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Value Creation Blog

Do You Know What Your Spouses Business Is Worth?

Posted by Josh Patrick

Over the past few weeks I’ve had several spouses visit our site and download reports on selling a business.  I don’t know the reasons why and can only guess it’s because the spouses of business owners are interested in knowing how the business actually fits into their financial security.

Learn about your spouses business.

If you don’t know anything about your spouses business start learning.  I’m not talking about what the business does, I’m talking about the amount of money the business makes and whether the business provides enough for your future needs.

It’s rare that I run across a spouse of a business owner where he or she isn’t terrified about what the future brings.  This is even true when the business makes millions of dollars per year.  I’ve found that the lack of understanding of how the business works is usually at the core of that fear.  Learn how the business works and make the fear go away.

Have some frank conversations with your spouse.

After you’ve learned what makes the business work be prepared to have some frank conversations with your spouse.  You might even be in a unique position in having this conversation.

No one in your spouses business is telling your spouse the truth.  If your spouse is running the business off a cliff, you might be able to put a stop to this.  You must be willing to have a realistic conversation about what you see and what you fear.  If you don’t, whatever your biggest fear is could come true.

Understand the business won’t get you to retirement by itself.

If you ask about retirement funds and your spouse says don’t worry the business will take care of us, start to get worried.  There are very few businesses that will provide for a comfortable retirement all by itself.

I’ve done hundreds of down and dirty financial plans for business owners and almost none of the businesses are successful enough where outside savings aren’t needed for a comfortable retirement.  When you learn this you might want to have a real conversation with your spouse about affording retirement.

It’s OK if you’re concerned about your financial security.

I sometimes think that spouses of business owners need to have a support group.  This group could talk about their feelings that they don’t have a lot of financial security. 

It seems to be part of the deal.  What we don’t know about causes us a great deal of worry.  If you spend time understanding the family business, you might find that you feel safer as it relates to your security.

Get a financial plan done.

I always recommend that business owners do a financial plan.  I always make sure their spouse is brought into this process.  If you haven’t done a financial plan, get one done.  After you get the plan done, make sure you update it every couple of years.

Businesses have a bad habit of going through both good and bad years.  A large part of your financial security is going to be based on your family’s business value.

We have a special report called the four boxes of financial panning.  This report will give you a simple system to find out if you’re on the right track towards financial security.  I hope you take a few minutes to read this report.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

4 Boxes of financial independence

Topics: exit planning, selling, business value

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