I’ve heard this phrase many times over the years: “All growth starts with the truth.” It is such a simple concept. Be honest about where you and your business really are, and decisions can be made that truly make a difference. Whether those decisions ease a pain or propel you to the next level, if you aren’t really honest with yourself, or your team, about where you really are right now in reality, then any change instituted may not have the intended impact. And, in fact, could have negative repercussions for you or your business.
Especially where you have a multiple owner scenario or an entrenched management team, the truth is sometimes hard to come by. Why? Well, there are always egos that have to be checked, but beyond that it comes down to perception vs. reality. Each person’s perception is their own reality, and many times those perceptions do not align. So, it takes some real digging to get perceptions aligned to what the real reality is.
If you are the sole business owner it can be even worse! When you don’t have multiple perspectives, how you perceive what your business’s reality or truth could be all wrong, and you’d never know until it might be too late. Or, even worse, your gut may be telling you one thing, but you just can’t face whatever the truth may really be. We see these situations all the time. A small business owner believes they are in compliance for tax purposes, but in reality they are not. An individual believes that just having a standard in place for their $10 million dollar estate will suffice, but in reality it does not. Life insurance of $250 thousand should be enough to meet the needs of your family in the event of your untimely demise, but it wasn’t.
Regardless of whether you are a single business owner or whether you have other owners or shareholders in your business, you absolutely need a TEAM of professionals that will be your long-time, 3rd party partners in helping your business grow. A team of the right professionals will keep you and the business protected legally and fiscally. That team will direct you on how to accumulate wealth, facilitate strategic planning, and facilitate succession, transition, and an exit when you are ready to cash out for retirement. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. You need a relationship with a lawyer, a banker, a marketer, a technology professional, a financial planner and, of course, don’t forget your need for a CPA. Whether your business is large or very small, these professionals are integral to your success. The difference between large and small companies is that many times a large company can employ these same professionals full-time; a luxury most small businesses do not have.
So what are you waiting for? Put together a team of experts, working with each other in your best interest, who will provide the perspective you need to get to the truth about where you are with your business. From there you can go anywhere with confidence, knowing you have the leadership, the relationships, and the creativity needed to drive your truth to the next level year after year.
Jason Lawhorn, CPA,CITP,CVA,MAcc