Oddly, nobody seems to have asked the most important question - what caused the bankruptcy in the first place? Other than the "not enough money to service the debts"!
To understand how to go forward, you must first understand why you were stopped previously and if you intend to operate in the same space, customers, products and services; how to mitigate those risks in the new format. Your entire stakeholder chain should want to see that you have if you want to re-trade with them; nobody wants to be engaged with a business that is not considered to be stable and risk managed.
Until that is known, I personally would not wish to recommend any line of action - every business is different and the combination of customer base for each company is equally different as are the decision makers. Understand the route cause of the bankruptcy and then mitigate the risk moving forward.
This is a big complicated question. But here is what I have done when I've failed in the past.
What I'm going to suggest is hard and easy, but it causes success. It's best to start out doing it on your own, then when you can accept the truth you can share with others - Trusted advisors, mentors, etc.
This is very simple, please don't disregard because it seem too simple.
Learn from the experience. Ask questions that are penetrating, they need to reveal the truth/facts. You must be honest with yourself about the truth and then you will come out with wisdom.
The wisdom will prepare you for success in the future.
What did you do successfully? Why? What did you fail to do? Why? Etc.
You must acknowledge and appreciate the good and the not so good.
The process is to: ALWAYS TRACK YOUR DAY / ACCOUNTING
Account for what happened - the facts
Accept what you choose to do - the facts :)
Appreciate your positive results - record what you can do and the results
Appreciate your negative results - record what you cannot do and results (invaluable)
Accept the results and what you choose to do :)
Respond - what will you do about the positive results?
Respond - what will you do about the negative results?
Repeat process daily or weekly
Doing this will relieve you and empower you to take action and conquer fear. It will also help you build your confidence back up and give you proper perspective so you can have good direction.
Contact me if you would like help to get moving in the right direction
Janet, Les and others commented that there needs to be debrief as to what caused the bankruptcy to begin with, and what can be learned, mitigated, changed, and adjusted in order to prevent it.
And I will hope you have done that since it appears you have decided to go at it again. If you have not, I would start there. Not only understanding what may have happened before; burned cash, no margins, etc.., it begs the question for me - is this a viable and profit potential company to begin with. Why am I so determined, passionate, etc. about continuing down the path, if it is not.
From those last questions, financials would need to be evaluated, etc...
If you question is merely about how to market a prior bankrupt company, that is a whole different story.
I would start with -
- What will be different today than previously?
- What caused it to happen in the first place...and have I mitigated or solved each issue?
- What will the business look like today vs. previously, i.e. size, location, portfolio, etc... as others below stated
- Do the financials support this go around being profitable, let alone successful?
- Is this a viable business with customer demand
- Then you can consider how do you starting over with marketing, messaging, prospecting and building the business
There are a lot of other questions between the lines...but this is the gist.
As a business owner, the reason you file for bankruptcy in the first place is because you could not service your loans anymore and therefore sought protection from the available laws to avoid harassment from creditors. If you want to start all over without being considered a fraud by those who advanced you credit then you need to work out a way to pay up as new income starts coming in. It is an integrity issue. Those you owe money will not be too pleased seeing you start over and not paying up what you owe.
Change the name and position the company with a new vision that grabs the imagination of customers and prospects. It is a new Brand opportunity.
Make sure your product and services are what people really want. Get your customers to give you lots of testimonials
The 1st thing is to have the company executives, began a filtration process of financial knowledge. Including a few options:
1. Clean house on New Leadership.
2. Retrain leadership with a 3rd party consultant firm (Devine Global Solutions) :-) helping guide them and keep the executives accountable.
3. Review the company business plan and Etc... for a refresh on the direction on the company.
4. Did I say train and train, including being up to date on current market trends in there industry.
This is just some of the points I see as Helping the company as well. Also it may be helpful to re-brand the company as well.
Start fresh with new leadership that understands market reentry. Immediately reach out to all existing customers and communicate with them through the process so that they will continue with the company.
Hold a summit with existing employees and your largest clients and engage them in the reentry
Build credibility and trust. Happy to chat more about this — but it's key for your customers both past and present see you as a reliable trusted source.
I read some good comments here, but none talked about your business and personal assets. If you want to avoid making the same mistakes, make sure you protect your personal assets, use only business funding and separate your business from your personal credit.
We do this and much more to make sure you never have to worry about your home, credit, cars and personal assets get affected, when something happens to your business. We don't work with the SBA, we work with lenders only interested to lend against your business and only your business.
Good luck and wish you the best! If you need more info, you can find us at www.prodsllc.com
The 1st thing to do is make good with your existing customers. Check (if possible) with each one and ask for testimonials if you don't already have them.
After that, meet with your staff and get buy in from your team, get them excited and motivated to go forward.
Next, build a plan for sales expansion into your existing customer base by examining (generally with the help of a 3rd party) what has been successful in the past; what services or products can be offered to them and make an "irresistible offer" that will jump start revenue.
Then, create new clients with a "sales ramp" that starts clients out with free information about how to solve their problem (the reason they want your product or service) which starts the sales funnel. Most companies use a CRM system but getting the word out to new clients means selling. What does selling mean to you? Clicks? Calls? Visits?
Finally, watch expenses carefully and pay the company first to make sure you survive and can make it through another lean time but acknowledge your staff and if a big company win happens, celebrate with your team and set some loftier goals.
To properly answer this question, a few more details are necessary. The first is to define "coming out"? What is the financial status of the company? Are products and services being offered the same as pre bankruptcy? what did you learn about your business in going through the bankruptcy? The learnings are usually good indicators as to how, if necessary, the plan should be changed.
I agree that more information is needed. It does depend on what kind of business you have; is it one that offers products that require manufacturing or equipment, or is it a business that can function with a relatively low-overhead and small staff? IMPO, I would start off by reassessing the root causes of the initial financial issues, and try to build out an initial outline taking those causes into account, and seek ways to avoid going down the same path. Still, more information is needed in order to know if this advice actually applies or not. Either way, I would definitely embark on a robust re-branding campaign once the business has relaunched. Best of luck to you!
Starting over can be a blessing in disguise. You have a clean slate. The mistakes have been made. Start with a new, realistic budget. Reevaluate your product or service and the price point at which you sell them. Go over every single number on your balance sheet and income statement and cut, cut, cut. Try to only utilize expenses that are absolutely necessary to run your business.
Also, analyze marketing and sales numbers. You must grow or fall behind.
This is not enough information to give a definitive answer. A lot would depend on if the company has stakeholder another question would be did they file because of capital or debt issues; or did the company need an operational overhaul. I can only give a superficial answer.
The first thing I would do after the bankruptcy court approved my disclosure statement, would be to solve whatever issues that cause our pre bankruptcy issues. Whether it's reorganizing, expense reduction or cutting labor cost, you can't make the same mistake twice. There is a quotes that states " you can't do business today with yesterday method and expect to be in business tomorrow".
1 - do not make the same mistakes twice
2 - anylise why you failed the first time
3 - consider cash flow and what can be done within that amount
4 - outsource to reduce monthly costs
5 - keep inventory relevant to turnover
I have a list in 24 hour survival guide that helps
My recommendation would be to do this only after a deep down analysis of what led to the bankruptcy in the first place has revealed that either market pressures have changed or that company infrastructure has changed. Are all vendors and creditors on board as you move forward, with access to product and cash flow at a level that will allow your business to prosper? Are you laying out a new footprint directly over the old, or has your geography changed? Has your product mix changed? Or are you now able to offer your product or service with a lower cost basis?
Assuming that this has been done, there is no better teacher that the hard knocks of reality to remove inefficiencies from a business.
First of all you must know what the reason of the bankruptcy. And I don't mean the lack of money. That's only the result of bad finance-management. Above all. Is the business you're in worth for a restart. Is there still business. To me you should redo your business-start-up-plan. After that you may conclude what you like, but first ask yourself the right questions as if you start a complete new businessmodel.
You need to re-establish trust with the old customer base. Indicate that the new ownership, I assume there is a new owner, is commited to the success of the hotel and is putting the customer first.
You need to go after new customers and demonstrate the ability of the hotel to serve their needs, whether it is based on cost, amernities or other services.