I was chatting to someone recently who told me that they were concerned about their business as they were experiencing cash flow problems and had some significant debts that could not be paid. I wasn’t talking to them in my ‘official capacity’ as a licensed Insolvency Practitioner – it was a social event and it was purely by chance that I was speaking to them. It seemed rude to not tell what I do for a living and initially they laughed (somewhat nervously) and then said, “Perhaps I’ll give you a call in a while, but speaking to an insolvency practitioner is a last resort!” I asked what they would do in the meantime – the response was lengthy and earnest and used words such as ‘turnaround’, but could be summarised by the phrases ‘fingers crossed’ and ‘wait for something to happen.’
As you might expect, I spent some time outlining the kind of things that I can do to help a struggling business – ring-fencing existing debt, affordable repayment plans, legally-binding arrangements with creditors (including HM Revenue and Customs) and even writing-off debt that is unlikely ever to be repaid. The person that I was talking to was amazed – they believed that insolvency practitioners just ‘wind up companies’ and they had no idea about the flexible turnaround routes that we are able to offer.
I’m pleased to say that this person has instructed me to help them turn their business around and we are forging ahead with a formal arrangement with creditors – known as a ‘Company Voluntary Arrangement’ or CVA that will allow the company to move forward without the historic debt that built up after the loss of a major customer.
It is a shame that some business owners see insolvency practitioners as a ‘last resort’ and often put off contacting me until the business has effectively closed, having ceased trading due to pressure from creditors. If advice had been sought sooner, I could have explained all the options for the business and it is frequently the case that I could have helped the owner to turn the business around with the support of creditors. People sometimes worry that they will be ‘wasting my time’ if they speak to me too soon – this has literally never happened. Even if the situation is not serious at all, the business owner will come away with a better understanding of the options that are available if the situation should worsen. And I can often introduce clients to trusted specialists who can bring their sector-specific expertise to help business owners to improve their businesses so they will never need my services.
So if you are struggling with business cash flow problems, give me a call today. By speaking to us early, we can outline all the turnaround options and help you to decide which route is right for your business. It is much easier to turn around a struggling business than it is to breathe life into a business that has already ceased trading. So the sooner you get in touch, the more options you’ll have and the more time will be available to turn things around.
So why wait? For a completely free and confidential meeting to discuss the options for your business, call me and my team today on 01709 331300.