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Step 5 – Unplanned Events


Step 5 – Unplanned Events

By , October 19, 2023

Addressing a crucial but often overlooked topic, we discuss the unexpected occurrences that can severely impact your business’s stability and, by extension, your life. What if unforeseen circumstances like a major illness or an accident suddenly strike? How would your business fare in the face of a natural disaster? Preparing for these unforeseen events is essential to safeguard both your business and the well-being of your family.

Safeguarding Your Established Value

Now that we’ve evaluated the value and potential of our business through a thorough fact-finding mission and a comprehensive Business Insights Report, it’s vital to ensure that this value is protected. Unplanned events are an unfortunate reality for many business owners, ranging from minor inconveniences to major disruptions. Hence, we must brace ourselves for what might come our way.

Confronting the reality of unplanned events can be daunting, but with effective planning, their impact can be minimized. As a business owner, your absence due to an unexpected event like a serious illness or accident can have a far-reaching impact. You likely play a key role in the company, being a shareholder, director, and probably an essential employee. Consequently, your absence not only affects the business but also has a significant financial impact on your family.

A Better Way: Buy-Sell Agreements and Insurance

To mitigate the repercussions of such events, many business owners opt for a buy-sell agreement. This legal document transfers the ownership of your shares to other shareholders while ensuring fair compensation for your family or estate. While the legal aspect might be relatively straightforward, funding this arrangement is the real challenge.

Insurance proves to be a viable solution to fund the buy-sell agreement. By insuring your life, you can ensure that your family receives the value of your shares in the event of an unplanned tragedy. This approach provides a structured and stress-free resolution during a challenging time, minimizing disruption not just for your family but also for the business.

The Employee Aspect: Key Person Insurance

Furthermore, if you are a crucial part of the business, like the CEO or a major revenue generator, your absence can also impact the business. Key person insurance steps in to provide financial support to the business, aiding in finding a replacement and mitigating the downturn in sales due to the disruption caused.

Unplanned events are precisely that – unplanned. However, this lack of predictability should not deter you from preparing for the potential fallout. Assess the value of your business and contemplate the possible unplanned events that could occur. If your business heavily relies on you, it’s imperative to take action and create a strategy to minimize the risks associated with such events.

Your Action Plan

The key takeaway from this discussion is to take proactive steps to secure the future of your business. Seek guidance from professionals in legal matters, financial planning, and insurance to ensure you have the necessary strategies and documentation in place to mitigate these risks. Safeguarding the value of your business on the path to a successful future is a crucial goal.

Prepare for the unexpected, plan for the future, and ensure that your business continues to thrive regardless of the challenges that come your way.

This article was originally published on

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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