Beware of the Beer Truck

Mallory Cornell, MBA
Mallory Cornell, MBA

You may be familiar with the saying “if you were hit by a beer truck, what would your family do?”. Now, there are plenty variations…school bus, semi, train, but they all ask the same question; is there a plan to care for your family if you’re no longer around?

The same question should be asked for the business side of your life. For those agency owners, having a perpetuation strategy for your business is critical. For individuals within the agency, how are you sharing your knowledge and training other employees? Do you have consistent agency procedures that would assist another employee in carrying out your day-to-day functions? This is a lot to tackle in one article, so let’s start at the top and look at some of the key points for developing a perpetuation plan.

The first question you should be asking yourself as an agency owner is who. Who is going to take your agency forward if you retire, die or decide to sell? Depending on your current age and the status of the agency, the idea of retiring or selling might not need to be addressed as quickly. There is still a need for planning for the unknown, no matter how difficult it might be to think about.

Another who that must be considered is who will help you create your perpetuation plan? As always, you can rely on your trusted partners at the IIAW for assistance with your perpetuation plan. However, if you do choose to seek assistance elsewhere be sure it is an industry-specific firm. This will ensure you have someone who understands your specific issues and you will undoubtedly save time and money in the process.

The final step is creating the plan. Start big and then dig down into the details. Identify the key questions that must be answered to make everyone comfortable with the plan. The most obvious question will be how to transfer ownership in the event of your untimely death. Also consider, however, questions your employees might have about you prematurely selling the firm and whether you can (or want to) contractually eliminate this concern.

If you have a perpetuation plan for your agency, pull it out and make sure it is still what you need and is properly funded. If you do not yet have a plan created, pick up the phone and call your friends at IIAW…and beware of the beer truck.

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Mallory Cornell, MBA

Mallory Cornell, MBA

Director of Risk Management

Mallory is the Director of Risk Management for IIAW. Joining the team in April 2017, Mallory continues to build the risk management playbook within IIAW to provide additional resources to members. Through innovative new practices, key risks will be identified and mitigated in a tailored fashion to meet your business needs.

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