When Business Goes Bad: How to Respond

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When you start your own business, your blood, sweat and tears goes into making it work. It might be your entire source of income, you could have poured your life savings into getting it off the ground. And so if things start to go wrong it can be an extremely stressful time. Here are some examples, and ways that you can avoid further issues.

Slow Business

In just about any kind business there will peaks and troughs in sales and profits. In retail for example, the peaks will match up with public holidays, and the troughs shortly after. Lots of companies will experience a dip in sales during tax time when people are shelling out on a big tax bill. However if profits have dropped and things just aren’t going as well as they once were it can be a cause for concern. You might need to improve your marketing and advertising by showing new materials and try new methods to get your name out there. For example, competitions and promotions often get people interested. You could read your reviews and make sure that your products or delivery aren’t having issues- if they are, take steps to put things right.

Fraud and Theft

When it comes to fraud and theft, you need to keep an eye on your own workers- as well as criminals on the outside. Put systems in place to minimise employee fraud- this can involve setting up an anonymous reporting system, as well running thorough background checks. If you run a retail store or other kind of business where customers can steal things, you could install CCTV, fit security tags to value items and hire a security guard.

Lawsuits against you

When you run a business, you always have the risk of someone claiming a lawsuit against you. This could be for a genuine reason- a customer or employee could have been hurt as a result of your company. Health and safety might not have been followed correctly, it could be negligence or a genuine accident. In some cases, people might try and sue your business fraudulently to try and get money out of you. Having CCTV in and around your premises can be useful to prevent this, as well as ensuring that all procedures are followed correctly. For example, with no wet floor sign, someone could claim to slip over and hurt themselves and you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Make sure you have access to a lawyer specialising in business litigation, so that if any claims are made against you, they’re handled in the best way. You’ll also need the right insurances to make sure you don’t end up out of pocket if you are forced to make a payout.

Bankruptcy

Maybe things haven’t worked out with your business. Despite your best attempts at keeping your head above water, you’ve gone into the red and there’s no way to come back. If so, it’s time to declare bankrupt. This can hard to accept, especially when you’ve given it all you have, but it’s important to remember that sometimes things just don’t work out. In order to cover as many costs as you can and reduce your debt, sell as many of your assets as you can. As well as physical assets like computers and phones, consider things like logos and trademarks, customer lists. These will be of interest to your competitors.

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