In my capacity as a financial planner and a wealth management mentor, I frequently help other business owners link their business wealth to their personal goals. Modelling the various scenarios helps them understand how to manage their tax, optimise their income and, ultimately, inform them of when and how to ‘cash in’ on their business.
I ask all business owners what their number is? How much do they need and when? Most don’t know!
In this rapidly changing world it is easy for your business to get left behind if you don’t innovate, improvise and invest. A business which is worth a given value now, may not be so valuable in years to come. Rapid change in your particular industry may be something to celebrate or it may be a reason to plan your exit sooner rather than later.
However you react, you need to get your business in order. In my opinion, you should always run your business as if a buyer was to turn up tomorrow, offering you an unexpected windfall. It’s time to systematically review and address all the risks of running your business.
The key is to PLAN both your business and your personal life in tandem. The two should be aligned.
A dynamic business plan is essential. An integral part of this should be your exit strategy. It’s important that this business plan is both realistic and robust. Find out what your business is really worth and then do everything you can to get your business ‘fit for purpose’.
In my experience, most business owners don’t share with their family the truth about what the company is worth and their thinking around the possibilities of an exit. Personal goals should be intertwined with business goals, and shared.
… BUT, what if you haven’t got your health?
Planning is about being more in control, understanding your options, evaluating what’s best and then implementing the agreed strategy. Little or no planning increases your risk and leaves much of your future down to a roll of the dice. A game of chance!
People say they plan, but more often than not, many don’t dedicate the necessary time and resources to do this effectively. The same can be said of many people when I ask them the question “do you look after your health and well-being?”
Again, they don’t dedicate the necessary time and resources. If you read my last blog, then you will be aware that I checked myself in to the Bournemouth Heart Clinic for a thorough investigation. I had no pain or discomfort but, being intent on getter fitter this year, I thought it prudent to see whether I was ‘fit for purpose’.
I’ve now had the results:
- My ECG was normal
- The CT scan revealed that my arteries were clear
- A 24 hour blood pressure monitor showed that I was fine and dandy… much to the surprise of the Doctor by the way!
There is some remedial action, like ensuring that I lose weight and control my cholesterol better, but all’s good in my world otherwise. A slight sense of relief, but this has acted as a catalyst to getting really fit (as much as my body will allow!).
More than that though, it has inspired others to think of managing their health better. As a business owner you too owe it to your colleagues, your family and to yourself, to make sure you are ‘fit for purpose’. So, I’m going to repeat my offer made in January; any business owner/director that embarks upon our Comprehensive Financial Planning in February will be offered a free initial heart consultation at the Bournemouth Heart Clinic*, with the cost being covered by Blue Sky (normally £500).
So, it’s over to you. What’s that phrase… “failing to plan is planning to fail!”
Please make sure that’s not you.
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA
*Subject to terms and conditions