Insolvency expert Peter Sargent of the Halifax office of rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor warns businesses that the first couple of months of the year are, once again, likely to be tough and could prove to be a cash flow nightmare for many.
“After the Christmas festivities, many businesses face a bleak New Year with a squeeze point as cash flow pressures build due to the disruption of trade over the holiday period, combined with large bills looming such as PAYE, NIC and VAT as well as the quarterly rent day fast approaching,” explains Peter.
“Unfortunately, the first quarter of the year is a peak time for both personal insolvency and business failure, but some directors insist on putting their head in the sand and trying to forget about their imminent outgoings, putting off their cash flow issues until after Christmas. However, when January arrives, they find that their problems have escalated and are now approaching crisis point, exacerbated by the usual start up lag in the New Year when orders tend to be poor and debtors slow to pay.
“Having survived almost four years of downturn, many businesses have already used up their cash reserves and will struggle to survive these types of additional pressures. After many years of giving insolvency advice, I can’t stress too strongly how important it is for directors to seek professional help at the first signs of trouble when there will be more options open.
“Insolvency practitioners shouldn’t be seen as a last resort, they can work with you to find solutions and help you to move your business off the seasonal critical list before it becomes fatal.”
Peter is authorised to act as an insolvency practitioner by the Department of Trade & Industry. He is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and a Fellow of R3 (The Association of Business Recovery Professionals). Peter is a council member of R3 and is chairman of the regional activities committee, previously being the Yorkshire regional chairman. Peter began his career in insolvency 1980 at Revell Ward in Huddersfield where he became a partner in 1988. In April 1995 he established Sargent & Company, which merged with Begbies Traynor in November 2005.