Business Plan: Will Your Business Plan survive without You?
I have been remiss in writing for a few months now, due to the recent passing of my 14 1/2 year-old golden retriever, TJ. He was with me through two business schools, two real estate projects, the dot com and real estate bubble bursts, when I had to sell my house for cash to Tyler and the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial career. He was my friend and my rock. You can see my video tribute to TJ at: http://youtu.be/JzF9iE2ljdo.
Needless to say, TJ meant a lot to me. For the entire month of February and the first few weeks of March, I took care of him, spent time with him, until he ultimately passed away in my arms. I don’t regret it for a second, but being unexpectedly sidetracked from my work certainly took a toll on my business. I wasn’t blogging, creating content, and marketing As a result, my lead flow, website visits, etc all went south in a big hurry. It was a big wake up call for me as to how dependent my business is on my being there day in and day out.
As entrepreneurs, we should aspire to create an entity that can run without us. This gives us the freedom to build the business, expand and grow, to be creative, and to enjoy life, our families, to travel, and to learn. If your business can’t be put on autopilot, is it really a business? Or is it just a job you’ve created for yourself?
I am taking steps now to ensure that my business will always be able to run without me. Life has a way of constantly throwing you change-ups, and if you’re not prepared for them, the results can be devastating. If you’re not yet in a position to put your business on autopilot, and many are not, consider insuring yourself with a disability policy that will cover yourself and your family in the event you are disabled in some way, shape, or form.
When you’re building a business plan and seeking to raise capital, you should think about this issue as well, from the investor’s perspective. What happens to their investment if something happens to you? Who gets control of the voting stock if something happens to one of the key founders? Key person insurance is something many investors will require if you don’t have adequate assets backing their investment.
I’m still sad about losing my friend, but I’m getting by. I’ve even drawn some inspiration from his amazing life to finally get cracking on that book I’ve long wanted to write, which I will dedicate to him. And I’m taking a lesson from this experience to ensure than I never have to worry about having a lapse in my business again.