Van Lanschot: Focusing on entrepreneurs

Private and business matters are inextricably linked in the lives of many business owners, and it’s no different when it comes to preserving and creating their wealth. But wealth isn’t just about figures, it’s much more about what you’re able to do with it, what you want to use it for.

The spring’s back in the step of this country’s business owners, with businesses and entrepreneurs alike seeing new opportunities created by the recovery that’s taking off in ever more sectors of the economy. But what are they in business for?

This week, Van Lanschot launches a new campaign aimed at business owners and asking this fundamental question: ‘Enough for what?’ Van Lanschot is challenging entrepreneurs to take a moment to think what they’re doing it all for: What are their aspirations? What business goals are they looking to achieve, and how do these reflect their private aspirations? What landmark on the horizon do they see for their private and business wealth?

Mark Buitenhuis of Van Lanschot’s Private Banking management team says: “As wealth managers, we focus on creating and preserving wealth, and we’re uniquely well placed for business owners to bounce ideas of us at any stage of their business lives. After all, business choices affect their private situations just as private decisions percolate through to their businesses, and we can add value by helping business owners to really clarify their objectives and then select just the right solutions. We provide insight into the amount of wealth required to attain each objective in the longer term, and how entrepreneurs can achieve precisely what they need.”

Van Lanschot breaks down the life-cycle of any business – and its owner – into four stages, and tailors its services accordingly: from start-up, through growth and expansion, to consolidation and eventual transfer. Every stage has its own dynamics and comes with its own set of requirements:

Stage 1: Starting out

A business you’ve just started up will claim all your time and energy, and your key goal will undoubtedly be to make it a success. You will want both your top-line and bottom-line figures to take off, and to have a clear idea of the profit margins you’re working towards. Building your client base and honing your offering will take centre stage, while you’ll also be looking for funding sources and alternatives as well as making your first choices for a robust organisational structure.
The knowledge that we as wealth managers have about the issues facing business owners can provide nice backing, as can our large network of business owners. And there’s always Evi, our online coach for saving and investing, to help you take your first steps in the preservation and creation of your wealth.

Stage 2: Growth and expansion

The next stage in the life of your business brings a whole new set of challenges. How to ensure controlled top-line growth as well as the expansion of your business? Perhaps it’s time for fresh product development? How do you handle your working capital?
And what do you do with the money you make? Have you got to the stage that you can take money out of your business for private purposes, or do you still need to plough everything back into the business to facilitate further growth? And here’s the big one: how much will you take out of the business and salt away for later, and how much will you keep in the business? You might wish to buy a home at some point or save towards your children’s education. We help you clarify the best choices you can make to attain both your private and your business goals.

Stage 3: Consolidation

Your business has now weathered multiple storms and matured. But new issues and challenges continue to come up: Would it be wise to broaden your market? You’ve created wealth, but have you taken good care of your pension? Have you struck a solid balance between your business assets and your private wealth? And do you want your family involved in your business and the wealth you’ve created? If so, how? At Van Lanschot, we are looking to add value every day, and that means being there for you and actively supporting you on all your wealth-related issues – including how to structure your wealth.

Stage 4: Preservation and transfer

When it comes to the transfer of your business, will you sell to the highest bidder or are you more concerned with its continuity? Transfer or sale of a business is a special process. Will you pass it on to your children or have you definitely decided against this? For some business owners this is a strongly emotive question: it’s your life’s work and you want to transfer it to the next generation. Others see their business as an investment: transfer is driven by picking just the right moment to take profit on the value of your business – creating new opportunities in the process. Each scenario comes with different considerations: Have you thought about preparing your children for managing a large fortune? Will they have access to your wealth while you are still alive, or do you feel they first need to look after themselves? We serve as your sounding board, whether you want to pass on your wealth to the next generation or would rather donate it to a charity or some other worthy cause.

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