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January 2007

How prepared are you?

Recently I lost my mother to a lung disease that we had never heard of. She passed away two and a half weeks after her diagnosis. Before her diagnosis, she was a vibrant, healthy 68 year-old woman. As most of you know, I grew up in this business - my father owned a salvage yard and a crushing business. My mother contributed to our family’s business by paying bills, reconciling bank statements, and performing many of the important behind-the-scenes tasks that made the our business and household run smoothly.

Most small businesses have someone like my mother.

If something happened to the loved one who takes care of these behind-the-scenes duties in your business and home, could you take over their duties?

Most likely the answer is NO. Hopefully, this article will help you prepare yourself for a day that we all hope never comes.

Prudent business people need to plan for the loss not only of loved ones, but also for the possible loss of all those persons vital to their business. What if you lost your office manager or accountant? Are you capable of training someone to take over the job without lowering your level of service? How much do you really know about all of the tasks it takes to run your business and home?

Here is a simple way to prepare. Write down a list of all the duties that each key person performs and do them for a week. At the end of the week, you will have a far better understanding and appreciation for the little things such as filing, reconciling statements, and other behind-the-scenes items vital to making sure that your business runs smoothly. At home, make a list of the duties your spouse performs daily, weekly, monthly, and learn to do them for yourself.

We all take for granted the people who are in our lives, or business. It’s human nature. We also take for granted that our loved ones and key people will always be there to do what they do day in and day out. The reality is that the loss of a loved one is unbearable, but it can be made only a little less so by preparing. By preparing, you can spare yourself the added worry about what bills are to be paid, when the trash is picked up, and the many other important things your loved one contributes to your home and business.

Next month importance of having a Will, Power of Attorney, and a Living Will.

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Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.






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