My unusual small business history

The purpose of this post is to provide a brief background into an unusual situation where I am soliciting feedback on marketing for my businesses.

I launched a solo financial advisory practice focused on serving small businesses more than 30 years ago. I fell into  niche of serving small business contractors since I had a personal and family background in residential real estate investing and remodeling. This led to development of early Web 1.0 business services for these small business contractors and an early dot com business success. I sold the dot com to a public company. In the aftermath of the recession of 2009, I helped a few contractors successfully sue Donald Trump for fraud and nonpayment. The local remodeling contractors elected me as their local association’s president. I served on the national board and helped develop online sole proprietor and association member employee benefit plans. This led to a series of speaking and recording engagements. I developed some reputation in the tax industry as a small business compensation and benefits expert.

I thought I was set for life when I was attacked by a politically provoked neighbor and lost 8 years in recovery from brain injury during what should have been peak career and earnings years. I did recover , re-took the CPA exam, and relaunched my practice from zero.

A few years after I returned to work, Donald Trump was nominated for president. I never imagined that the guy who cheated so many contractors in a last generation would be viewed as a hero to a younger generation. The contractors who I considered the base of my business turned hostile. I felt unwelcome at local and national meetings. I have very few contractor clients remaining today and still face resistance that feels outside of my control.

I used a series of marketing consultants and marketing campaigns followed over the next six years to refocus my practice. I’ve spent tens of thousands over this period. None of these efforts were successful. My last large clients died or retired during the Covid era. I discharged the last hired adviser this month.

Meanwhile, I’ve restructured my business (both professional and other businesses now) and life plans to work for another 12 years. I plan to focus on implementing a continuity plan. Much of this planning depends on resolving the problem with my source of new client acquisition.