In this unprecedented time of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, many of us are sharing stories of spring cleaning. Cleaning out garages and closets and sprucing up our homes where we find ourselves spending so much more time than usual. But while we are cleaning things up, if you are a business owner with a little more time on your hands than you would otherwise have, or if this new normal has just given you pause to consider your business and the future, don’t forget that it is a good time to clean up your business plans and agreements.
How many of you have not looked at your buy-sell agreements or operating agreements with co-owners in years? How many of you have been meaning to put a buy-sell agreement in place or update your operating agreement but never seem to find the time? If you have these agreements, or succession plans, or employee incentive plans, maybe it is time to pull them out of that bottom drawer and blow the dust bunnies off and take a good look.
Think about whether what you have observed about your business and its key people during this crisis has caused you to see things differently. Who has risen to the occasion and been creative about ways to help survive the crisis? And, have there been people who have disappointed you in their lack of teamwork or concern for the future of the business? Would you like to consider ways to incentivize and reward those who have shown their true value?
Has the crisis changed the way you look at the value of your business? If you have buy/sell agreements in place, do the valuation methods in those agreements still make sense? Do you even remember what the methods are?
If you have questions, we are here to help you with the answers. We can review your existing agreements and discuss. We can advise you on options if you do not have agreements with your co-owners, or with potential future owners for succession planning purposes. And you do not need to be ready to pull the trigger on setting the plan in motion. One of the most important parts of planning for the future succession of your business, and retaining its key people, is talking through with legal and financial advisors what you want to accomplish and what the various options are for getting there. Then we can help you with various ways to discuss those options with the critical people involved before you settle on the final plan. It is not a one size fits all process.
So while you are doing that spring cleaning, do not forget to dust off and update your business plans and agreements. We have the technology to help you even during this time. We are here and working through it all, and even if we cannot see you in person yet, there are many ways we can work with you remotely.
Beth Atkins has over thirty years of experience in handling a wide range of business matters. She establishes long term relationships with business clients from formation to dissolution, and in handling their varied organizational and contract matters and business financing arrangements. We’re here to help when you need us most. Contact Beth today: firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-633-3006.