Becoming Successful Takes Hard Work. Staying Successful Takes Planning

By Melanie Colusci

The reality is becoming a successful business owner takes hard work. That means hours and hours dedicated to researching, planning, and building your vision. And whether it takes months or years, at some point your vision becomes reality and you truly find success. Of course, everyone measures success differently, but once your business takes off, new challenges can emerge.

That’s why planning is critical for ongoing business success. Most business owners recognize the importance of planning but feel there just isn’t time. Once you reach a certain level of success, there are now other variables that you need to consider. These are the unforeseen factors that can come out of nowhere and potentially derail the business you have worked so hard to build. Things like changes with the economy, taxes, your health or a vital employee can be outside of your control and could make maintaining and growing your business difficult. If you haven’t already addressed these often-overlooked planning areas, it’s important to consider these potential challenges:

  • Succession Planning. Most people don’t focus on the “what-if’s” that could disrupt business but planning for these can literally save your business. What’s your plan if you get divorced, become disabled or lose a professional license? Or, if you have a business partner, what happens if he or she leaves, passes away or gets divorced?
  • Retirement Planning. If you’re like many people, your business IS your retirement so you re-invest your profits back into the business. There are unique challenges that business owners face with this retirement strategy. Planning now can help you identify the best way to address your particular situation.
  • Employee Planning. Many businesses thrive because there are one or more key employee(s) whose skills, business knowledge and dedication are vital for ongoing success. Protecting your business before losing your most important employee can make a world of difference for long-term success.
  • Estate Planning. Often, business owners think estate planning is only for the very wealthy. But, if the majority of your assets and net worth is tied to the business then it’s critical to have a plan in place in case something happens to you. Especially if you’re married, have children or one or more business partners.

Now that you know more about these potential business pitfalls, including them in your long-term planning can help with ongoing business success. After working so hard to build up your business, don’t leave the future to chance. Set aside time quarterly for ongoing planning that grows and protects your business vision. In addition, develop strategies to address those financial planning areas that may be out of your control.

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