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Don’t get too attached to your business

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Don’t get too attached to your business

gty_inheritance_jp_120618_wblogIf we were talking perhaps 10 or so years in the past when I was still fairly new in running my own business I would have bestowed the virtues of holding the all the cards. How important it is to remember your business is YOUR business, don’t bring in any shareholders unless you really have to, and build up something great for your children to take over. Then I realised how my attitude had changed as I listened to myself offering advice to a new business owner at a NatWest event I was supporting a couple of weeks back. I was giving this gentleman the very opposite advice. He made a point that he was growing his business to be his children’s inheritance. That was his argument as to why the bank should lend him some money.

Now I have a very different opinion on bank lending, in that I am a firm believer that banks must not lend businesses money unless the business owner also stumps up some cash and/or puts their house up also. Whatever it is the bank should have security and commitment from the business owner, but not everyone agrees with me. Fair do’s, we all have our own opinions :-). As for this chap growing his business for his children to take over…

My personal opinion on this topic is;
Your business is just a vehicle to achieve an objective, and pretty much that objective would usually be one or more of the following :-

  • To provide you with a financial income.
  • To give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
  • To fill your days with something to do.

Now just like a vehicle such as a car, if it ceases to work then repair it or replace it. Don’t get emotionally attached to it, and for heavens sake don’t burden your children with it. Let them learn and make their own decision on what they want to do, which may actually be to work in your business but let them make that decision. Just ensure you make all your business decision on the known here and now with what you need to achieve from your business. Is it providing you with the required income, sense of achievement, is it filling your day … is it working? If it isn’t working then fix it, in whatever the right way to do that for you and the business is now.