What if something happens to you, and you can no longer manage your business anymore? Who will then take over your business, and will it be managed the way you want?Establishing a sound business succession plan helps ensure that your business gets handed over more smoothly.Business succession planning, also known as business continuation planning, is about planning for the continuation of the business after the departure of a business owner. A clearly articulated business succession plan specifies what happens upon events such as the retirement, death or disability of the owner.A good business succession plans typically include, but not limited to:·Goal articulation, such as who will be authorized to own and run the business;The business owner’s retirement planning, disability planning and estate planning;·Process articulation, such as whom to transfer shares to, and how to do it, and how the transferee is to fund the transfer;·Analysing if existing life insurance and investments are in place to provide funds to facilitate ownership transfer. If no, how are the gaps to be filled;·Analysing shareholder agreements; and·Assessing the business environment and strategy, management capabilities and shortfalls, corporate structure.Why should business owners consider business succession planning?·The business can be transferred more smoothly as possible obstacles have been anticipated and addressed·Income for the business owner through insurance policies, e.g. ongoing income for disabled or critically ill business owner, or income source for family of deceased business owner·Reduced probability of forced liquidation of the business due to sudden death or permanent disability of business ownerFor certain components of a good business succession plan to work, funding is required. Some common ways of funding a succession plan include investments, internal reserves and bank loans.However, insurance is generally preferred as it is the most effective solution and the least expensive one compared to the other options.Life and disability insurance on each owner ensure that some financial risk is transferred to an insurance company in the event that one of the owners passes on. The proceeds will be used to buy out the deceased owner’s business share.Owners may choose their preferred ownership of the insurance policies via any of the two arrangements, “cross-purchase agreement” or “entity-purchase agreement”.Cross-Purchase AgreementIn a cross-purchase agreement, co-owners will buy and own a policy on each other. When an owner dies, their policy proceeds would be paid out to the surviving owners, who will use the proceeds to buy the departing owner’s business share at a previously agreed-on price.However, this type of agreement has its limitations. A key one is, in a business with a large number of co-owners (10 or more), it is somewhat impractical for each owner to maintain separate policies on each other. The cost of each policy may differ due to a huge disparity between owners’ age, resulting in inequity.In this instance, an entity-purchase agreement is often preferred.Entity-Purchase AgreementIn an entity-purchase agreement, the business itself purchases a single policy on each owner, becoming both the policy owner and beneficiary. When an owner dies, the business will use the policy proceeds to buy the deceased owner’s business share. All costs are absorbed by the business and equity is maintained among the co-owners.What Happens Without a Business Succession Plan?Your business may suffer grave consequences without a proper business succession plan in the event of an unexpected death or a permanent disability.Without a business succession plan in place, these scenarios might happen.If the business is shared among business owners, then the remaining owners may fight over the shares of the departing business owner or over the percentage of the business.There could also be a potential dispute between the sellers and buyers of the business. For e.g., the buyer may insist on a lower price against the seller’s higher price.In the event of the permanent disability or critical illness of the business owner, the operations of the company could be affected as they might not be able to work. This could affect clients’ faith, revenue and morale in the company as well.The stream of income to the owner’s family will be cut off if the business owner, being the sole breadwinner of the family, unexpectedly passes away.Don’t let all the business you have built up collapse the moment you are not there. Planning ahead with a proper business succession plan before an unexpected or premature event happens can help secure your business legacy, ensuring that you and your family’s future will be well taken care of.
How Business Succession Planning Can Protect Business Owners
What’s the Hardest Part of Marketing Yourself?
In my Fast Track Marketing System I divide marketing into seven very specific modules:1. The Game of Marketing2. The Mindset of Marketing3. Marketing Messages (Your Value Proposition)4. Marketing and Selling Conversations5. Written Marketing Materials6. Marketing Strategies7. Marketing Action PlansAll of these have their particular challenges. But in my experience in working with thousands of Independent Professionals, it’s #7 that seems to be the hardest for most people.After all, most of the other 6 modules are all about preparation to market yourself.You learn the basics of the game of marketing, you work on your marketing mindset, you develop marketing messages, conversations, and written marketing materials, and ultimately choose the marketing strategies to get the word out.And then the rubber hits the road. You have to actually get out there and connect with potential clients through networking, speaking, an eZine, social media, emails, etc.For most, the bottom falls out of their marketing at this point. It simply goes nowhere, or more specifically it goes into the infamous “Random Zone” where things are done haphazardly and inconsistently.If people have worked to develop the whole foundation of their marketing first, know who their target market is, have put together a web site and have practiced their marketing and selling conversations, they are going to have more success.But even the well-prepared struggle with implementation.Why is putting action plans into action so hard? Here are three of the most common ones. Are they familiar to you?1. As soon as you start reaching out, you face possible rejection. What if your message, your talk, your emails fall on deaf ears? What if your potential clients could care less? What if they outright rejected your promotional efforts?We conjure painful mental images in our mind that stop us cold.For this one we need to work again on our mindset, on our thinking, realizing that if we reach out and people aren’t interested, that it’s not personal. They don’t hate us; either they are simply not good prospects right now or our message doesn’t have the impact it could.So reach out to new prospects and keep improving your messages.2. It takes way more time and effort than you ever thought it would. We think of marketing as a few promotional things we do here and there. This should be easy, we think. But it’s not.Time to do a reality check. Any marketing activity takes time, effort and commitment to make it work. Marketing is a bit of an art and nothing works perfectly on the first draft.You need to make detailed and realistic plans based on strategies that others have used successfully in the past. If you just make it up as you go along, your chances of success are very slim.3. It’s never good enough and although you might even know what you’re doing, you put off your marketing launches until everything is perfect… but it never is.What underlies this are beliefs about perfection, not being good enough and being judged by others. It’s not so much rejection you fear, but disapproval. What will others think of you?Well, if your marketing campaign isn’t relevant to those you are targeting, it’s not a big deal. They’ll just ignore it. They won’t think much about it at all. But for the ones that are looking for what you offer, they’ll not only be interested, they’ll respond.Your prospects are not looking for perfection from you; they’re looking for assistance and value. If you’ve got that, perfection is virtually irrelevant.I’ve done a whole lot of marketing action plans that were rejected by most people, took me a long time to implement, and were far from perfect. And most of them have made me hundreds of thousands of dollars!Marketing success is about know-how, value, commitment, and persistence. Everything else is just a distraction.The Fearless Marketer Bottom Line: There could be a lot of other things stopping you from following through with your marketing plan as well. The question is, where are you going to focus – on your fears and worries about rejection, time, and perfection – or are you going to focus on the value and difference you make and give your marketing plans a real chance?
Online Education – Advantages and Disadvantages
Online education is the method of getting education without any teacher via the internet. It is being delivered with the help of electronic media and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). You can get education in the form of text, images, audio, video etc. in e-learning. You are free to study at any time in your home or workplace. It is the new technique of learning. Most of the schools, colleges and universities in India are offering online learning to their students. Online education is good to save paper. It includes multimedia learning, Computer Based Instruction (CBI) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). It is best suited for flexible learning and distance education. Instead of traditional education like classroom, it includes new technologies like getting educational information via the internet. Online learning is also called computer based learning. Different types of educational technology tools & media are used for it. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is going to deliver e-learning classroom in each affiliated school for online education.Advantages of Online EducationOnline Education has many pros. It is helpful to get a better education than traditional learning methods. It is considered as the most convenient way to pursue primary and higher education. There is no need to travel to the college. Students can access their courses 24 hours in a day. It develops internet skills to the students. Students can get up-to-date content that is always available at the time of requirement. It supports faculty-to-students and student-to-student communication for better learning. Students have continual access to study materials. E-learning programs charge less than traditional schools. It offers comfortable learning environment.Disadvantages of Online EducationAlthough, online education has many benefits and best fit for the 21st century, but there are some disadvantages that should be considered. One-on-one interaction is found in traditional classrooms, but in online learning, it is missing. Although, students can interact with teachers through email and any other electronic media, but actually talking is not present. For those students who can’t manage their time, online study could be disadvantages for them. Most of the students prefer to listen to the lecture of teachers instead of reading from text formats and it is also a big problem in it.It is best for pursuing higher education. It has a lot of advantages and some disadvantages. Students should have a better understanding about it before taking decision to pursue an online degree.