When it comes to running your own company, your every thought and action is thinking about the business future. There’s no point focusing on the here and now: it’s all about anticipating what comes next, identifying trends, knowing where you are going, and how you’re going to get there.
Yet there is one part of business planning that few of us launch into with any great zeal. In fact, it might be a factor you don’t think about: what happens when you’re no longer around?
It can be tempting to just put off this thought. It’s somewhat morbid; nothing that we like to acknowledge with too much focus. It’s also the kind of subject we think we can put off. After all, one day you’ll retire, so that issue is going to be resolved while you’re still around.
Of course, that’s the ideal scenario – you’re there, in the process of retirement, able to look over the process and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. You may also assume it would be easy enough to help out in the initial years after you have retired. If all goes to plan, everything will have been running smoothly without you for years by the time you pass away – so what is there to worry about?
Maybe it will work that way. There’s no intention here to be morbid! Hopefully everything will go as you intend to – but there is always the inescapable reality that it might not. If you were to pass away unexpectedly, then you might find that your company is on the receiving end of a power grab – or the opposite, and the power vacuum means that business bankruptcy will beckon for the company you lovingly dedicated your life to.
The matter is complicated further if you’re intending to leave the company to your family, as a huge number of business owners do. This is a thorny matter – especially if you are not intending to divide it equally between your children – that is better hashed out sooner rather than later. It’s relatively simple to deal with the legal side, hire a lawyer for wills, and get that side of things taken care of – but the family politics side can be a lot more difficult.
It’s important that any beneficiaries know exactly what they are going to inherit and what their responsibilities are. The healthiest way to deal with this is with a singular meeting, before which you should have made your mind up about what happens in the event of your death. If there is any disagreement, then try and solve it in one sitting, then you can finalize the matter in law and move on.
Nevertheless, it’s important to get it dealt with while you can still arbitrate and make decisions. If you have built your company into a success, you should want to continue to see it flourish even after you are gone – and that means you have to provide for it. Ultimately, you take care of your business future by looking after matters in the present.