The goal of good business planning is to extend success and profitability into the future to be in it for the long run, making a good life for yourself, your family and those who have helped you along the way. Business planning that works meets this goal. It integrates your business and personal objectives and establishes connections between where you are and where you want to finish. It sets a clear strategy to follow if you should retire, become disabled, or die. In accomplishing these things, business planning focuses on two central issues and questions they raise:
Who will take over your business in the event of your retirement, your decision to divest, disability, or death?
How can you help ensure that your business will hold its value and profitability should you transfer ownership to a family member or to an outsider?
Should you keep the business in the family?
How can you retain the key people so critical to your business present and future success?
What would happen if one of your partners or co-partners wants to sell his/her business interest?
How can your business be used to help provide financial security for you and your family?
How can you ensure that your business remains an asset and doesn't become a liability?
What role will your business play in the disposition of your estate?
What is the best way to meet estate tax obligations?
How can you use charitable giving to your best advantage?
How can you turn your business into retirement income?
The questions of business planning are as unique and individual as the businesses and people involved and so are the answers. Where you start depends on where your business is.
Business Planning Checklist