What happens to your small business when someone dies?
People every day, all over the world, get this devastating news. We hear about it, we read about it and we watch it on our television screens. But what happens when this news is much closer to home?
This unfortunately is the news that a small business owner in Australia heard not too long ago and it made me think. Mortality is something we all have to deal with in one way or another, but when we have families, businesses and responsibilities to others, there is more to consider than just death itself.
For the past 24 hours, I have thought of nothing else than what this person must be going through. It has also caused much reflection on my business and the businesses of Marketing Eye's clients. We all run our businesses and generally speaking, the worse case scenario is more to do with a downturn in the economy than our own ability to run our businesses.
What happens if you are told you have a month to live? Do you have a crisis management plan in place? Is your finances in order? Do you have the right insurances to safeguard your loved one's from financial heartache? Is your home and personal momentos where they should be? Will your business survive without you there and derive an income for your Estate? Or does your business need to be sold? If so, who would sell it/buy it? Does someone know your passwords to important accounts and perhaps even your safe? Do you have a list of people that you would want to share those last days/hours with you?
To be worried about material things when you receive devastating news seems to me to be a waste - and at the end of the day, they probably sort themselves out anyway. Spending every precious last second with your family and loved ones, is far more important and I am sure most people care more about the latter. BUT.. reality is reality.
So, if you have time today, make a few calls. Set up a meeting with your lawyers and accountants and put a crisis management plan in place. Communicate with your trusted advisors or your senior management team what your wishes are for your business. Share it with your family and persons your most trusted and loyal friend.
Life can be shorter than we had hoped and you never know what may happen.
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