When your business hits difficult times, it can be hard to know what to do for the best. One of the businesses we’ve worked with has offered to share their story of how they came to ask for help. Does any of this seem familiar?
What business difficulties were you facing?
I run a small business with 9 staff. Without going into too much detail, a supplier had let me down and it caused me massive problems in how I could move forward. I went in what felt like no time at all from a growing business with loads of potential to one that was losing money.
What did you do about this?
If I’m honest, for a while I just lost sleep over it and I kept hoping that something would turn around soon. I was feeling incredibly stressed. So much so it made me ill. I had built up something with so much potential. It was hard to make any sort of negative decision about it.
Then one day I realised that I just couldn’t go on like this anymore. It was now affecting my health and I had to find a way forward, even if it wasn’t one I was going to be happy with. So I decided that I needed to stop trading, at least for a while. I had other business ventures, so I thought it would help me if I focused on these instead and then I would come back to what I loved the most when I was in a better place.
What advice did you get about this?
I immediately felt better as soon as I made this decision. I spoke to my fellow directors and every one of them supported my decision, which was a great relief to me. We all knew we’d hit problems that were outside of our control and we couldn’t move forward anymore in the way we wanted to.
It was my intention to close down the business as it is for now. But I am so passionate about what I do, I don’t want to say goodbye to it forever. If I can become more financially secure with my other businesses, I would like to think that in a few years I can come back to what I love to do the most. I just know it’s not the right time now.
Googling this, I read about phoenix companies and I realised it wasn’t going to be straight forward, so I spoke to my accountant about it, as I assumed he was the best person to speak to.
What did your accountant say?
He took all of the details from me, and then spoke to a lawyer about it too. They both agreed that closing down my business was the best option.
I was advised by my accountant not to speak to an Insolvency Practitioner about it. He said they are hugely expensive and often chase the money first. As I’m just a small business, I thought this made sense. But I didn’t really understand what all my options were, and I still felt very nervous about whether closing down was the right decision. I knew I needed to stop trading for now, but I didn’t want to stop doing what I love forever.
What made you eventually seek the help of an Insolvency Practitioner?
A friend of mine knows Brett at BLB Advisory. She shared with me some blogs that the company had written and it started to all make a bit more sense. Then she gave me their contact details and recommended that before I do anything I get some advice from them.
At first I was really confused. I’d believed that Insolvency Practitioners were only for large corporate businesses. I didn’t think that any of them would speak to a small business, and my accountant had told me how expensive they were.
But when I made contact with Brett, he was very willing to speak to me to offer some free advice. I felt very relieved about this. I have worked with my accountant for many years and I trust him completely, but he is not an expert in this area and I knew that even though he had given me his advice, I still felt very lost.
It’s amazing how getting real advice and being able to ask questions with an expert makes you feel so much better. While I still need to make decisions about the best way forward, knowing that for a small business there is actual support out there for you is a big relief.
If any of this seems familiar to you, then please do get in touch with us at BLB Advisory. No matter how small your business may be, getting the right advice is very important, and we work with businesses of all sizes.