What Would The Dragon’s Den Say About Your Business?

kelowna accountantIf you watch shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, then you will agree that those guys can be brutally honest when somebody comes in with a plan or a project that really needs to be shelved. Despite this, using their approach can often help you in tough times.

The best way to learn how to build your business is to talk to people in business.  Entrepreneurs tend to be too close to their project and definitely emotionally attached. If your business is starting to fail, the odds are you don’t recognize it or you simply don’t want to recognize it.

Be honest with people and tell them where you are at. Ask trusted advisors and successful entrepreneurs what they feel you may be doing wrong.  Allow others to help you to succeed.

Related: Is Meeting For Coffee Wasting Your Time?


Don’t Hold Back kelowna accountant

People who are in businesses that are struggling tend to cocoon themselves and hold all their concerns internally without seeking advice. The most common excuse being that they can’t afford it.

There are lots of people out there who will give advice for no cost just to help you move forward. Even if it’s so far that you need to talk to a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy. Just because you talk to a trustee in bankruptcy doesn’t mean you’re going bankrupt. These individuals are trained and have a high level of knowledge on how to help a business or an individual that is in financial difficulty.

These are advisors that people might not think to use when their business is struggling.

If you’re failing in business and you refuse to change what you’re doing, you will continue to fail. Open up and speak with an advisor; don’t hold anything inside. Let it out.  See what you can accomplish through talking with an advisor who can take the rose coloured glasses off, smash them and then help you make clear decisions.


You Need To Make The Decisions

kelowna-accountantAs a business owner, you’re the only one who can make a decision. Don’t ask an advisor to make the decision for you, that’s not what they’re there for. They are there to give you additional information to help you explore various options but you as an individual and owner still have to make the final decision.

Once you’ve talked to your advisor(s), sit down and figure out your pros and cons of continuing with your business or shutting down. Depending on where you are, you might not have a choice. If you’ve gone so far financially that you can’t support it any longer, then it will have to close.

If you recognize the issues and problems early enough, there are modifications that can be done to change the course and save it.

Use the advice you get from sharing with trusted advisors and continue to make your decisions. When you make it, you should still go back to some of the advisors and show them all the input you gathered and what you’ve determined as your plan to move forward. Listen to what they have to say and gather additional feedback.

They might say you’ve got the right approach or they might say that you haven’t changed enough to make a difference. There is immense value in their ability to remain objective to the situation because when it really matters most, you might not be able to.

Related: How The Seasons Affect Your Business


If You Continue, Are You Prepared To Put In 150%?

kelowna accountant

When a pilot is sitting at the end of the runaway ready for takeoff, does he put the throttle down halfway or all the way? He puts it all the way down because he wants the most power to get off the ground. He keeps it full throttle until a cruising altitude is reached. It’s the exact same in business.

You have to full throttle it, especially in a business that is having financial difficulty, if the decision is to continue. If the decision is to not continue, work with your advisors on how to shut the business down most efficiently.

The problem that I see with businesses that are failing is that they walk away from it. That may or may not be the right approach.

The issue with walking away from a business that has payroll or HST debt with Revenue Canada is that you can possibly be personally liable as a director. The possibility of being personally liable means you need to know what the effect of walking away is on your individual finances.


Not Having Money To Solve Problems


Don’t hesitate to use your advisors even if you can’t afford them because the reality is you can’t afford not to use them. The key that I always say is that if you have good advisors, they will understand and work with you through a problem.  Many times you will have a better client/advisor relationship after working through these problems together.

Advisors that work with you through a serious problem will be with you forever and that’s key to a business whether it closes or remains open.


One Response to What Would The Dragon’s Den Say About Your Business?

  • Brenda Atwood says:

    Our town, Yarmouth, has a huge brick building to give away. It is on our harbour with fantastic architecture. Our town is small and cannot afford the upkeep so it is in the process of demolishing it at the tune of $3 million dollars.
    I used to be our cotton mill until the removal of the railway made it unable to make a profit due to shipping. Here is a picture:

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