Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Business after you

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     Like it or not, one day your business will be running without you at the helm. It's just life, and you deserve to get yourself--and the business--ready. 

     Either you succumb to all that cholesterol everyone warns about, or you sell out and retire, or you pass the business on to a family member, or close it down. No matter how it happens, you need to get your ducks in a row.

     I grew up on a dairy farm. It was a 24/7/365 operation. All those cows had to be milked twice every day.

     When I was barely 16, my dad sat me down for an eye-opening talk. If I wanted the farm, he would keep it running until I graduated high school. If not, he planned to sell out and retire.

     Well, I didn't want to face all those cows twice a day, so I opted for his retirement. And just what do you plan to do after high school, he asked me pointedly. That word "plan" was forever burned into my psyche.

     Running your business means you plan--constantly. But most planning is the day-to-day type. Owners of small businesses tend to plan on the run. Planning is done in the head--for the day, for the week, for the month. 

     This is not long-range planning. Long-range planning is when you look in the mirror and face the serious problems of running your business. It's when you come to terms with the future--on paper, with numbers.

     It's when you face the tough questions: What am I doing? Where am I going? Am I on the right path? What am I doing today to get me there? And, finally, why am I doing all this?

     Answers to these questions form the basis for projections into the future. Planning is not about today's problems. Planning is about tomorrow's problems. 

     If you are planning to sell, you need to get ready. If you are planning to pass it on to your kids, you need to get ready. The process is on-going, and it starts now.

     I know. Right now, you're just planning for the business to support you and your family. Right now, you just want to get through this year. Right now, you just want to pay the taxes and have a little left over to buy another piece of equipment. 

     But do yourself a favor. Do some serious planning for the future. It tends to put everyday problems into a better perspective. And it will get you through today's stresses.

     More about planning and how to do it in future blogs. Hint: Planning is mainly about the market, and how your business serves it.

     Questions? Email me direct at AlWarr16@gmail.com and put BLOG in the subject line.
     I am retired, and I am not selling anything. Your privacy is always respected. 



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