Now that we are into the first full work week of 2018, how are you feeling about your direction?

We’re here, and we’re in your corner. I’d love a note from you about what you are hoping to accomplish during this year, and how we can be a resource to you as you do. As you no doubt know, we do much more than mere tax preparation, and have many resources and relationships that we can bring to bear on YOUR behalf.

But that’s only available to you if you ask.

So, while the timing is good and we’re not (yet) slammed by all of the tax preparation tasks that will be consuming us over the next few months — the IRS isn’t accepting electronically filed returns until January 29 — drop me a note about what you’re dreaming about for 2018.

And perhaps I can bend your ear on a few things that you perhaps SHOULD be thinking about in the future months.

These are questions that might raise a few concerns, and that’s fine — it’s what we’re here for. Along with establishing clear measurables for success (as I wrote about last week re: KPI’s), these are the sort of things that effectively-growing Denver small businesses really need to get a handle on, regardless of what they do under the “new” tax code in 2018.

3 Important Questions For Denver Small Business Owners To Answer In 2018
“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” -Elvis Presley

2018 has been dawning fairly brightly, in terms of economic numbers. And obviously every business has its own horizon, so I won’t presume to know exactly what is happening with your Denver business.

That said, whatever your 2018 horizon is showing, it’s important that you put on your grown-up pants and take a clear-eyed look at the underlying legal and financial foundations for your business. Now, at the beginning of the year, I can’t think of a better time.

Which is why I’m about to raise some issues to you, and ask you some questions. It’s a bit of a different approach than I normally take in my Strategy Note, but if you take it seriously … it can be a transformative process.

Take a look at each of these questions, and if you are troubled by any of your answers — send me an email by clicking ’email us’ at the top of the page … and if it’s not something we’re equipped to handle, we can equip you with a good advisor.

Arellano’s Foundational Business Questions

#1: Is the value of your business firmly established?
Questions to consider:

  • Have I ever had my business value appraised by an outside party?
  • Do I have a formal buy/sell agreement in place?
  • Is my buy/sell agreement funded?
  • Does my buy/sell agreement adequately protect my heirs, my business, and my partners?
  • Has this agreement been reviewed in the last 3 years?

If you have any plans to someday extricate yourself from your Denver business (and you should ALWAYS consider your exit strategy), these are critical questions.

#2: Is there an emergency plan?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a will, and is it up to date with my business wishes?
  • Do I have a plan to retain key employees if something were to happen to me?
  • Are my assets protected from potential litigation?
  • Have I identified and written down my trusted advisors?

Unless you plan to forever cheat death, a Denver business owner would be foolish to not prepare for that event.

#3: What happens next?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a formal succession plan prepared and on file?
  • Does my succession plan have a provision for disability?
  • Have I involved both family members AND key employees in my succession planning?
  • Do I have a disability buy-sell, or overhead expense coverage?
  • Do I have contribution protection for my retirement if I were to become disabled?

Again, these eventualities always seem remote on the front end … but if your answer is “no” to more than a couple of the above questions, it would be a good idea to get in contact with someone competent to help you fix it.

I’ll be back next week with a few more questions for you…

Feel very free to forward this article to a Denver business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Denver families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.


Lou Arellano
(303) 223-3796

Colorado Business Accountants