen Arizona (Closing July 31, 2017)
Out of all my MBA classes, I do not recall one discussion, assignment or even case study teaching me how to close a business gracefully. Analyzing failed brands and destitute business models led to a solid perspective and financial examination; but never once did we explore the complexity and complications that come with closing a business. Apparently, that class is only taught in real life.
I’ve experienced two closures in my lifetime, one as an impressionable teenager of our family business and the now, the second as a seasoned executive for one of the most meaningful causes in the country.
My father and his siblings closed our family business in the 1980’s. As the youngest of the cousins with a recent high school graduate, I was focused on anything but running a family supermarket chain and yet, the news was devastating to me. Mencuccini’s supermarkets were in business for nearly 70 years and were iconic for the many butchers, bakers, and others whose entire careers were lived out in the stores.
For me, the stores represented my first job and a huge part of my childhood identity.
My grandfather began this American Dream shortly after signing in at Ellis Island in 1911. When he passed away, I learned about the meaningful impact of our family business – stories of feeding people during the Depression, employing people with little or no education, supporting other local business, and generally being a cornerstone of community were revealed over and over. When I visit the town to this day, someone will recognize the name and tell me a story of their first job, a family member retiring, or a fond memory of my family.
Today I now know the importance of learning not only how to build a business, but how to close one as well. As we wind down #KomenAZ operations, I am moved by the many stories of survival and hope from people whose lives we have touched. I can appreciate the multi-generational impact our organization has made over the last 25 years.
There are no limits to the impact a business can make in one person’s life.
Two articles in the Harvard Business Review– Closing a Business Gracefully and Shutting Down your Business Gracefully render interesting points to consider if ever faced with the decision to end an operation. Still, I believe that closing a business is not best taught in a primer or a classroom, but only in life.
#ThankyouArizona http://thankyouarizona.com/ (ONE: Site featuring lots of pertinent information and details on the closing process)
ONE will miss long-time Member – Susan G. Komen Arizona