I’ve found most adults fall into one of two categories – those that love all things scary and those that don’t. I’m in the latter (personal mantra: life is scary enough, why would I ever want to purposely be scared?!). As a business owner, there are uncertainties and unexpected surprises that you don’t normally prepare for that can haunt you. Here are a few I’ve run across and some suggestions for turning a trick into a treat. And let’s not kid ourselves, the treat is like a box of raisins….not a Reese’s Cup.
People die. Every day, all the time and not just in horror movies. Life takes very strange twists and sometimes the horrible does happen. Not only will this be emotionally devastating, but it will also have a huge impact on your team, your clients, and your company…. emotionally and financially.
Make sure your keyperson life insurance policies are up to date and cover those that are critical to your organization’s success. Have a succession plan for all management positions…including and perhaps most importantly, your own. You didn’t work your butt off to have it all blow apart when you are gone.
One of the most boring things in existence yet can make or break a company financially. Every CEO should know exactly what is covered by their policies and what is not. What’s risky and where there could be gaps in coverage.
Make yourself go through all the policies along with your CFO annually. Don’t trust that your folks will have everything covered. Ask all the questions and get to know your broker. They can be extremely useful when you have any questions or any hints of trouble. Brokers can help give you the peace of mind that things are covered.
If you aren’t watching your AR weekly, things can easily creep into the over 30 day, over 60 day and over 90 day buckets. Sometimes this is due to crappy payment terms. Occasionally it’s due to an incorrect submission, someone leaving a company, or some other administrative reason. But there are times with clients will either slow roll payments or just not want to pay at all. This would imply a problem somewhere which needs to be resolved.
Monitor AR weekly. CEOs may not need to monitor it, but they need to know that someone is minding the store and is on top of it…all the time, not just right before an earnings call or renewing the line with the bank.
The Tax Man
Generally, there is no escaping taxes. Okay, technically there is but that’s above our pay grade. But somehow, we can easily forget that they are due. Payroll taxes with every payroll. Estimated taxes each quarter. State taxes in all the states you are doing business in. It can be overwhelming and easily to lose track of. But penalties and fines are no joke. Fun fact – lack of filing state taxes is one of the most common reasons for holding up an acquisition. No one cares…until they care.
Get ahead of this and set reminders on your calendar. Follow up with your people that it’s been submitted…regularly. If you hold them accountable, you know it will get done. As CEO it is your name on the filings and you need to make sure they are right.
Let us know if we can be helpful in navigating any of the above. We’ve been there, done that and can introduce you to folks in our network that do an excellent job in insurance, benefits, and taxes.
Follow the above advice and you may even end up with a full-size candy bar or two.