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September 2012 Edition   

Founder's Monthly Message

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

Business is a dynamic entity and due to its dynamism, it is continually changing.

To foresee changes and deal with them, acknowledging and respecting the Business Continuation is an important factor.

Also, it goes without saying that for serious businesses the element of planning is an inseparable and integrated component of any business activity.

When it comes to Business Continuation, this phenomenon will only become effective, if it is coupled with planning; i.e. Business Continuation Planning.

Although majority of the small and mid-size businesses are more or less familiar with other key planning strategies for a business such as Business Plan, Marketing & Sales Plan and Financial Plan, the importance of the following ones are often overlooked:

- Business Continuation Plan
- Business Succession Plan
- Business Estate Plans

Taking the issue a notch higher, among above three, Succession and Estate Planning are often discussed by the key decision makers of small and mid-size businesses, yet Continuation Planning is more than often either misunderstood or mistaken with other business mandates. 

So, by briefly touching upon this issue, I would sincerely hope that the contents of this article pave the way for small and mid-size businesses in appreciating the importance of the Business Continuation Planning and take all necessary and immediate steps in bridging the possible existing gaps within their businesses.

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

t: 416 - 275 - 5543
w: business support initiative

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If one could grant you three business wishes, what would they be?

1- In an ever evolving and competitive market, what are the primary short/long term objectives and their related challenges in your business?
2- Nationally and/or internationally, how would you reach the potential market and establish business alliance, and how would you maintain the business balance and ensure its competitiveness?
3- Considering the Book Value versus Market Value Reality Check, what is the true value of your business in the market?
4- To exit your business in a foreseen or an unforeseen future, transfer it to someone, or simply limit your scope of involvement, when is the right time to start planning, where would you start from, and what are the critical elements that you would be required to consider?

As part of a mandate in supporting small and mid-size businesses, we are pleased to furnish the key decision maker(s) of a business with an opportunity for a fully subsidized, one-on-one, private and confidential business chat. Interested? click here

on-site seminar & training in place of your business

Disregard of the nature of a business, its three building blocks are People, Process and Bi-directional Information flow between People and Process. Also, these building blocks impact the three fundamentals of CSA (Cash/Finance - Sales/Marketing - Administration) within a business.

So, as key decision maker(s) of a business, have you ever wondered that despite covering all business angles why there are cases, which would get out of control?

Contact us for on-site tailored business best practices training & seminar:

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Business Continuation Planning

Business Continuation Planning is the process of identifying, measuring and via a pragmatic and tailored risk management strategy, proactively isolating, minimizing, transferring or deflecting the sever impacts on a business due to risks such as death or disability of the key decision maker(s) of a business.

Although it seems like a mouthful definition, the issue is very simple and straightforward and its aim is twofold:

- Protecting the business as the continuing source of income
- Protecting the value of the business as a transferable asset

In other words, Business Continuation Planning is a dynamic approach and part of larger business financial planning, which is normally referred to as Financial Security Planning. According to fundamentals of this pragmatic approach, it  is designed to examine that:

- Business is capable of generating adequate income to support a specific lifestyle
- Available taxation planning opportunities are maximized currently
- Business is capable of supporting a reliable saving plan for unforeseen expenses
- Business is capable of supporting the key decision maker and his/her immediate family due to an unforeseen event such as illness, disability or death
- Business Estate Planning is in place and adequate to ensure that the value of the business is transferable to the beneficiaries at the minimum possible taxes

It is a fact that during the successful lifespan of business from its initial inception until reaching full stability, all businesses pass through the following Business Stages:

- Survival
- Growth
- Maturity

Although self explanatory, the natural path to success for a business starts from its attempt to survive the initial head on collision with realities of business life, which also includes constant struggle in developing a market presence and surviving financially. It further follows with the growth stages, when market presence is increasing and overall, business is stabilizing until reaching maturity, when business is fully stabilized and considers next stages. Pictorially:

Business Stages: Survival, Growth and Maturity
Standard Macro Level Business Stages

Now, if we take a step back and examine the business from a bird eye view, what is the common attribute through all the business stages?

Without a doubt, unless the ownership of the business changes hand, the commonality among all stages is nothing but the presence and influence of the key decision maker(s) of the business on the business. Therefore, granted that the type and degree of risks associated with every stage are different in magnitude and complexity, the common risk among all stages is the element of People, especially the impact on the business due to the change in the overall status of the key decision maker(s).

Although it may seem as the common knowledge, since the issue is being continually overlooked specially by small and mid-size businesses, safeguarding the key element of the business, its decision maker(s), must become of the highest importance. Think about it!

Now, with respect to the overall financial journey of a business from its inception to the maturity, naturally, the following Business Milestones will be of prime importance:

- Personal Finance
- Business Continuation
- Business Succession
- Business Estate

Although the timing for each of above mentioned business gates may be different from one business to other, by superimposing Business Stages with Business Milestones, the correlation between these two business phenomena becomes more evident.  Pictorially:
Correlation Between Business Stages and Business Milestones
Correlation between Business Stages & Business Milestones
Considering the element of risk in general and risk associated with the key decision maker(s) of a business, the importance of Business Continuation in guiding a business from Survival Stage throughout Growth Stage and reaching Business Maturity becomes more evident.

To ensure business continuity, the main questions will be:

- What must be done?
- Where must a business start from?

Since we are dealing with the highest business risks, i.e. the impact resulted by status of the key decision maker(s), logically, we are dealing with the People element of business. Coherently, the next steps will be:

- Define the Key People in the business and their roles
- Define the scope of the impact resulted by any loss of the key people
- Define preventive and mitigation risk plans, which includes and is not limited to protecting the business financially from any impact
resulted by loss of any of its key people
- Remember that business is a dynamic entity and continually changes. So, ensure the plans are kept up-to-date and revisited as often as necessary

Now, considering above brief discussion:

- What is the status of Business Continuation Planning in your business?
- If existed, how pragmatic is the Business Continuation Planning in your business?

If in doubt, contact me directly and let's have a business chat!

About the author: Rahmat Ushaksaraei is an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB), Founder of GeBTL, Global executive Business & Trade Links, the only global top level executives' business platform, Founder of Bio Wood Pellet, representing the North American producers of the wood pellet in the global market, President of the accrete, The Business Excellence Realization , an author, presenter, Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Project Management Professional (PMP), renowned expert in Concept, Project, Process, Quality and Communication Management,  business executive and leadership coach to large corporations, business mentor and advisor to small and mid-size businesses, pioneer of Diamond Total Management (DTM)business excellence model and Human Intelligence Management (HIM)and Human Emotion Realization (HER)methodologies and architect of the valuator™ and evaluator™ business evaluation tools for small and mid-size businesses. Rahmat Ushaksaraei may be reached at: Rahmat Ushaksaraei

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