April 16, 2012
Business planning in Sacramento County tends to revolve around where you are right now, where you’re going in the near future, and hopefully, where you’re going to be ways down the road.
One aspect of business planning that is easily overlooked, however, is what happens to the business after you are gone. You may have thought about who will take over in the event of retirement, but have you thought about what would happen if you became incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away?
For a lot of people, their business is their biggest asset. Certainly, you want to make sure it’s protected in the event of your incapacity or death. By doing a little planning now, you can help ensure that your business will go on to survive without you instead of falling apart because you’re no longer at the helm.
Here are four easy steps that will help you get started creating a plan that’s right for your organization:
Step One: Choose a Successor for Your Business
Again, you’ll need a successor for retirement, but other unexpected situations can arise, too. By having someone you trust lined up who is prepared to take the reins should it become necessary, you can ensure your business stays running during an otherwise chaotic time.
Step Two: Share the Knowledge
All too often, the business owner is the only person who is privy to the information and details necessary to make your business run. If you’re keeping everything “in your head,” then how can your employees keep things running in your absence?
It’s time to gather up all this information and put it into a format that others can use should they need to step in and fulfill your role. This doesn’t mean you need to share trade secrets with every employee; it just means that you should create a good outline of how things work and make that accessible to someone you trust.
If your business requires a licensed professional to run it, such as accounting, real estate or law, make sure you have a backup if your employees don’t have the required license.
Step Three: Know Your Assets
It’s a good idea to understand the overall value of your business. Creating an inventory of assets is a good start in this process. In today’s age, many assets are not even tangible items but are digital in nature—such as web properties, online accounts, and more. Talk to a professional if you need help assessing your assets.
Step Four: Work with an Attorney
To solidify your ideas and ensure that you are planning within the confines of the law, you’ll want to sit down with a business planning attorney here in Sacramento or El Dorado County who is familiar with local laws and regulations.
Your business attorney will help you draw up legal documentation that provide direction for your business when you are no longer able to retain control. It also helps to establish your true intentions and limit the amount of challenges others may face later on down the road.
If you’re ready to get started creating such a plan for your business, please feel free to call our Fair Oaks business planning law firm at (916) 241-9661 and ask to schedule a complimentary planning session with the mention of this article ($750 value).