I think I've pretty much decided that I will close when the lease is up in October.
I've got a total of £20k debt (in loan and credit card) to pay off, as well as bills and invoices until I close.
How do I make sure that all this wonderful stock that no one wants to buy goes before my deadline of 24th October? How do I close? How do I close all my accounts? (and yes, I'm pretty sure that I'll have to pay get out fees for phone line and utilities)
Oh I'm terribly sorry your shop looks lovely as well. Sadly no pratical advice - our town lost its lovely bookshop last year.
However, they've opened up in what was a rubbish gift shop of our local gardens (lots of families go there, they have little tea rooms etc) and they're doing much better now on a smaller scale, with the increased footfall. Would anything like that be possible for you?
is that professionals that charge for time? Can't afford that
Pootles - i know the shop, it was lovely. (begins with P right? and the gardens are B?) I will probably think about it later in life, but for now I just can't do it. I haven't got enough money/free cash (see OP) to move. they were very lucky in doing that, but I don't have that freedom.
Do you have limited liability for any debts etc? Because if you do, I think you'll need to notify administrators, who will then seize stock and use it to pay off the owed money as much as possible. HMRC will be able to guide you through that if you call them.
If you are a sole trader, you'll just need to make sure you can pay the debts. Read stock agreements carefully: you may be able to send stock back to some suppliers, or they may want it back if you cannot pay within 30 days/need a repayment plan etc. Check the small print.
I'm really sorry. This sounds so sad. If you can afford a counsellor, I think it'd be valuable. This type of thing is sure to leave a mark.
Might it be possible to sell your stock on to another bookshop at a discount?
If you have a lot of children's books, could you ask the local schools if you can do a book fair in the school hall and pay them a percentage of profits? Our school here (abroad) has done this with a local bookshop. To encourage a love of reading in the pupils? Win-win situation. The school could promote it for you in their newsletter etc.
what's limited liability for debts? No, the loan is personal and the credit card is personal. It's not secured to anything.
I can send back 5% of my stock to most suppliers, and have already been doing this on a termly basis (ie, you can return stock that's older than 3months old, but no older than 15months) All stock that is more than 30 days old has been paid for, so belongs to me and no one can claim it. (any returns are done for credit on my account, so in theory, I can use returns to pay my final account bills if there are any)
Biscuit - good tips. I haven't looked into selling onto another shop yet, but I don't think the schools would help - it's their complete and utter lack of use that I'm in this mess in the first place. In a town where there are 38 schools (of all ages, not including colleges and nurseries), half are on my books and only 5 buy books from me at all (and I include specifically sending pupils to me for events or book buying)
Oh that's a shame. But might it be worth trying to sell the idea to them as a fund-raiser for their school? Instead of asking the school to spend money on your books, you offer them a percentage of the profit on books bought at the fair on their premises? At my kids' school, they even sent home a mini-catalogue you could order from.