I want to tell you a story. It was 1979. I was flying high. My company had just completed the best year it ever had. We made a ton of money, or so I thought.
I’ve often asked you the question, “Do you have a will?” I ask this because it’s a document that too many people have never gotten around to putting together. Even fewer have updated their will in the last five years, and even rarer are the people who bother to share what they have in their will with those affected.
Your will is a document about your life.
Lots of business owners I know think finance is a pretty boring subject. There’s really not much that’s sexy about financial ratios.
On second thought I’m not really sure that’s true. Financial ratios tell you how well your business is doing. Financial ratios tell you about the health of your business. Let’s face it, if your business isn’t financially healthy there’s a really good chance your business will cease to exist.
Rob Slee from the Midas Institute writes a lot about different values a private business lives in at one time. These various values all depend on how the buyer looks at your business. Besides the formal value worlds that Rob talks about is the size of your business. When you sell a business the smaller your business, the riskier the sale will become. Buyers of small businesses have different resources available than buyers of larger privately held businesses.
Many times a selling owner has to hold paper as part of the sales transaction. Often the buyer just doesn’t have enough credit and can’t get a bank to loan them enough money to buy your business. Other times you as a seller are required to hold paper because the buyer is worried about something happening that could decrease the revenue of the business they bought.
Some negative issues could be losing customers, having lawsuits appear that the buyer didn’t know about, or employees riding off into the sunset with customers that used to be served by your business. These are all legitimate concerns and as a seller you need to do everything in your power to minimize the chance of any of these things happening when it comes time to sell your business.
A conversation I regularly have with parents is one around how we transfer positive money skills to our children. We’ve all seen young adults who have been pampered by their parents and as young adults they act irresponsible when it comes to money skills.
I suspect you don’t want this to happen to your children. Instead, wouldn’t it be better that as your children grow they learn about and integrate responsible money skills? You might even find that when your children reach being young adults the skills they’ve learned make them financially responsible.
In the business world I often talk with our clients about managing the relationship they have with their business. After they sell their business the conversation often moves from talking about the relationship to your business to your relationship with your finances.