By FSPA President Jim Bingold
We get so busy working in our daily work that sometimes we forget to work on our company and build future value. Many of us are so busy we have not thought about the next five, ten or twenty years much less who is the potential buyer when we are ready to retire. Are your children or a key employee going to run what you have worked day-in and day-out to build? Have you met with your accountant for long-range planning and the best option for you to be bought out someday? However far off you feel that day is, current planning will help tremendously and can be tweaked along the way.
As business owners we spend thousands of dollars and hours training our people over the course of their employment to make our companies the best in our industry. As we all know, finding the skilled, ready, willing and able-to-work employees is difficult enough and when we lose a good one to our competition it hurts even more. Putting a long-term plan of growth and your top people in that plan, and how they will be compensated when the company’s goals are met, will go a long way to keeping them engaged weekly and with your company for the long term. This adds real value down the road to the worth of your company. Efforts have been made by the FSPA and the Construction Coalition to improve the workforce available to you in the near future; when you finally find the right one is there a plan ready and what is their part in it?
How many times have we all found ourselves saying, “Man I wish I would have known that 10 or 20 years ago,” when in fact we could have if we invested a little time and some money for that information. Every company has its own set of issues and needs now and in the future. When the Board members all meet quarterly I look around and see a wealth of information available through members past and present. Start networking and reaching out to those who have plans in place or maybe even have turned over the helm already. Some of the classes at our annual Show provide great information on succession planning and current business tune ups. If you have not taken one yet make sure you look into them next year.
Tax laws are constantly changing, as did with Key Person Insurance in 2013, but it can still serve as a very effective tool to the long-term survival of your hard built company. Buy/sell agreements, capital gains and deductibility are just a few reasons we need accountants, attorneys and insurance professionals to help us sort through it all to find a plan. This is what they do daily. We run pool companies daily.
The effort we need to put in to run our businesses can be crazy enough so find a trusted advisor or two and begin your plan now. As many of the more seasoned members will tell you, “time flies by” so spend a little money and time now and save yourself a few “if I had only knowns” down the road.