Sharing some tips on surviving a crisis.
In 2004, my first business almost went bankrupt, taking me with it. I was 27 and having turned over £500k in our previous year, this felt like my world was collapsing around me. Unable to now pay my rent, I sold my car, laptop, sound system (I was an events promoter) and anything else I had of value I signed on for Income Support (now Universal Credit). I was eternally grateful as my business advisor ensured I had always had a reliable accountant and paid my National Insurance contribution as self-employed (credit due to Sheffield Cultural Industries Quarter – CIQ).
With the help of friends, family and a few fools I gradually rebuilt myself. I reluctantly took state support. I got a job in a bar and ‘accidentally’ got another job doing events for a small charity. Through a European Union support programme (European Regional Development Fund – ERDF), I received training and support to become a business support practitioner. In 2006 I completed by City and Guilds/ Open College Network coaching qualification at Northern College Barnsley.
The rest as they say is history.
Via some wonderful support and gainful employment from UnLtd, The Young Foundation, The Power to Change Trust and now, Business Launchpad, I find myself offering some ‘Top Tips’ for business survival – which as is turns out is, and always was much more about personal survival…funny how life come around…
My 5 Top Tips …
- Ask for help – find a business coach, a friendly non-judgemental advisor and speak to them quickly – they can help, they want to help and they can be your navigator through tough times
- Ask for more help – there’s no shame in requesting support from the government, find the right package of support for you and apply – if you fall in the policy gaps- join a campaign, advocate, channel your anger and use your voice. It helps when its well-directed
- Be honest with yourself – drop the front and face up to the fact your business may not make it
- Pivot if possible, re-design your business – test new ideas and try new approaches, being fixed to a business model that doesn’t work will end in failure – collaborate where you can to share resources
- Give yourself time – find some time to not to be reactive; think about what YOU need to pause and form a plan. Execute it quickly (assuming you’ve already read point 1)
You are stronger than you think.