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Building A Business For Your Future

Building A Business For Your Future

It’s so important to have a business that enables us to live the life we want. Otherwise, we risk living someone else’s dream as Vanessa Lau recounts in this video. She built a 7-figure business as an influencer and quit because she was miserable. 

Although we’re expected to start with the end in mind, it’s not easy given we have no idea what’s involved to have the end we imagine we want when we first start out.

But everything benefits from strategic thinking even if our strategy might change down the line. I explained in my blog Shaping Brand Identity: Lessons from Valentine's Day why it’s so beneficial to think strategically when branding a business. That’s how we stand a chance to become known through a shape or colour as Coca Cola and Cadburys have achieved.

 As we age and get to know ourselves better our values shift and evolve. For many people their hopes and dreams remain the same. But mine changed.I started out thinking I wanted to build a business to sell. Then as I experienced the reality of running a regulated law firm I decided to close Azrights Solicitors and reopen as Azrights International when the SRA changed the rules.

In the Need For A Business Vision I explained how I adjusted my business as I waited for the new rules allowing solicitors to work though ordinary companies. I knew I wanted to continue running my own business indefinitely. I wanted to contribute and keep learning.

Age 65 is traditionally thought of as retirement age. That might be too high for those in stressful or manual jobs. For Mick Jagger, retirement is seemingly irrelevant. Even at age 80 the man struts around the stage fitter than people half his age.

Clearly, our ideas about age and retirement need to shift in line with the reality of how society works nowadays.

Baby boomers are apparently hanging on to their businesses long past retirement age. Many find meaning in running their businesses and are in no hurry to quit. That might explain why the surge in sales of businesses that was forecast as baby boomers reached retirement age hasn't happened. 

I believe anyone in business needs to ensure their business can continue without them and that client matters don’t suffer in the event of their death.

So, although I don't currently have a manager to run the business I’ve taken steps to ensure the business won’t be affected by my death. The business won’t form part of my estate. 

My family are director shareholders. So, they are able to run the company and operate its bank accounts. We've signed a shareholder’s agreement giving shareholders the option to buy a deceased shareholder's shares. And I’ve identified several excellent law firms who might be interested to buy the Azrights client list. They’d all be suitable to do our clients’ work. In the meantime, consultants are available to progress client matters. 

The reason I'm writing about this today is to convey the importance of making business continuity plans regardless of your age. That invariably involves writing a will and getting a suitable shareholder’s agreement in place. While Azrights can't help you with the former, I’d be delighted to help with the latter if you've not already got a shareholder's agreement.