There is no question that as a small business owner you have persevered and worked hard, dedicating your life to the success of your company. That being said, don’t you think a company you put all of your energies into, deserves the chance at having a happy ending? Have you considered the impact your death, disability, retirement, or even divorce could have on your small business ?
If you are the owner of a small business it is time for you to stop thinking of only what is happening now, and start focusing on what could happen in the future. Therefore, you need to put your priorities into perspective by protecting yourself and your business with a succession plan. A business succession plan is what you need to ensure that your business has a happy ending by remaining secure, regardless of what may happen in the future.
In particular, a succession plan allows your business the chance to be able to stand up to any challenges that may occur along the way. For instance, certain setbacks that you might experience may be entirely beyond your control such as divorce, disability, departure and death. But with a business succession plan you have the chance, as a small business owner, to ensure that regardless of what may happen to you, your business will be protected.
The following are a few aspects you should take into consideration when creating a business succession plan for you small business:
How to Begin the Succession Planning – Since you need to make choices before you can really begin achieving your succession planning goal, you must first think about your long term business objectives and ask yourself important questions such as:
• Will I sell my small business?
• Should I set up a plan that allows me to transfer my business to one of my business associates or a family member?
• Does my business have public potential?
Of course, business succession planning begins with much more than simply deciding who you will be giving your business to in the event that you can no longer run your company, or wish to sell it. Additionally, succession planning is about keeping your small business afloat and successful to ensure that your absence will not devastate your company. Therefore, in order to maintain future control of your business, you will need to begin your succession planning by making choices that will concern things such as:
• ownership objectives
• asset protection planning
• taxation and transaction planning
• estate planning
You will want to keep in mind, however, that due to the fact that every action you take with succession planning will result in a reaction, you will require the assistance of experienced experts when developing your plan.
Understand the ‘Sense’ of Business Succession Planning – Like any type of business preparation, your business succession plan needs to be orderly and handled carefully if you don’t want to suffer the consequences of financial losses or worse, the loss of your small business. That being the case, you need to know exactly what you are dealing with, and how you can achieve the most of your planning.
The one mistake you will not want to make is to overlook your business finances. You can help keep your business secure by properly using the following, and more, in your succession planning before problems occur:
• Life insurance
• Disability insurance
Furthermore, you will find that with an orderly succession plan, you will be avoiding the possibility of your business having to be sold to pay off the estate tax, in the event of yours or (if you have one) your partner’s death. It is no secret that estate taxes can claim up to 55% of an estate that is taxable.
So, it is no mystery why so many businesses fall into debt, become bankrupt, or are sold due to the death of the owner or partner.
Another aspect that needs to be considered is that clients may well decide to do business with other businesses after an owner or partner dies. However, with the proper succession planning, your business should be able to maintain any regular clients or if not, it will be better equipped to survive the possible drop in assets if a slow period should follow.
Know How to Write Your Happy Ending – Remember, when all is said and done, the outcome of your succession plan depends entirely on the choices you make regarding the future of your small business. It is imperative that you take the time to make the best choices that will allow you to implement a succession plan, which keeps you in control of the outcome that involves the transfer of your company. By knowing how to ensure the prosperity of your business future with a succession plan, is how you will write your happy ending.