I recently attended a workshop in Chicago that focused on closely held business transition planning. I was interested in attending this workshop due to my goal of ensuring an ironclad succession and disaster plan for our firm and to be better able to advise many of our clients who are entrepreneurs and business owners.
As the owner of a closely held business for over eleven years I have tried hard to focus on the following mantra and which is the crux of what this seminar dealt with:
Working on your business, rather than just in it!
Sometimes a business can be humming along, increasing its net worth and profit margins, while the business owner overlooks potential major issues that can threaten its very existence. This is rarely done intentionally or out of neglect, it is just that he or she is simply distracted by all of the progress being achieved.
Many businesses are devastated when those events we do not like to consider take place such as death, disability or the loss of a key employee to an aggressive recruiter. The seminar in Chicago taught us how to answer the following questions.
1. Does the business have a Succession Plan that assures continuity of the enterprise, allocation of ownership as desired, and the full amount of cash needed for that event?
2. Does the Succession Plan reduce income and estate taxes, and is it coordinated with the will and trusts established to care effectively for all family members?
3. Are there Incentive Plans in place that provide the rewards necessary to prevent key employees from being “poached” by competitors?
4. Are all Business Loans (from the founder, family members, or a bank) repaid swiftly in order to avoid default and foreclosure?
These are not issues generally addressed by traditional internal or external professional advisors such as the accountant and attorney. While these professionals provide important, specific contributions such as developing creative tax solutions or providing asset protection for the business founder and key executives, they are not necessarily trained to uncover and determine the possible overall impact of potential threats.
At White House Financial we help our entrepreneurial clients bridge the gap between their personal financial goals and their businesses. We do this by acting as their “quarterback” and coordinating with various professionals in order to implement their overall financial strategy. For example, the ultimate goal for one of our clients was to ensure that his wife and children would be properly compensated for his share of his fitness business, which he owned with two other partners, should he cease to be able to work. We managed the process with his partners, business valuation expert and attorney to craft and fund an agreement to facilitate this. This saved everyone involved considerable time and expense.
White House Financial & Settlement Consulting helps professionals and entrepreneurs live easier and less stressful lives through the proper management of their financial resources. We do this by acting as our clients’ trusted advisor and providing a personal touch customized to the client’s needs! Please visit our web site at www.whitehousellc.com or contact us directly for more information!
Please be aware that we do not provide tax or legal advice, and that the information set forth herein was obtained from sources which we believe reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by us of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. In addition, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Diversification does not guarantee against loss; it is a method used to help manage risk.
However, White House Financial & Settlement Consulting, LLC is not affiliated with Sigma Financial Corporation.