We are now fully into the process of handing our customers over to a business in Coventry. Wow. what an odd feeling. I imagine this is how retirement feels. We however are not retiring. We plan on setting up another business at some point in the future, we just dont know what we want to do yet.
It has felt very odd though. Imagine you have worked at a place for twenty years and announce you are leaving, then try and imagine working at 50 places for twenty years. Thats us. At times it’s been emotionally difficult for us both, me more than Clair I think. I have had tears in my eyes a few times after speaking to customers and hearing the incredibly nice things they say. Here is an email one client sent to his staff.
Over many years we have enjoyed excellent IT support from Stuart and Clair at PC Support Midlands Ltd. They have now decided to embark on the next chapter of their lives, travelling across the world for the next few years, starting in June this year. As a result they will be closing their business from the end of May. We are in early discussions with alternative suppliers to offer the same levels of support, and I will let you know new arrangements in due course. Meanwhile we thank Stuart and Clair for being so reliable and available, a valued part of the CofEB team. We wish them well on their adventures!
When we could we tried to see people in person but when we couldn’t we tried to phone to speak personally. Everyone has had nice things to say, wishing us well and asking how we can be replaced. When you run a business, unless you constantly survey your clients, you never really know whether you are good or adequate or tolerated. It has been lovely to hear all the nice things people have said. I have always lacked a little confidence in this area even when you hear people say things like, “If we need something done we just ask Stuart”. Maybe I need validating more often!
A few weeks into the process and we seem to be quieting down already. We have had to turn down a few large jobs simply because we dont feel it would be appropriate to take the money and run, much as the customers would like us to. In actual fact, we have taken what is probably an unusual aproach to this. We looked at all the options, such as selling the business but in the end we decided to wind it down. Rather than selling our debt book we decided to do a slow wind up, we know our customers very well and trust they will pay us. So we looked for a company we could simply hand our customers over to. We found one after some abortive attempts when it felt like we were surrounded by sharks. So we met up, had a good feeling about them and have recommended our customers to them. Thats stage is now ongoing, they are contacting clients as we hand over the info to them to do so.
We hope to have finished work by the end of May which will give us a month to finalise some stuff and have a break on The Boat before we set off.