We exist in a culture where there remains a certain stigma around asking for help. Things might have moved on from the way they used to be. But the whole stiff upper lip, make do and carry on mentality remains deeply ingrained in many of us.
We see it in the ongoing battle to break down the walls of silence that leave thousands of people struggling with mental health issues alone. It’s there in the reluctance of many people to turn to legitimate financial support, even if they are finding it hard to pay their soaring energy bills or even put food on the table.
People are proud, and asking for help can feel like an admission of failure. But in reality, the exact opposite is true. Not only is seeking help when you need it a brave move, it’s a smart one, too. It’s often the surest way to set you back on the right path.
We see this dynamic play out in business all the time. For many entrepreneurs and company directors, it’s as if they would rather do anything other than ask for help, no matter how bad things get. Going through hard times and coming out the other end is part of proving yourself in business.
If you want to maximise your chances of getting through a rough patch with your business still intact, the best thing you can do is take any advice and support on offer.
Doing whatever it takes on the road to recovery
Let’s put things into the context of some of the extraordinary challenges businesses have faced over the past couple of years. If we start with the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of businesses would have gone under if it wasn’t for the massive package of support measures rolled out by the government.
In many ways, that actually did a lot to undermine the culture of self-reliance that persists in business. Few felt that they were waving the white flag when they took advantage of Bounce Back Loans, support grants and the furlough scheme. Few had much choice.
Many of those COVID-specific support schemes have now ended, along with the temporary easing of insolvency measures and a pause on landlords being able to chase rent arrears. Yet businesses still find themselves facing challenging trading conditions, with material and energy costs soaring, consumer confidence plummeting, and the fallout from Brexit and now the war in Ukraine impacting overseas trade.
Things are tough. But you don’t have to go back to trying to ride things out alone. Much of the past two years has been focused on survival. Now attention turns to the harder job of recovery.
Many businesses face a challenging road ahead, as difficult as anything they experienced during the pandemic. But whether it’s advice on managing or consolidating debt, restructuring your business to make it more cost efficient, or exploring new markets and new revenue streams in a bid to return to profitability, there is plenty of support and all sorts of resources out there.
What matters is making the best possible decisions to secure the success of your business. And if that means looking to outside expertise in finance, marketing, business strategy, technology or whatever else it might be, that is by definition the best business decision.
Speak with a member of our team
If you are looking for tax, accounting, funding or general business advice, our team are on hand to assist you, simply call us on 0161 832 6221 or email [email protected] and a member of our team will be in touch.