In my profession, I get to see a lot of people who want to start a business, want to sell a business, want to buy a business and are trying to save a business. It’s a hard truth that 95% of new ventures fail within the first 3 years and the reasons for the failures are many. Poor management decisions and being unable to afford marketing are a couple of the more common ones.
I met a client one day, a guy, he looked really successful. He was dressed well in a grey suit, drove a silver BMW and just oozed confidence. Then the sad truth spilled out after some discussions with me. He was virtually broke, and the look of success was a front he used to get customers. The problem was that this man was spending more money on looking good than he was actually making in profits! Not a good strategy.
The thing about debt is that if you don’t manage it, then it’s like a monster on a feeding frenzy. It won’t stop chewing until you are all gone. When running a business that has tight margins then you need to be extra careful about expenditure. There is a saying that you have to spend a quid to make a quid but that should be you have to spend a quid to make 10 quid back. Now that’s real business.
There wasn’t a lot I could do for this client except to advise him to look at a trust deed, lick his wounds, and if he has the energy then to start again with a better business plan. The concept of his business was good but without some expert advice at the start, he now found himself in a position that many similar, small businesses had to confront. He was married with a young son and they had a mortgage on a reasonably new home. He was very scared that he would lose his home, and, as a result, his family.
There are many ways to arrest debt and then work out a way with your creditors a way to pay it back. Bankruptcy is not the way to go and believe me, a creditor will be a lot happier with £0.25 in the pound than nothing. I was glad to see that he felt a lot more confident about his future after meeting with me a couple of times and we went through some plans he might be able to put into action if he could get some leeway with his creditors.
So it’s not all doom and gloom when you find yourself in what appears to be a desperate situation. If you can learn a lesson like this at an early age, it just might set you up to have a second go with a lot more knowledge and certainly a heck of a lot more experience.