One of the strong motivators for starting a business is that we want to be our own boss because we believe we can be more financially successful that way. What happens, in fact, is that most small business owners do little more than generate a wage for themselves.
While being very good at doing the work of the business, they lack the skills, knowledge and expertise to build the business, to make it financially successful. They do not know how to work on the business, only how to work in it.
They want to build a secure future for themselves and their families with their business, but instead what happens is that they place that future at great risk because they do not understand how to protect their business from the many challenges to its success. They do not know how to bullet-proof it.
This is the very reason why every small business owner needs this book by Daryl La’Brooy. How I wish I had this book in my hands when I started my business more than 25 years ago. Wealthy small business owners have the resources to pay for this kind of advice but those who have not yet reached that level are not aware of the steps they need to take to protect this important asset.
This book is a consciousness raising book for small business owners where Daryl opens up the challenges and unforeseen problems that can emerge for people setting up small businesses. He presents a pro-active approach to how small business owners can meet those challenges, discussing everything from how to start a business and how to grow it, to how to exit it. In fact, the first key in Daryl’s bullet-proofing plan is that you plan the way you want to exit as you set up your business. Most small businesses don’t do this, rather they wait until shortly before they are ready to retire and find they cannot exit when they want because they are not financially secure enough to finance their retirement.
His second key is about the challenges and risks around ownership both for the sole trader and when other partners are taken into the business. He highlights the fact that if the business owner is not aware of what can happen here and so does not bullet-proof the business against unforeseen and unexpected events, the consequences can be dire for the business.
Ensuring that the wealth created in your small business ultimately ends up in the hands of the people it is meant for is Daryl’s third key. He demonstrates how so often lack of awareness, naivety or lack of planning sees the money, the business owners have spent their lives earning, ending up in the hands of people for whom it wasn’t intended.
Setting up a personal wealth management plan independent of the business including an estate plan, demonstrating the bullet-proofing this gives the family finances, is the fourth key in the book.
The last chapter of Daryl’s book is on how you can create your own Do-It-Yourself Financial Plan to bullet-proof your business. No one wants to face the trauma of bankruptcy or the collapse of the business into which they have put so much of themselves. That can have a devastating impact, both emotionally and financially.
Many of you reading Daryl’s book, and having your eyes are opened to the vulnerable position your own business is in, may not have the confidence to take the action you need to bullet-proof your business. What the book does is highlight the enormous value that good financial planners can be to small business owners and their families in assisting them to do that well, covering all bases and possibilities. They can provide the expertise that ensures that your small business will provide a financially successful future for yourself and the important people in your life.
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