Could Johnston Carmichael be the Christmas miracle that your business needs?

Richard Bathgate

Richard Bathgate

Restructuring Partner

06 December 2021

The last two years have been difficult for a lot of people and businesses.

With Christmas on the horizon, you might feel that your to-do list has become overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start. In my experience, when it comes to tasks you’d rather put off, speaking to an insolvency practitioner about restructuring your business is right up there with finally sitting down to write your Christmas cards. However, it is essential that you plan ahead.

It has undoubtedly been one of the toughest periods in living memory for Scottish businesses. Overnight, thousands of companies that had been perfectly viable found themselves looking over a financial cliff deep enough to induce panic in even the most hard-headed entrepreneur.

At times like these, when the winter ahead looks bleak, it is often our natural inclination to bury our heads in the sand and put off dealing with the real issue.

What’s more, with the rumour mill always turning, plenty of business owners would understandably fear reputational damage were they to admit that their company was struggling.

Unfortunately, avoiding difficult decisions has only one guaranteed consequence – some businesses will go to the wall unnecessarily. Regrettably, this is a story I see play out all too often, but it doesn’t have to be the case.

Insolvency practitioners are sometimes seen as the undertakers of the corporate world, just burying failed businesses. However, whilst administrations and liquidations are one inevitable element of our role, we spend almost as much time saving businesses as we do winding them up.

Far too often, business owners approach us believing that their only option is to begin insolvency proceedings – having reached the stage where they simply can’t see how the bills are going to get paid. We can help prepare a short-term cash flow forecast, allowing you to consider the timing of cash coming in and payments you are due to make, helping you to feel more in control and less stressed.

Past clients have told me how they would lie awake at night worrying about the financial state of their business because they didn’t feel they could talk to anyone about it. They also said the reality of talking to me was very different to how they had imagined – positive and realistic not doom and gloom.

Now, more than ever before, we need management teams to be pro-active if we are to emerge stronger from this downturn. We must work together to do everything we can to save those companies that have a solid future, even if they don’t see that themselves. And, as an insolvency practitioner, I can truthfully say that I’d rather rescue a business and see it prosper again than see it go bust.

I would encourage all directors to remember that, even though times are tough just now, there is always the possibility of a business rescue if you seek specialist advice before your business runs out of cash. Seeking early professional advice to assess the options available and gaining the confidence of your key financial stakeholders could be the difference between life and death for a business.

Get in touch

If you think that this could be the Christmas miracle that your business needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself, a member of our Restructuring & Insolvency team, or your usual Johnston Carmichael adviser.

Want to know more?

Just fill in our short form and one of our experts will get back to you shortly.