Insurance is all about planning in advance to protect your future. We hope we never need it, but it’s nice to know that if something does go wrong with our health, we’ve got a plan in place to maintain an income and continue to support our families. And having an adviser means if you do need to make that claim, you have someone in your court to handle all the finer details for you.
Of course, all this planning for the future has led a couple of my clients to ask me: “What will we do if something happens to you in the future? How will our plans be impacted?” It’s a great question and is not just relevant to financial advisers but to all small business people. What will happen to your clients if you are unable to work due to illness or injury?
Here’s some of the key things to think about when preparing a succession plan for your business:
Who will pick up the phone?
As a business owner, you may already delegate this task to an office manager or receptionist, but if you’re the one on the end of all your current client calls, make sure there’s someone else available to take your place. Even if they don’t have all the answers, your clients will be reassured by the fact they can still reach someone in the business.
Keeping the lights on
It’s more than likely that your business will continue to accrue expenses even if you’re no longer there. Will there also be revenue coming in to meet those expenses? If the business relies on your specific skills (if you’re a tradie, for example) it may not generate any income if you’re unable to perform your usual work duties. This is where insurance can be an incredibly useful tool for your business. There are a range of options in the market, from Business Expenses cover all the way to Key Person Insurance. If you’re keen to find out more, give me a call!
What happens next?
The long term plans for your business really depend on your individual circumstances. You may choose to sell, liquidating all your assets, or perhaps hand over the business to another member of staff. Alternatively, your partner may want to take over the running of the business, or another business owner may want to merge your operations with theirs.
The key to any of these plans succeeding is that you’ve thought carefully about how each option would play out, and, if appropriate, engaged with peers and other stakeholders to gauge their interest. Just because you want your kids to take over the family business doesn’t mean they want the job!
Don’t keep your wishes a secret
Whether it’s your business partner or your life partner, chances are there is at least one other person who has a vested interest in what happens to the business in your absence.
Whatever you decide would be the best course of action, make sure you document your plans, preferably with the help of an expert. You should also consider including your instructions in your Will, to be certain that things will go as planned. And don’t forget to update your Will as the business – and your lifestyle – changes.
So what about me?
In my case, I would like to reassure all my clients that we have systems and processes in place to ensure that the business continues to run seamlessly in my absence. Our admin team will ensure there’s always someone in the office to take your call. If you need to make a claim, they will help you through the process, as well as manage any other policy administration tasks that may arise. In addition, Monarch has a sound succession plan in place, and the backing of a reputable, long-standing dealer group, RI Advice Group, so you can rest assured you’ll be well taken care of.
If this post has raised questions about your own business succession plans, give me a call or drop by the office and we’ll get started on mapping your future.