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Winding up your business: 6 tips to get through it

5 Mins

There is such a huge stigma attached to a business “failing”, and often, it becomes something much bigger, more complicated and stressful than it needs to be. 

Some very well known millionaire entrepreneurs, such as Peter Jones for example, have experienced times when a business just didn’t work the way it was supposed to. This doesn’t mean you aren’t a good business person, your ideas aren’t valid or your business couldn’t be a success if things had been done a little differently. It just means what you’ve got right now simply isn’t cutting it. 

It’s fair to say that it happens to every business. Just about every company will, at some point, fail in some way or other. 

It doesn’t have to spell the end – in fact, many go on to re-emerge as newer, stronger businesses which have a greater focus on the things that make them money, and less on those that don’t. 

So, if you’re plodding along, feeling like something just isn’t right but don’t know what to do, here’s a few tips to help you move through this difficult phase.

1. Stop burying your head in the sand!
If there’s a problem, ignoring it won’t make it go away. The best thing you can do is accept it so that can start to plan your next step, When you are too entrenched in the struggle of trying to find new of ways to make your business work in its current format, you are bogged down with negative thoughts. Once you accept its time to move on you will see much more clearly what steps you need to take and things will seem brighter and more positive. 

u20282) Get expert advice
Most people are petrified administration companies but believe it or not, they are there to help. Their initial advice will be free and you will be surprised by what can be achieved. Be 100 per cent honest with them, they have heard and seen every scenario and their experiences will help you through it. If you don’t have many assets you can probably close your old business and start your new business the very next day. Only this time you will be a little bit wiser and much more experienced.

u20283) Don’t fear your creditors
It’s not as scary a process as you think. As long as you have tried your best to address your debts and not sucked all the money out of your company you have nothing to fear. A limited company means limited liability – it’s there to protect you from the company debt, as long as you have not taken on any debt personally. Once you know what your plan is going forward, speak to people and let them know what the situation is. They will generally be more understanding than you expect.

4) Be wary of the politics with large multinationals
Try not to get on the wrong side of the multinationals. If you deal with big multinationals be careful, as often, they won’t play by the rules and if you get into disagreements with them there will be little or nothing you can do. 

5) Pay your staff
My advice would always be to pay your staff first, Make sure you look after the people who looked after you. If the company is going bust, the government redundancy scheme will pay your staff any reducing and or notice period money owing.

6) Learn from your mistakes
If you’re going to start a new company, make a list of everything you need to do, tick it off and keep track of what you’re doing. You might want to think about using new providers but it all depends on the relationships you have had and the circumstances you are in. Have a backup plan if the current provider decides they wont deal with you in the future.

Jonathan Kettle is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of successful online businesses TaxiCode.com and TaxiPriceCompare.co.uk.   

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