Have You Thought About Your Future Lately?
by R. Thomas Stocker
You are the owner or a partner of your You can make changes to your business that
business. When was the last time you will provide you with significantly more
thought about the long-term future as the flexibility, options and value than you
owner, not as the operator? Where do you currently have. But you need a plan.
want to take the business? What’s the next
The first step in the process to create a more
level? Your end game? Are you and your
valuable business is to think about you. Not
partners aligned? You may not be able to
as the president of your business, but as the
justify much owner thought today because
major stockholder. Think of your business
you have many more immediate worries
as an asset. It is the largest asset you own.
right now; like getting the next order out.
It probably represents 80% of your net
So you’ll get to the owner thought process
worth. What do you want to do with your
tomorrow. You’ll definitely make a little
life? How does your business fit in those
time to come out of the trees and look over
plans? If you are like 98% of the owners
the forest tomorrow. Not!
reading this article, it probably represents
When will tomorrow come? Tomorrow may the greatest portion of your retirement
never come, until suddenly it’s here today. lifestyle.
Perhaps a competitor or investor makes an
Can you give a two-minute elevator pitch
unexpected offer for your business. Your
about where you and your business are
son or daughter, whom you thought was
going to be in eighteen months, three, five or
going to run the business when you were
ten years? No? Then start with a one
done, tells you the family business isn’t in
minute pitch. Can’t do that either? Better
their plans. Or they decide to leave the
get on it, because if you can’t articulate it,
business because you haven’t done anything
it’s going to be really hard to get others to
to help them understand when you will be
help execute it. Certainly not your
ready to give up control. Maybe you are the
employees, they don’t have the map. In
business. You woke up this morning and
fact, chances are they’ve never even seen it
realized you are not having fun anymore.
if you haven’t talked about it. Your advisors
The juices just aren’t flowing like they used
can’t, although they are trying to do their
to. There are lots of scenarios that can give
best to do what they think is right for “your
you a wake up call. Hopefully you realize
you need to plan as an owner before it is too
Your lawyer, banker, accountant and wealth
manager are all trying to help based on the
What does “too late” mean? It means the
piece of your personal pie they are familiar
options you will have when it is time to
with. Most are involved with your
finally exit your business will be limited. It
business in some way, providing counsel on
may also mean the business is not as
contracts, patents, taxes, credit lines and
valuable as you were counting on for your
countless other things you ask them to do.
retirement. Unfortunately, this happens all
But most of that work is done for today’s
too often. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
business and not necessarily helping you
10 Larkspur Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818 401-451-9799 www.boardroomadvisorygroup.com
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