Elaine Wilkins is elected as Ambassador of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce
Times have been pretty tough for most businesses over the last few years, and many have gone to the wall. Seeing lots of empty shops as you walk down the local High Street, or boarded-up factories on the industrial estate is a sad sight, each telling a story of a business that’s failed. What’s even sadder, is that many business insolvencies might have been prevented.
It’s getting towards the end of the month and there’s nothing left in the account. You still have some bills to pay and you don’t know how you’re going to meet them. Sound familiar? Then, as you’re watching TV, up pops an advert for a payday loan company. Hey presto, all you need to do is make a quick telephone call, or go online, and all your financial woes will be a thing of the past!
For both politicians and the media, pre-packaged sales of businesses out of administration (or “pre-packs”) are often highly controversial, particularly when the sales are back to the directors or management of the failed enterprise. There is a perception that pre-packs are often abused by unscrupulous directors to simply “dump debts” and start afresh free of troublesome liabilities, and all for far less than the true value of the business.
If you run a busy company then it can be easy to ignore the early signs that you may be in trouble financially. Debts tend to creep up on you quite slowly and unless you really have your eye on the ball it can be hard to identify potential problems. However, before you know it, things can take a very swift downwards spiral and from there on it can be very difficult to get back on top.
In recent years we have had quite a bleak economy, with a record number of businesses either struggling financially or ceasing to trade. When this point is reached it is likely that corporate recovery advice will be sought. In a nutshell, corporate recovery is when professional accountants and specifically trained staff are drafted in to help nurse a company or individual back to financial well being and resolve the issues that brought them into the negative position.
You may be a little surprised to see us commenting on the Chancellor’s recent Budget. After all, we don’t advise on tax issues. However, deep in the small print of the Chancellor’s announcements was one piece of bad news … really bad news.
In these austere times everybody has cause for worry – particularly company owners. If you are at the helm of a business then you will have seen your company through the good times and the bad, however there is always the very real risk of something going terribly wrong. At this point many companies are faced with the very real risk of company insolvency.
According to research by peer-to-peer lending group, rebuildingsociety.com, the average SME business owner has invested £22,700 of their own personal money into their business in the last year. And the study shows that 37% of those planning to raise money outside traditional bank borrowing will use their personal credit cards (despite standard interest rates typically being around 18.9%, and often much higher).