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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

How to Avoid a Business Bankruptcy

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleThe number of small businesses filing for bankruptcy increases every year, and while bankruptcies don’t always lead to the full closure of the company, in a lot of cases they do. If your dream business is currently on the verge of bankruptcy, don’t panic. There are some steps you can take that may help you to turn things around. Try to think as positively as you can and put the following steps into action.

1. Look at the Figures

The first thing you need to do is work out how much you need to make each month to survive. This includes both the money you need to actually live, and the money you need to repay your creditors. Add 20% to this figure to give yourself a cushion. Finally, add in the costs of running your business. This includes everything from your bills to your payroll to the cost of inventory. With this information at hand, you need to work out how much your business is earning each month. If you are facing bankruptcy, it’s likely you have a deficit between the two numbers. The next steps are going to focus on decreasing costs and increasing profit to give you enough to cover everything you need to pay.

2. Cut Costs

Okay this sounds simple, but there is sure to be some ways that you can lower your expenses to meet your spending goals. Consider getting rid of your traditional phone plan and switching to VoIP, look into cheaper packaging options, and look into obtaining new quotes for any services you receive that aren’t under contract. The aim here is to look for redundant costs that your business can do without and either eliminate them entirely or reduce the amount you are spending.

3. Renegotiate with Your Creditors

Phone your creditors and let them know you are considering bankruptcy. The majority will be happy to come up with a payment plan that works for you so long as it means they will still receive what they are owed (with bankruptcy there is no guarantee they will be paid). Some may be willing to waive the interest, while others will extend the terms of your debt so that you have longer to repay it. You could also file a consumer proposal with your creditors if you don’t want to speak to them directly.

4. Look at Short Term Cashflow Options

We’re not necessarily suggesting that you take out loans to cover your cash flow. Instead, speak to your vendors and ask them for more lenient payment terms. If they can extend their terms, you will free up more cash in the short term. Another option is to ask your clients to pay you quicker. You could offer them a small percentage off their invoice if they are willing to pay faster. Both of these options will provide a boost in the short term.

Sometimes filing for bankruptcy is the only option. However, it is worth giving the above a try first if it could mean saving your business.