Many business owners spend the majority of their time running their businesses and inadvertently end up neglecting some of the more important aspects of their business. This is the time where all the details of the success of your business are planned. We call this “working ON your business”.
Business owners can be vulnerable to financial mistakes because of many factors.
One of the key details of a business owner is what happens to their business in the following scenarios:
- What happens if I die?
- What happens if I become ill, or have a long-term disability?
- What happens if I lost my key person, or my key group of employees?
- What happens if I can’t control cash flow, or just don’t want to run the business any longer?
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t spend the time working on their business for many reasons. Many owners think it’s expensive, complicated and very time consuming.
The truth is that by not working on their business, should any of the above scenarios occur, the consequences would be much more expensive, time consuming and potentially devastating.
In our planning practice, we estimate the average time to create a business and estate financial plans for a business owner, is five to ten hours, not including time with attorneys and accountants who are a part of the team.
How does our process work?
Our system is built around planning with the least amount of time needed for the business owner’s time. To do this we use technology in communication such as phone conferences, video conferences, and audio and video productions to explain our client’s situation. This allows the business owner to eliminate using work hours for this project. We can do this technologically with clarity and brevity. Our plan is focused on brevity for the business owner.
- Viewpoint Meeting: Define what are some of the areas of concern using our Viewpoint System. This is a 30 minutes conversation. Our business owners need about ten minutes to prepare using this aid.
- “The Selection Meeting”. Once we define the areas of concern, we dig deeper with a 45-minute Selection Meeting. This is where we discuss all of the possible areas where the client may have problems and concerns.
- “The Planning Stage” is the longest meeting. This is about 1½ hours. Prior to the meeting, we send our client material which they can review and prepare on their own time. This takes them about 20-30 minutes to complete.
- The Discovery Meeting is about one hour where we bring together our findings based on their personal situation and discuss which issues and direction of implementation the client may wish to go. Again, our client receives the information to review prior to our Discovery Meeting[i].
- Implementation Session: This is where we start implementation needed to solve the issues. This is the time when all of the client’s advisors work together to get the planning completed. For example, our findings are discussed with the professional team and look for their advice and suggestions. Also, this process brings everyone on the team up to date on the business owners’ situation. This process breeds new ideas and strategies (earlier in the process, I would have been in touch with these advisors between the Discovery and Implementation Meeting). This may be the first time the client has had all of their advisors working together and sharing knowledge about the business owner!
- Semi-Annual or Annual Review: This is where we move on to the next area of concern; One concern at a time (in some cases, there may be overlapping of concerns and they can be bundled in the planning). If there are no additional concerns, we review what has been implemented. This is an automatic process, so we are always adjusting as the business situation changes.
For business owners who realize that they need work on their business, our process can maximize their business’ potential profit, organize them in a timely fashion, and fine-tune them in the future, so they can maximize their “business potential value” when they exit from their business.
[i] We plan for this time, but do not limit this session to a time schedule.