There is nothing quite as exciting as launching your own business. The prospect of determining your own course in life without the capricious demands of an unreasonable boss has been the impetus for many entrepreneurs.
And it would have been enough for many more, except for the fact that so many people fear the risk of striking out on their own. They prefer the stability and predictability of a job that isn’t always a bed of roses to the potential of failure on their own.
This is a very legitimate concern. For some people, the risk is acceptable and they make their move.
But even for those ambitious individuals, there is still the possibility that the business could fail even though things are going well. Anything from corporate espionage to theft by employees could be to blame, but a more likely Achilles heel is a serious injury or illness to the business owner.
Especially in their early years, companies rely heavily on their founders for a number of key things. The founder holds most of the knowledge about the company, but more importantly, does a big share of the work. A small firm with a dozen employees can’t support a full accounting staff, marketing team, or HR department. The owner typically does it all, and if the owner is suddenly unable to work, everyone is at risk.
No one more so than that owner, of course, because the disability not only precludes his or her ability to operate the business but also makes it impossible to get gainful employment elsewhere. The employees can always abandon ship and get a different job; a disabled owner can’t work anywhere at all.
How can the entrepreneur avoid letting something like cancer or a car accident destroy the company that was so carefully built? Like anything, it takes good planning.
Make Legal Plans.
The first thing you should do is to make sure that your legal bases are covered. When Myler Disability begins working on a person’s disability claim, they urge their clients to take immediate steps to ensure that business will be handled appropriately. From there, the focus shifts to the individual’s case.
One of the most destructive things that can happen to a business or a personal estate is for a principal to die or become incapacitated with no plan in place for how things should be handled. Myler Disability has seen it time and time again: equipment sold to pay debts, jobs lost, and dreams liquidated. So a plan must be in place to avoid this tragic outcome.
Build Emergency Funds.
Should you end up disabled, you will have to feed your family, keep up your home, and keep up with medical bills in order to make it through financially. Because entrepreneurs often pour their life savings or retirement plans into getting the company off the ground, they are often left with nothing to sustain themselves financially if the business must stop for an illness or injury.
This is a simple problem to avoid, but many people refuse to do it. They aspire to do just a little bit more here and little bit more there, and they gamble on the likelihood that they will never become disabled. Consequently, they have little margin for error and cannot make it through during the lag before disability benefits kick in.
The worst thing that can be said about you as an owner is that you are the only one who knows something. Whether it’s the combination to the vault or the date an order was promised to the customer, the fact is that every piece of important information about the business should reside in more brains than just one.
But taking on a partner is a horrifying prospect for some entrepreneurs, who feel that their own standards are so high that no one else could ever be up to scratch. It’s great to have those high expectations, but bear in mind that your company could also benefit from the presence of another creative mind who might take your goods or services to a level you never thought possible yourself. The power of partnerships has been seen in everything from music to politics.
Starting a business is fraught with danger to your finances. Just as you protect your ideas and your facilities, you need to protect yourself and the business from the things that could take you permanently away from the office. Good planning can make that happen.