Entrepreneur to Business Owner – Question To Ask by @AZanswers

“Woman Up” and take responsibility and control of your assets. It is your money. ̶ AZ


by Ann Zuraw | Featured Contributor 

You have worked hard to develop your business. As your business grows, you have nurtured an asset that can yield tremendous value. However, simply growing assets under management and top-line revenues may not be enough to develop and maximize business equity. Today, I recommend evaluating your progress and knowing how to achieve the best results for tremendous benefits going forward.

When do you stop identifying yourself as an entrepreneur and recognize you are a business owner?  I am noticing the transition personally in myself. One main point that I would like to share is that you are all good at something or you would not have a business. Recognize your strengths then hire and outsource the other pieces. Just because you do not have time to do it, don’t understand something, or don’t want to do something does not mean the issue does not need attention.

Starting in 2005, I have grown Zuraw Financial Advisors from scratch to achieving 190 million under management and as a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC. It has not been easy, and I have learned numerous lessons the hard way.  I used to be more forgiving of my mistakes and have many examples of wasting money on hiring people or services that did not work out. But I am done with tolerating the “entrepreneur” mistakes and have “Womaned Up” to learning how to manage a real business.

These were the signs that I was a business owner and priority areas for you to address:

  1. Deal with your employees—hire, fire, encourage, educate every day I deal with them, and they deal with me.  (They refer to me as the boss.)  Do you have documented procedures, reviews, employee manuals?
  2. Do you have a succession plan? If you get hit by the bus Uber driver, what happens to your business and clients.
  3. What procedures do you use when signing documents? I am not a lawyer, but that does not excuse me from reading and comprehending the documents I am signing. I always get another person to read whatever document I am signing or e-signing. Hire a lawyer if necessary, (and one that is knowledgeable in this specific area) or consult your Operations and Marketing Directors, Compliance Advisor…. Depending on the area and subject of the document.
  4. Do you have the correct and appropriate insurance? Pay for insurance—whether it is life and health insurance for employees, Errors & Omissions, You can never be too careful in advance in case of the unthinkable.
  5. Are you paying your bills on time and do you know your cash flow? I use QuickBooks and have a bookkeeper, but I still have to check the expenses and income.  Just because you do not have an MBA or CPA does not excuse you from taking responsibility for analyzing your business’ financials. Unfortunately, I have heard way too many experiences where a bookkeeper or employee has figured out a way to steal from the business. The owner trusted this person and found out too late, e., when the money was gone.

Is your company in the correct structure?  The tax bill has increased the focus on the benefits of pass-through businesses—but need to make sure you consider other issues.  See my previous article to learn more!


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