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  1. #1
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Aug 1999
    Lancaster, Ca. USA
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    Some times no matter what you do, an idea won't pan out. Before you find yourself in this situation you should come up with an exit plan.

    What is an exit plan you may ask?

    An properly created exit plan will allow you to avoid bankruptcy and embarrassment if your company fails. This is not something you can leave until the last minute. If nothing you do turns the burgeoning company around in a few months, then you should utilize this.

    Some things to consider include:
    1) Paying creditors, including hosts, ISP's and product suppliers.
    2) Helping any employees you have find new jobs.
    3) Liquidating Hard Assets.
    4) Liquidating Soft Assets.

    Paying Creditors.
    If you want to do business with your creditors in the future you need to make sure they are paid in full. This should happen first. You can raise cash for these from your assets. RIght now this should be your foremost concern.

    Helping Employees.
    If you have employees you should help them find jobs. This can be accomplished for free simple by calling various employment agencies around town and having them send a representative over. This will promote good will and you never know when or if you will be working with them again.

    Hard Assets.
    This includes your tangible goods and most likely they have depreciated while you used them. Things in this category include computers, desks, chairs and so forth.

    Soft Assets.
    This is where you can make up your losses and pay off your creditors. Knowledge and Information doesn't depreciate much in this world and you can sell it to the highest bidder and your previous competitors. Things to consider are custom scripts, member lists and site content. Properly worked these can be profitable commodities. The touchy asset is your member list. This invokes thoughts of privacy invasion and other nightmares in your customers so think through this one carefully.
    Wayne Luke

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast spleenboy's Avatar
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    Nov 2000
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    Just wanted to comment on that last point: about mailing lists. I used to subscribe to "Story," a quarterly short story magazine that recently went belly up. Along with the last issue of the magazine, I received a form letter from the editor. Of course, it contained the perfunctory "so sorry to see this magazine go," etc., but it also "suggested" a few other magazines to consider to replace this one. Since then, I've received a few other flyers and samples from other short story magazine companies.

    So, let me get to the point. I didn't mind this marketing at all. I felt bad about "Story" going under, and understood their need to sell their list. The reason I didn't mind this, however, was because they sold their list with tact. They didn't sell it to Real Estate Agents or the FloVac company or some other irrelevant business. If you're going to sell a mailing list, make sure that the sale is tartgeted to companies that your (unfortunately) former customers would appreciate.

    My dos pesetas.

    (Wayne, great article, by the way. And good timing, too, considering the "shake down".)



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