Archive for the ‘Business in decline’ category

Survive business closure & look forward to the next big step

It happens, businesses can reach the end of their life and be forced to close for a number of reasons:

  • The company is not able to meet its financial obligations
  • Demand for the product or service supplied has switched to the competition
  • Demand for the product or service no longer exists in the marketplace
  • Mismanagement of the business when action was needed to stem a decline in sales
  • Poor financial planning

The best thing to do is to recognise when this is the case – when the market is in decline, and the future is looking bleak, it’s time to consider an ordered closure of your department, division of even your company.

Don’t wait until the company has become insolvent!

Seek advice early on about how to wind up a business before it reaches financial difficulties. If you wait until it’s too late, there will be consequences, and it may not be as easy as you think to start again in business, especially if you are saddled with debts.

If you’re not sure about your options, or whether you’ve reached this stage, then call us here at Blaze Ahead and we’ll offer you our advice.

It’s good to talk to an independent person, to gain a realistic view on your current situation – is it salvageable or not? Do you want to make it work, or would you rather move on?

It’s not a time to make hasty decisions without thinking things through, but it is important to act quickly so you stay in control. If you do decide that closure is the only option, we’ll point you in the right direction to help you stay legal.

So, what next?

Let’s consider your options. If you still wish to trade with your existing company, assuming it has survived any changes you’ve imposed, you’ll need a revised business strategy to include:

  • Restructure of the business – redeploy skills if appropriate
  • Communications strategy – let the market know that you are still in business, and what products or services you are selling – make a repositioning statement.
  • Review marketing collateral – update marketing materials with new business offering
  • Financial strategy and planning – how does the restructured business look in financial terms, what are the goals for the years ahead?

And if your business has closed completely and you need to start again, you need a whole new business plan, to base your decisions now and in the future.

Broadly speaking, this needs to break down into 4 key areas:

  • Business objectives
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Finance

And though you’ve been in business before, recognise that this is not a time to cut corners. Formulate a thorough business plan, whether you need to pitch for finance or not, make it robust, give it timelines, and make your results measurable.

There’s no shame in bringing a business to a close – people don’t buy VCR’s any more, the last typewriter has just rolled off the production line, fewer and fewer companies use fax machines and when was the last time you bought film for your camera?

Markets do just disintegrate and disappear – the key to survival is to seek out the next big thing and be part of that. Apply your business skills, be open to learning new ones, and try and stay ahead of the curve as best you can.

Most of all, be robust, be resilient, and soldier on – your next big idea could be your best one yet!