It is extremely important, from time to time, to take a break from the rapid pace of business and devote some attention to the future and your long-term goals. Whether you are at a stage in life where you are just beginning to grow your business, or you are at a point where you are looking to spend less time at work, putting together a plan is essential.
If your goal is to gradually spend less time working, then you will need to think about your personnel situation and how to attract and retain employees who will be able to provide leadership in your absence. Perhaps you will need to offer financial and other incentives to employees in order to accomplish this goal. A written employment agreement may be necessary or desirable, with profit participation provisions. Alternatively, you may wish to consider finding a business partner who can share some of the burdens of operating your company, and relieve you of responsibilities so that you can devote more time to your personal goals. Of course, finding a partner will necessarily involve preparing a shareholder or partnership agreement which spells out each of the parties’ duties and responsibilities. The agreement should also provide for a mechanism in the event a partner dies, becomes disabled, or wants to leave.
If you have mature children, you may wish to involve them in the business, with a view toward having them take eventual day-to-day control and responsibility. Hopefully, this will allow you to enjoy more leisure time. Passing on the business to them in a gradual fashion may serve the purpose of rewarding them for their work and devotion and providing them with incentives to succeed. It can also serve the purpose of reducing future estate tax problems.
Regardless of age, one must make financial and other provisions for family in the event of death or disability. At an absolute minimum, you need to prepare a will, making clear what should happen to the business, to real property, and to other assets which are owned. It must be ascertained if an estate tax problem is likely, and if it is, planning needs to occur so that the problem will be reduced, if not eliminated entirely. Funds need to be made readily available so that taxes can be paid in a timely fashion without family members having to sell off assets quickly in order to meet payment deadlines .
In summary, it is imperative that we all take some time to sit back and look at where our business is and where it’s going, so that we can achieve our business and personal goals.