Business boosters: Can your business survive without you?

If you didn’t show up tomorrow, would your employees be able to go it alone? Whether you’re just taking a vacation, taking a leave of absence due to illness or contemplating the ‘R’-word (retirement), it’s a question worth asking. A business that can function without you, should it need to, is a stronger business.

Create a culture of mentorship

It may be your business, but if you’re the only one who knows how it works, you’re courting disaster. Get in the habit of letting your subordinates run the show periodically. Groom a successor — or a few. Mentoring the next generation will help your employees see themselves advancing and keep them looking forward to added responsibility. It’s a good way not only to ensure continuity of your business but also retain talented staff — 86 percent of employees seek companies that offer career development opportunities.[1]

Get an outsider’s opinion — regularly

Conduct a quarterly review of your business plan with a financial professional. An outsider looking at your plans with fresh eyes may notice problem areas that you’ve been glossing over. And an impartial evaluation will make sure your business isn’t dependent on one manager or management style. By conducting regular reviews, you’ll document the business’s performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) and sales forecasts, data your employees will need if you are absent.

Share the big picture (in writing)

There’s a difference between knowing how to do one job and understanding how the whole business works — you want to push your employees toward the latter. Your business has a rhythm — cycles you’ve identified, forecasts you’ve made, basic principles for how your business operates day to day and, more importantly, how it expands. All of that is need-to-know information for the boss — whoever it may be. Without your years of experience to rely on, your employees will have only your teachings and whatever records you’ve created. Outline your principles and structures in a document to ensure your success is repeatable.

Keep the lights on, no matter what

You might have supreme confidence in your employees — it’s still good to be covered, and that’s especially true if your absence is caused by illness or injury. Disability insurance for business owners can help make sure your business continues to meet its daily expenses — you know, things like rent, utility bills and salaries. It also helps to safeguard your firm’s ability to cover contractual commitments, like equipment leases, and to repay business loans. And if it turns out that you can’t return to work, disability insurance for business owners can empower your partners or employees to buy you out.

It’s liberating to know that you can take time off from — or even leave — your business without catastrophe. The good news is, the planning you do for such a future event also makes your business fundamentally stronger in the present.  And you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to planning for your graceful exit — check out the business owner experience to find time for what matters to you and talk to a financial professional for a trustworthy, knowledgeable resource to help you along the way.

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2021-128375 Exp. 10/2023

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