There is no time like the present to protect your business. As a solo business owner, you must take the time now to protect your business before it is too late. Unforeseen events can happen at any moment; you need to prepare yourself and your business for the worst.
If you are not able to work for any reason, then your clients are not serviced, their questions are not answered, their needs are not met, and their matters are unresolved. Some clients may be willing to withstand a short period without you, but at some point, your clients will replace you with someone else. The time period at which this occurs depends on the type of business. For instance, a client who needs her taxes filed before April 15 will not wait months for a solo CPA to return from a medical leave. She will seek out another accountant to file her taxes because of the federally imposed deadline.
By planning for an absence, you gain the ability to continue to be of service to your clients even when you are temporarily or permanently absent. By planning ahead, you are able to retain your clients and thereby preserve the asset value of your business.
With that being said, how does one begin to plan?
You must be familiar with all the possible contingencies, responsibilities, obligations, rules, and laws which are applicable in your profession. You must choose a trusted colleague who will be ready, willing, and able to act as a substitute for you in the event of your absence, or would be willing to consider buying your practice in the event of your permanent absence. The parties will need to enter into an agreement memorializing the relationship and the rights, responsibilities, and duties between them. This contract must provide for the triggering event activating your substitute’s authority. The contract must provide for confidentiality of information, especially in regards to those restrictions customary in your profession. There must be provisions for compensation of the parties and for the sale of the business. Also, the reasons for the agreement’s termination must be clearly stated. These are only a few of the considerations one must provide for in such contract. Each profession and each situation is unique and requires a special understanding of the issues. Such planning can be a daunting and time consuming task.
People often begin to plan and quickly become paralyzed by the enormity and complexity of the task. Surely, you don’t want to omit any important piece of the plan by mistake. It may seem overwhelming and daunting. There are too many variables to consider and omission of any one of them may lead to problems in the future. Any mistakes may cost your clients and your business and in turn you and your family will suffer.
You may be armed with the resources and knowledge to formulate a plan – maybe you are a lawyer. If this is the case, finding the time to plan may be your biggest challenge. After all, if time were not such a precious commodity, more business owners would have such plans in place.
How much time would it take to complete a comprehensive plan?
Based on our experience, we estimate that it would take an experienced planner approximately 60 to 120 hours to research, draft, and edit a comprehensive plan. This time will be different for every person, profession, and is dependent on the level of familiarity with the task. Time spent planning is time spend absent from the business. If your billing rates were $300 per hour, and if you were to spend 75 hours preparing your plan, your plan would have cost you $22,500 in foregone revenue. Can you afford to not be billing for that type of income? No. You need to use your time to generate revenue.
The best alternative to developing your own plan is to retain The Bruechert Law Firm to do it for you. We have the resources, the knowledge, and the skills to create a plan so you can continue to do what you do best – serve your clients – without exposing your business to the risks of being unprotected. We can put together a comprehensive plan that will protect your clients, and preserve the asset value of the business – for far less than the cost of doing it yourself. The best part having the plan created by The Bruechert Law Firm is peace of mind. You can rest assured that your business is covered if something were to happen to you. You are covered. Your business is covered. Your clients are covered. Your family is covered.