The keys, as we always tell prospective clients approaching us embroiled in a debt spiral are:
- Know the Worst Achieve the Best,
- Get the very best initial advice in this specialist niche,
- Get support, it’s a lonely process to endure, and
- Positively attack the problem with a strategy.
If you are the person in the front line, taking all the grief, it is essential you are ready for the task ahead and you will not be, if as they say here in Northern Ireland, ‘your head is fried’.
If you are not mentally prepared for this – the challenge of all challenges – then you have no chance. Applying the 4 keys as explained above, will give clarity whilst facing everyone’s demands.
Mental health is quite rightly on vogue at the moment, business debt pressure is like no other, it can break the strongest person and the fallout can be massive on you and all around you.
It’s a cliché yes but the reason why on a plane in an emergency you must fit your own oxygen mask and then help others, says it all. If you are of no use – then how can you start to help others.
In every case of business failure, it’s imperative to use the 4-point approach above. Commenting further on these:
1. Know the Worst Achieve the Best. Absolutely vital. We are sometimes approached when its too late, so the ramifications need to be known and worked on even if its Bankruptcy. Very often the situation is not as bad as it seems. The insolvency industry is full of ‘experts’ and BS abounds so make sure you know the facts here.
2. The best advice. Debt scenarios can be complex, even in small businesses, with different types of debt and creditors, who have differing expectations. This is so important. Your usual solicitor/accountant MAY be able to help…but you don’t need MAY at this point. They could be looking to genuinely help but misplaced meaningful BS, is the last thing you need.
3. Get Support. It’s vital to make sure you have someone to talk to. ‘Bottling it up’ is not good. You will be judged in the good old way, ‘you’ve failed’etc. You haven’t – you tried it didn’t work – end of. It takes someone you can bounce off and help release the pressure maybe over a wine or a beer. It doesn’t need to be someone who understands the technicalities, a pair of ears is all that’s needed. Repeating myself here but GET SUPPORT.
4. Positively Attack the Problem. Positively? I hear you say. YES. If you’ve got the solid basis of the 3 points above and have the strategy to Know the Worst Achieve the Best…attack it. It will not be easy, but mindset is all here. Knowing the worst will be the backdrop and allow you to get the real context of your situation.
So that’s how to take on the problem. Then you need the priority of importance for those involved here and whilst they may differ slightly from case to case, they are:
- YOU – the opera singer warming up (me, me, me…)
- Your immediate family, they will be worried about the situation and you,
- Sort yourself out financially, don’t be the last to get paid here. Selfish yes but in this instance imperative – oxygen mask,
- The business and your team,
- Your customers/clients, and
- The creditors. Important but note where they really sit in the priorities.
None of the above is ‘rocket science’ but strategising is essential when such a pressurised situation rises.
Finally, if you are struggling do not listen to the many detractors. Being an entrepreneur is lonely at times and when it ‘hits the fan’ this loneliness can be too much to take.
You tried and it didn’t work – end of. Most people don’t even try.