In the last of the series of “What is keeping you awake at night”, based on the research of Bstar, a research house based in Australia., we will address the subject of Protecting the Business and Family Assets.
“We need to reduce reliance on key shareholders. My wife and I plan to retire in 5 years, and my daughter is already involved in the business. She will want to have a family, and we are unsure how this will work and impact on the business.” “
As indicated inprevious blogs, very few business owners have taken steps to address business succession issues or protect business assets through planning or insurance. When asked, business owners made it clear that they have also not taken steps to protect their personal assets.
“I don’t have much superannuation, so I should probably start to plan for retirement. Mind you, I am expecting a bequest from my parents and in-laws prior to retirement, and that will help”
When asked by Bstar, 61% had no understanding of Estate Planning. additionally only 46% of the business owners interviewed within the research survey’s had wills in place, similarly, only 22% of owners had made estate plans and only 29% had enduring powers of attorney.
“The only thing I have is a Will, and that should probably be updated. I have a bit of life cover through Super, but nothing else!”
Business owners have clear needs for advice and assistance with these issues. They have not taken steps to fill these gaps despite the majority (69%) indicating that they have a trusted professional adviser. As with other areas, business owners regularly indicate that they are aware of the need to plan in these areas, but have not got around to it.
“I don’t really know if my business is saleable, or if it has a value – it is mostly personal goodwill. I’d like to retire by 55, if possible, but at this point I am not really sure if it is possible, or how this might be achieved.”
Consistent with the lack of business planning, business owners have generally not thought about their retirement, 88% wanted to know the income and assets they would need at retirement; while 70% wanted to know the value that their business that would be required to fund their retirement, howeveronly 20% thought that sale of their business would be able to fund their retirement.
“In this industry, people don’t sell their businesses. I have to build up capital to fund my retirement as I go along, I won’t get anything from selling the business”
Adding to personal stress, business owners sometimes report that they need to make choices between their obligations to family, or their business.
“Right now I am focused on family, rather than building business value. I am happy where we are now. The kids are growing up. Growth is a consideration for the future (1-5 years)”
Many business owners know how to run their business, but at times lack sufficient skills to run it efficiently, to improve it or grow it to the next level. They often require additional information, in relation to estate planning, key man insurance, succession planning as factors to consider when considering estate planning and protectingthe business and family assets. They know that they need assistance, and they want advice and assistance that is relevant to their business, and focused where they need it. They need professional assistance from an adviser they trust.