Tag Archives: small business

From Beta to Bots, Teens to Tricks – What’s Happening in Social Media This Week

weekly-reads-header-5

It’s hard to believe, but we’re only weeks away from the end of the first quarter of 2017! Now that we’re well on our way into the “New Year”, how are your social media plans going? Have you tried something new? If so, how are you measuring for success? We might be early in the year, but if you’re hoping to track trends now is the time to capture metrics from January and February before the details slip away from you. And if you need help, your friends at CenterTable are at the ready! In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some highlights in social media news this week. Read more after the jump…

Colorado Companies – What We Learned at The Wright

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper.

Last week marked the fourth straight year that GroundFloor Media/CenterTable has sponsored The Wright – a Shark Tank–esque event focusing on Colorado companies who work in the outdoor/lifestyle industries, and love to give back to their respective communities. Companies are nominated, finalists are required to produce a short video about their business, a panel of judges narrows the list to three finalists at a live event and then questions those companies before selecting the winning contestant.

Some of these companies are big, some are small, some are new and some are more established. The common theme is that they’re all amazing Colorado-based companies who have great entrepreneurial spirit. It’s truly one of my favorite events each year – and one where everyone can learn a thing or two from the contestants. Here are a couple of things we took away from, or were reminded during the 2016 Wright: Read more after the jump…

Planning for the Inevitable

Four Things Business Owners Should Consider for Succession Planning

Entrepreneurs spend a lot of time talking about the trials and tribulations of trying to build a successful business, but rarely do you hear us espouse on the importance of planning for when we might exit our business. I am not talking about the infamous “exit strategy” and selling for multiples of EBITDA. I am gently referring to the inevitable “exit.” I don’t care if you are 40 years old or 80 years young, if you are a business owner you should make sure you have planned for the worst. On average, 45% of a business owner’s net worth is tied up in the business (LIMRA International, Small Business Owners 2005 Report). While it may sound like a grim topic, the death of a small business owner could lead to internal turmoil, customer erosion and disruption in revenue flow. Quite simply — planning just seems like the smart thing to do, but only 26% of small business owners have some type of succession plan in place. (LIMRA International, Small Business Owners 2005 Report)

So, where do you start? There are several important elements to help you plan for the unexpected and how you go about it depends upon the ownership structure of your business and your intentions. I am a far cry from a lawyer, but my partner and I have spent time talking about the options and putting plans into place. Some options you might consider include:

1. Have you granted a key manager a limited power of attorney so that he or she has the authority to make decisions and continue operating the business?

2. If you have a business partner(s), do you have a buy-sell agreement in place? You can look at a cross-purchase plan, in which each of you owns a life insurance policy on the other so that the partner can use the death benefit to purchase your share of the business. You can also consider an entity purchase or stock redemption plan.

3. Perhaps you should establish an advisory committee to act in the immediate days and months afterward? If your company has several executive level employees, this committee could be given the authority to make key decisions by consensus until a stronger team is in place.

4. Several entrepreneurs I know have established an employee stock ownership plan to insure that a buyer is available when the inevitable happens.

No one likes thinking about their mortality, and entrepreneurs are no exception. But these simple planning tools will ensure the continuation of the company you worked hard to build, while offering your staff, bankers, clients and partners an important sense of security.

Here’s to hoping we never have to put these plans into action.

~ Laura Love