Most people do not like change. Instead, they want things to be constant and uneventful, and they delude themselves into thinking that nothing will change—that everything will stay the same and everyone will live happily together forever after.
The truth is that most people will have significant life-impacting events such as a death in the family, a divorce, someone getting sick with a disease, additional debt that would impact the business and your life, a split in the business partnership . . . the list goes on. It is generally no one’s fault. It is just part of the journey of life, and you should be somewhat prepared for it.
So be prepared and have a plan B for unforeseen events that may befall you or your family. Be prepared so you don’t get caught and end up with the possibility of losing everything, when, with a little planning, it could have been prevented.
You should always have a sense as to what the market value of your business is, because more than likely your business is largest financial asset you own and things happen. You may get an offer for your business and you will need to know if the offer is too high or too low. You may find a great opportunity to increase your business through and acquisition, but without the knowledge of what your business is worth and having documentation to back this up you may not be able to obtain the financing needed.
Check with your accountant to make sure all the taxes are paid and there will not be any unknown taxes outstanding. Make sure you keep your books and records up to date and in order. Not having your books and records in order hurts you when you growing and/or selling.
If you are a family business work with your attorney to have a plan of succession in place to keep the cash flowing in case you aren’t around. If you have partners make sure you have a buy/sell agreement in place. Everyone should have a plan in place in case you get hit by a truck as we always say, because unplanned events can and do happen.
Without fail, I will get a call from a seller who is frantic (usually not good), because either they had some kind of medical issue, or something changed in the business such as a competitor coming into the market. Even though they may have known about it, they waited too long, clinging to the hope that something would change and the issue would disappear or go away. But it never does. It only gets worse, and by delaying and procrastinating, these business owners generally cost themselves and their family a considerable amount of lost money and grief that could have been avoided.
So, remember “Hope is Not a Strategy” it is better to adhere to the actions of the Boy Scouts and their motto, “Be Prepared,” than to get caught being unprepared.