Small Business Failure – How To Do It Right

Thanks to some timely comments on SmallBizPod, I’ve been lucky enough to discover another extraordinary British small business blog.
Ian Denny’s Phoenix from the Ashes blog recounts his experiences of dealing with …

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9th July 2007 at 3:16 pm

phoenixThanks to some timely comments on SmallBizPod, I’ve been lucky enough to discover another extraordinary British small business blog.

Ian Denny’s Phoenix from the Ashes blog recounts his experiences of dealing with a failing business, drawing out some very practical, hard-earned advice. Ian describes the blog as:

Thoughts and feelings from a company founded from the ashes of one that had died. A story I intend to be one of hope for those who find themselves in “business despair” or as a consequence, potential financial ruin personally. At least at the time of creation, we had turned the corner and had hope for the future. So please read on to find out if the story had a happy ending.

But there’s also a hugely personal element to this blog which is both moving and slightly unnerving. I think the personal and business elements combined make for a compelling read. I’m really rooting for Ian.

For a country that purportedly loves the underdog, we’re pretty unforgiving when it comes to business failure. With the buzz around entrepreneurship at the moment, I think it’s easy to forget the reality amidst all the ‘reality TV’.

Phoenix from the Ashes is an example of just how tough business and life can be, but it’s also full of hope. And hope’s a very valuable commodity for all of us entrepreneurs.

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Alex is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the UK's first podcast dedicated to small business, start-ups and entrepreneurship. Alex writes about topical small business issues, entrepreneurs and anything else that catches his eye here on the small business blog. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk

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  1. Ian Denny says:

    Alex,

    Thanks for the kind words. I think it is very important we learn to talk aboiut failure more openly and see it as a positive experience.

    Failure for me was my graduation ceremony. Too often, we sneer at phoenix businesses. Out of 16 employees, we have managed to keep 7 employed in the new venture.

    This makes far more sense than throwing away the experience we now have of what NOT to do.

    It also made sense for the creditors. We were able to buy back the assets for more than they could have received elsewhere.

    The number of businesses that go bust and the budding entrepreneur slung on the scrapheap with their dreams dashed, suggests we should find a better way of helping and encouraging.

    To dust yourself off and try again, you can bet the chances of success are now far greater with the experience.

    The UK needs to learn the lessons of our counterparts across the pond who virtually teach you at college that failure is an accepted part of the road to success.

  2. Guy Clapperton Guy Clapperton says:

    Failure is important as long as you handle it right. I tried to run a newsletter business a few years back and fell flat on my backside; I was not, it transpired, very good at marketing. I find even now that the experience informs my journalism because I’ve been there.

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