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March 26, 2013

On Tuesday March 4th Linda Taylor and Michael Hanley, came in to do a presentation on their “Business Killers Program”.  This program is designed for the small business owner.  It helps small them take a temperature on their company and make sure they are on the right track, and then alerts them to areas they need to protect or improve upon by coming up with a plan. They explained that unlike larger businesses, the small business owner is wearing many hats and can get overwhelmed with everything they need to do, which can cause them to easily lose sight of the important areas in the company that need to be addressed. The common mistakes they warn business owners are as follows:

  • I know what my business is worth
  • I am too busy running my company
  • That will never happen to me
  • There is plenty of time for that
  • My business is my retirement
  • You can’t beat Uncle Sam[PR1]

Not having regular appraisals and a buy sell agreement are two big problems when it comes to a business owner knowing, or thinking they know, what the true value of their business is. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what your business is worth can help you gauge when it is time to sell.. They warn that having a secession plan in place is key to making sure there is someone to step in and keep things running should something happen to the business owner.  Also, make sure you have enough to pay estate taxes so you are not caught off guard. Planning for accidents, unexpected leaves of absence, or un-foreseen problems; are some things business owners never think will happen to them.  A small business owner having to go on disability, loss of a key person, or a Bankruptcy, are some events that can be planned for in advance by putting safeguards in place to mitigate the impact on the business. Not planning for retirement can flush all of your hard work down the toilet.  Setting up a goal or exit strategy, having a succession plan, keeping a buy sell agreement up to date, and having a long-range plan in place; are some of the ways to keep from working to build the business, just to lose everything because of an unplanned event. Putting your eggs in one basket is a mistake business owners make.  Their business is their dream, their baby. They pour all their money into it and then they have nothing, or at least not what they expected to have when they retire.  We learned that diversifying is the best way to control your risk when planning for retirement. We all know the saying “There are only a few things promised in life, death and taxes.” Well taxes for a business can be steep and if a business owner does not know how to properly invest profits, they can get hit with a ton of bricks when they decide to exit the business.  Having someone that can help you choose the right tax advantage investments can be key to keeping Uncle Sam from digging too deep into your pockets. This seminar was a great eye opener for business owners. Failing to plan is usually what destroys business owner’s dreams in the end.

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