We talk a lot about continuity planning at McBride for Business (www.mcbrideforbusiness.com) Are you one of the many people who equate a continuity plan with an estate plan drawn up by a lawyer to transfer your assets to your spouse, children or other heirs if you die or are disabled? Do you believe that covers everything? Are you feeling confident that if something happens to you, your heirs will simply take over the business you’ve worked so hard to build?
I have news for you. If you’re a business owner, an estate plan is not enough.
You need to take it a step farther because your business many not survive an uncoordinated transition. Your employees, your customers and even your vendors may not survive the uncertainty. Relationships are critical to business. Relationships change when something happens to a person who plays a key role in the business — in this case you, the owner. We can think that employees are hired by a business and customers buy from the business and vendors supply the business. In reality, it’s not that simple.
Everyone involved with the business is dealing relationships. They are human beings dealing with other human beings, and they want the stability of knowing that if the relationship works it will continue to work without you. They want to know they don’t have to be afraid or worried. This is where quality continuity planning comes into place. You – as the business owner and the key to management – need to plan so that employees are paid, customers are served and vendors are maintained. In short, you need a plan so the business continues to function.
What are you doing to make certain there’s a plan for your absence? Is your business doing the things it needs for growth without you? Are your employees, customers and vendors confident their relationship with your business will survive if you don’t? You really need to think about it. Simply giving the business to your heirs is insufficient. You need another layer. Involve your management team and your heirs so they know you have taken steps to keep the business running smoothly. Work on it together.
What’s your experience? Have you put continuity plans in place? How are you making sure your business will survive? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts and experiences.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion, and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Keigirl.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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