What do you do if your partner falls?
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It’s no secret that Andy and I are a husband and wife as well as business partners. If you know us at all, you probably know that we ride bikes together – a lot. We have had many owners meetings and have solved numerous business issues while riding the rails to trails around our home in Indiana, PA. It helps to keep our stress levels down, keeps us healthy, and the fresh air always helps spark creativity.
Recently, Andy and I were inspired by the Tour de France and were riding rather aggressively when Andy’s bike malfunctioned and he had a small wreck (from a wife’s perspective, it wasn’t that small). He’s fine – I will say that right up front, he was fine, but in that split second before his adrenaline kicked in and he jumped right up and yelled, “I’m ok!” our whole life passed before my eyes. When something like that happens and you get past cleaning out the scrapes and assessing the bruises, it makes you think – what would I do if this had turned out differently?
As husband and wife, we had a discussion before Andy bought out his partners in Kuzneski Insurance Group – it went like this: If something happens to me who will run the business? It was pretty obvious to both of us that it needed to be me and that is why I came back to work at KIG.
Working with so many businesses like we do with co-founders or owners that aren’t husband and wife, it made me wonder if they have asked the question, What would happen to our business if something happened to me or to my co-founder? Do you have a succession plan? If something happens to your partner and their stake in the company goes to their spouse, do you want their spouse as your new business partner or can you afford to buy them out? Have you considered a buy-sell agreement for such a scenario? What do you do if something happens to the person who is the one who truly understands how your “secret sauce” is made and they take that knowledge with them? What happens to your business if your partner falls and doesn’t jump back up and yell, “I’m OK”?
We talk to a lot of founders about key-person life insurance when they take on investment, but this incident – and seeing the trailer for season 2 of HBO’s show Succession – really made me think we need to be talking about these issues with our clients more. Ask yourself the question and if you want to talk about your business continuation plans, let us know.
PS. Andy truly is fine! He healed like Deadpool – I’m convinced he could grow back a hand if he needed to! On a serious note from both of us, WEAR A HELMET while riding a bike. We hear so many adults say they don’t because they didn’t wear one as a kid and they survived. A lot of us also didn’t wear seat belts when we were a kid and survived – think about that for a second.