You Built a Business, But Are You Really Organized?

By John Hanahan

It may seen counter-intuitive, but some entrepreneurs are the folks most in need of better asset-management. Fortunately, new tools and processes can help with that.

Do you remember when you were a kid? Life was simple… all your worldly possessions could be put into a box. It made you feel secure. Then life got a bit more complicated. You accumulated more things.

So here’s a question for you: Do you know where everything you own is and how much it’s worth? If you don’t, you should. If you want to know, you certainly can.

Advances in technology have made it possible to see everything you own in one place. All of your accounts electronically linked to your own personal Web portal where every aspect of your life can be seen. It’s easy to track your net worth in real time.

So many entrepreneurs are good at making money, but not good at spending the time organizing themselves to protect what they have created.

What would happen if you get run over by a truck? Would your spouse know where everything is and who to contact in order to settle your estate? What about your kids? Do you want them to have all your money or are they too young or not mature enough to handle it? Are you charitably inclined? These are important questions that need to be addressed.

That Critical First Step

It’s time for you to focus! Why not make a commitment to yourself and your family to get organized now? With these advances in technology, it really is possible to see everything you own in one place instead of logging into myriad banks, brokerages and 401(k) plans.

This technology even includes a digital vault to store copies of all of your important documents for safe keeping and accessed from anywhere. Things like wills, trust documents, family photos, and about any other type of document you deem important can be electronically stored in a secure location.

What if you lose your purse or wallet while on vacation? Not a big deal if you made a photocopy everything in it and stored it in your digital vault. You would just log in and know exactly which banks and credit-card companies to call. Talk about peace of mind, as opposed the feeling you have in the pit of your stomach as you realize you cannot find your wallet or purse!

Even if you are the most organized person on earth, why not have a backup to your system? I cannot stress how important it is to commit to getting organized. You will feel like a new person.

But why not take that a step further and put a team of leading tax and legal advisers together to help you protect what you have worked so hard to accumulate?

Would it not make sense to have this team of experts all working together to make sure you minimize the amount of income tax you pay, maximize the amount of wealth that can be passed to your heirs and oversee your investment policy? Wouldn’t it be nice to generate a financial statement on demand for your banker?

I am not talking just investment management; I am talking about wealth management. There is a huge difference between investment management and wealth management. The reason is that the latter deals with all aspects of your financial life. You need this more than you know, because the more you continue to be successful in your business dealings, the more responsibility you have to your family to get yourself organized.

If you have worked hard and accumulated more “things,” isn’t it time for you to really focus on tightening up your biggest responsibility? A team of trusted advisers who are all working together to help you organize and manage your net worth will help you focus on your business and what is really important: your family.

So why not make the commitment to getting organized and tighten up your own finances? I guarantee: You will feel better. Those who know what they have fare better than those who don’t!

About the author

John Hanahan is owner of Yukon Wealth Management in Overland Park, Kan.