Last week, I began asking you a series of questions about your business. Hopefully those have had some time to percolate in the business-owner-guru-strategist side of your brain. I’d like you to thoughtfully consider the new questions I’m raising today. Please do consider these six issues as you work through growing your Research Triangle business — they can catch you off guard sometimes.

And even if I’m at my busiest, I can promise that we’ll look at these issues together when we meet and bring solutions.

Here’s where you can secure a time on the calendar: 

While some of these questions involve areas which I and my Research Triangle firm do not handle, I will gladly recommend someone who can assist you with those items as needed (and do it well).

So, here are the final 3 (with last week’s questions listed as summaries only).

My Research Triangle Small Business Health Quiz (Part 2)
“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

Even if “business is good” right now, part of our role is to help point out potential potholes along the future path for our Research Triangle business-owner clients. 

That’s why I’m here to raise some questions for you. 

If you take them seriously … It can be a transformative process for your business.

A quick summary of Part 1’s questions …

#1: Is the value of your business firmly established? 
(Think buy/sell agreements)
#2: Is there an emergency plan? 
(Ex: Will & asset protection strategy)
#3: What happens next? 
(Business succession plan, and more)

Now to this week’s questions …

Barton’s Small Business Health Quiz (Numero Dos)

#4: What are your retirement plans?
The exit plan and what you’ll do after should have space at the forefront of your mind, because that process takes some finagling. Ask yourself:

  • Do I know how much income I will actually need at retirement?
  • How much control in the business must I maintain to secure my retirement income?
  • Have I looked into financing options for key employees to buy me out?
  • Do I want to be running my business, full-time, five years from now?
  • Do I have contribution protection for my retirement if I were to become disabled?
  • Do I have an exit plan for my business — and is it written down?

Too many business owners view their business as their “retirement cash cow” … but have not made serious plans for how it can BE that cash cow.

#5: Are all of your eggs in one basket?
When it comes to your assets, there are questions you’ll want to consider, like …

  • Do I have reliable investments, other than my business?
  • Will my business assets account for less than 25% of my retirement plans?
  • In the past year, have I spent more than one hour planning my retirement?

If you haven’t diversified your retirement income outside of your business, you could be in trouble.

#6: Is there a REAL tax strategy?
While taxes aren’t what I do, I DO know that you want to consider these questions …

  • Am I proactively planning to deal with tax law changes?
  • Have I determined my financial goals — and how taxes will affect them?
  • Will I maximize my tax-free earnings in retirement (and before retirement)?

Again, all of these issues always seem “procrastinate-able” on the front end … but if you don’t have a good answer to more than a couple of the above questions, you might be cruising for a financial bruising. 


While you’re thinking through these things, we can help you repair the potholes on the road ahead. As always, my dream is to see your business set up to be the healthiest version of itself that it can be.

In your corner,

William Barton