There are a lot of focus on generating income and wealth for yourselves, which is identical to the focus my offline clients have. You focus on how to build that list, do the JVs etc. However there is usually a lack of focus on what happens if you are not around.
A lot of my clients are the movers and shakers in their businesses and without them the business would not exist. I am not sure how many of you are in the same boat, but thought I would mention this so that you can have a think about that issue.
In particular, think about how your family would survive if you are gone from this earth – especially if you are responsible for pulling most of the cash.
Common questions I always ask my clients are:
· Does your spouse know enough about what you do to keep your business running (and cash coming in)?
· If not, how would they financially survive? (In most offline business, assets can be sold, or at worst the entire business can go on sale, but is that applicable to your situation?)
· What is the value of the business? Sometimes a business is based solely on a person’s contacts and know-how, so if that person is gone then the value is also gone!
· If the business can be sold – who would buy it? In cases where spouses are not involved in the business it might be good to tell them who to approach etc.
In just thinking about my own situation, I know that my partner would not be able to do what I will be doing – purely because she does not have the legal background. If I build it right, it can be an attractive business for buyers as there will be intellectual property, and other assets. But I need to tell her that. Importantly in this game, she would need to know the passwords and user names so she can edit things and find out information.
Common solutions to the above issues are (keep in mind that these are general approaches and it may not suit your particular circumstances):
1. Get your spouse involved – at least teach him/her the basics so he/she can financially survive until the business is sold;
2. If your spouse does not want to get involved, then you need to think of other ways to fund your family’s income needs if you are not here. You might need to think about life insurance, savings, investments etc.
3. Think of some exit strategies – start looking at people who would be interested in buying your businesses/domains etc.
I hope this is helpful to you all. I find that most people don’t really think about this sort of stuff and I have had a lot of my clients who are unprepared in this area come to me and have been devastated due to a lack of preparation. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone …