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What Haven't You Done Lately?

Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse of Your Family Business

What haven't you done lately? Image of businessman reviewing his Things to Do list

Image showing a clock surrounded by an untidy desk full of paperworkIntroduction

When we ask “What Haven’t You Done Lately“, it’s with the knowledge that running a family business efficiently and profitably on an ongoing basis is not an easy task. The biggest hurdle to success in this regard is TIME – or lack thereof.

Business life is full of demands, deadlines and unplanned-for events that can affect your business goals and aspirations.

However, there are ways to mitigate any adverse effects of these factors. The main lesson here is unrelentless planning and reviewing and a dynamic “Things To Do” (TTD) list is first and foremost in getting it right. 

Sounds basic and simple, doesn’t it? If you think so, please read on to see if you and your family business is on track to reaching its understood and stated business objectives.

What Should Your Own TTD List Look Like?

At the end of this article, you will find a link to a TTD list that you might consider implementing in the first instance and then modifying it to your own set of circumstances.

But let’s start with the issues that affect many family businesses. These are not necessarily in order of merit but vital for success.

photograph-depicting-a-man-and-a-woman-seeking-advice-from-a-financial adviserWhen did you last review your Estate Planning/Succession Planning arrangements?

Without doubt, this topic is one of the most frequently forgotten when it comes to educated planning and and regular reviewing. Too many families are prone to adopt a sit-and-forget approach to these important matters once they have their Wills, Powers of Attorney et al in place.

The reality is that family dynamics are ever-changing, such as newly born children, divorces, estrangements, death, disability and so on. As such, a review of your estate/succession planning arrangements should be conducted whenever a significant family event occurs.

Even in the absence of same, we strongly recommend that an annual review be carried out with your financial adviser and/or your lawyer to ensure that all is well and appropriate given your present family and family business circumstances.

Image of a Business Plan documentDo you have a Business Plan and if so, when was the last time that you reviewed it?

Develop a comprehensive, solid business plan that outlines your goals, strategies and financial projections. A well-crafted business plan will serve as a roadmap for your success and help you secure funding if needed. 

NOTE: It’s vital that your Business Plan not be shoved away into a drawer or buried deep within the entrails of your computer. Your Business Plan is meant to be a working document – your “Bible”, your “Owner’s Manual” one which you review regularly, making any needed adjustments along the way.

To date, we have said very little on the topic of Marketing Strategies. So, this is a subject that we’ll be addressing in detail very soon.

Meanwhile in similar fashion to what we have addressed in the previous two sections above, the implementation of effective marketing strategies is not a set-and-forget item either. The business environment is a fast-changing one and adaptability to meet the changes and readjust your strategies is crucial.

The difference is that your adopted strategies need to be reviewed VERY regularly. This should be done in concert with knowing and reviewing your financials on a regular basis as well. You will need to know quickly what’s working for you and what isn’t. Meantime, let’s just take a brief look at what marketing really means……

What is Marketing?

Marketing is NOT just SELLING!

Marketing is the 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗖𝗘𝗦𝗦 of interesting potential customers in your products and/or services. This PROCESS is constructed of 𝟰 𝗸𝗲𝘆 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀:

Researching
Promoting
Selling and
Distributing.

But how can you interest potential customers and clients if they don’t know:

🤔 𝗪𝗛𝗢 you are?
🤔 𝗪𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘 you are?
🤔 𝗪𝗛𝗬 you’re there?
🤔 𝗛𝗢𝗪 to find you?

It’s here that we suggest that you carry out a S.W.O.T. Analysis of your business. Reason being that there are bound to be some issues that arise from you doing so, therein giving you the opportunity to properly review your existing marketing strategies.

Strategic Planning – The Right Way

Image of chess board with caption Strategic Planning

Annual Strategic Planning

In contrast to the other kinds of planning, annual planning involves the evaluation of the previous year’s activities. It also covers the setting of goals for the coming year and an action plan to achieve them. The planning process can be extensive and present an opportunity to address different topics.

Reflection

An honest look at the past year will involve asking certain questions. How have the family and the office performed against the current annual plan? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the family office? What major changes have occurred since the last plan was devised? Is the family successfully moving toward the long-term vision detailed in the family charter and in line with the ten-year plan, or are there major gaps between the stated goals and actual activities?

Diagram giving an overview of Family Office ServicesIf you don’t have a Family Office, then when you review your Business Plan is a great time time to consider the merits of a family office for your family business.

Some of the questions that need to be asked:

  1. “Do you need a family office?” 

A family office is a one-stop financial shop for the extremely wealthy. They serve as wealth management and financial advisors for high-net-worth clients typically focused only on the category known as “ultra-high-net-worth.” This is generally defined as anyone with $30 million or more to invest. The costs associated with running a family office are likely to make it not viable for those with a seven-figure net worth.

2. How do you start up and build a family office? First up – a business plan is a “must do”.

However, before creating a family office business plan, the family must determine their expectations, priorities and scope to decide what services they need. These can include financial planning (investments, philanthropy and life management), strategy (business and financial advice and estate planning), governance (reporting and record-keeping and succession planning) and advisory (tax and legal advice, compliance and risk management).

Image of two young adults reading about financial literacyWhat are the Principles of Financial Literacy?

There are five broad principles of financial literacy. Though other models may list different key components, the overarching goal of financial literacy is to educate individuals on how to earnspendsaveborrow and protect their money.

In the context of preserving your family dynasty and ensuring that your family business remains intact throughout future intergenerational wealth transfers, it stands to reason that ALL family members should be financially literate.

The question then is – “When did you last test or review the financial literacy level of your family members?”. It should be said at this point that we have extensive experience in both the assessment and education of people, particularly with kids (6 y.o. plus) and young adults.

What Do We Mean by Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. When you are financially literate, you have the foundation of a relationship with money.

Why Financial Literacy Matters

Financial literacy matters at many levels. From day-to-day expenses to long-term budget forecasting, financial literacy is crucial for managing these factors. It’s important to plan and save enough to provide adequate income in retirement, while avoiding high levels of debt that might result in bankruptcy, loan defaults, and foreclosures.

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

What is Financial Capability?

Financial capability refers not only to the knowledge needed to make sound financial decisions. It also refers to a combination of financial knowledge, skills, attitudes, and confidence that leads to positive financial behaviours and money management decisions that fit the circumstances of one’s life.

Key Points

As mentioned earlier in this article, if you click on the link below, you can download your own customisable TTD list.

What Haven't You Done Lately Summary

Now that we’ve covered the “What Haven’t You Done Lately” questions, we trust that you feel better equipped to continue the success journey for your family business.

Nevertheless, if you’re still having trouble making sense of all the information we’ve given you here, we encourage you to talk with an experienced estate planning adviser about how they can help you achieve your family business goals and objectives.

How FBA Can Help You With Your Family Business Planning

At Family Business Advisory (FBA), our purpose is to help family businesses succeed on a sustainable basis. As such, we provide you with access to specialist family, business and technical services with a goal being to generate opportunities for families in business.

In order to complement our own particular specialised skills, over the past several decades, we have developed a network of trusted, professional advisers in such areas as:

Image of Services spectrum

Moreover, we work at all times to give you peace of mind and proactive support to help navigate any changes in the market brought about by legislative changes, geopolitical events and general market conditions – all to maximise your personal wealth and security.

These services are provided by FBA, in association with the Wealth IQ Group.

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