Toronto tech recruiter Sam Levinson and her husband, Adam, a gross sales skilled, launched organic-hand-sanitizer firm Dom on the top of the pandemic. Demand for sanitizers was booming, and the duo jumped on the chance, creating a hydrating product that smelled like rosemary and lavender. Sam had just lately been laid off, giving her time to dedicate to the business.
Covering start-up prices with the couple’s personal cash, Sam labored for greater than a yr to get Dom up and operating, from researching the market and discovering the best provider to buying Health Canada approval. Dom launched in April 2021 and took off. At the height of its reputation, the sanitizer appeared in 150 retail areas throughout Canada, together with Whole Foods and boutique motels like The Drake in Toronto.
But in late 2022, the sanitizer market wound down in lockstep with the pandemic. The model’s gross sales dipped. “We realized that unless we solicited a major cash infusion to support a pivot into a different product or a push into the U.S., it just wasn’t going to pick up,” says Sam. With inflation and rising rates of interest, the financial system was precarious. Meanwhile, Sam was pregnant. “Pushing the business forward could have put us in a big financial hole, but the biggest factor was that our hearts weren’t in it anymore.”
In November 2022, the Levinsons made the decision to close down Dom. The first query was whom to tell, and when. Since they needed to liquidate their stock, the pair determined to postpone a public announcement, strategically leaning into the vacation season to promote the merchandise they’d left. So, the primary stakeholders they knowledgeable have been their distributors and suppliers. “You never know where your business relationships can lead in the future, so you don’t want to burn a bridge.” Keeping distributors within the loop additionally helped them promote inventory, since they might work collectively on advertising pushes, like 50 per cent off gross sales.
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Sam made the announcement on Dom’s web site and social-media platforms a month earlier than shutting down for good, thanking prospects for his or her help. Before shuttering their Shopify web site, the Levinsons downloaded their monetary information for tax functions.
For business house owners seeking to shut down, Sam says it’s essential to avoid wasting monetary information and shut providers that value cash, like business emails. Timing can be key. Instead of ready for gross sales to plummet or borrowing cash to remain afloat, Sam made the decision when the tide was turning. “A part of me feels like a failure, and it’s sometimes hard not to wonder why we couldn’t make it work. But I can look at it from a positive perspective because the business ended on a high.”