An-open-letter-from-an-Ex-Director insolvency

An open letter from an Ex-Director – Insolvency

Looking back we should have sought the help of an insolvency practitioner sooner, instead of letting pride get in the way.

My partner and I started a print related company many years ago. I ran the business initially and my partner joined the company when it had become established. He left behind a well -paid secure Print Managers job and took over as MD.

Surprisingly, we actually worked well as a team, we were what you would describe as “grafters”. Also, we were not afraid of the hard work it entailed to drive the company forward.

We worked long days and weekends and holidays became a distant memory. We managed to run it for a further five years and employed around fifteen staff.

Although, we had to sacrifice holidays due to the work load, we managed to move into our dream home in our ideal location with lots of land. We had the four wheel drive each and the sports cars, so life was pretty good. It was nice to see some of the rewards for the long hours we were putting in. We did feel very fortunate.

Then around seven years ago the recession hit, we saw many of our competitors/customers going into liquidation/bankruptcy. Many of our remaining customers were also struggling and subsequently stopped paying us. The rent on our premises went up massively, but the wages still needed paying.

We went without our wages some weeks just so the staff wouldn’t suffer. Any savings we had put aside were used to try and survive. We even stupidly raised money on credit cards just to pay the wages.

After many a sleepless night we finally had to accept defeat and become insolvent. It was heart breaking and frightening at the same time as we had both lost our lively hoods. Telling our staff was the hardest part, but they didn’t hold any malice. They had seen how hard we had tried to keep things afloat. I wouldn’t wish that on any director!

As the house and cars were tied up in the business they had to go, forcing us into rented accommodation. You just end up thinking what next as you can`t see a way out of the black hole you are in. It feels like a bereavement and you don`t know which way to turn.

My best friends favourite saying is “you never know what`s around the corner” and it is true you don’t, we have finally rebuilt our lives and are both working but nothing compares to owning your own company that you put blood, sweat and tears into.

Looking back we should have sought the help of an insolvency practitioner sooner, instead of letting pride get in the way.

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