This course is for business owners. It's not about business per se. It's about business ownership. And how to build a business that cannot hurt your family's future.
More than 30,000 business owners have gone through this course with me, and used what they have learned to secure themselves and their families from business adversity. They learned to borrow money without signing guarantees. They've learned to borrow money without putting their homes on the line. They've learned how to structure their personal affairs so that no business creditors can attack their personal assets.
I closed a business in 1992. At the time that we closed we had the equivalent of 26 million Rand in sales each year, we were the fourth most admired information technology firm in South Africa, we had three branches, and 21 staff.
That helped not a jot when every user of mainframe computers in South Africa stopped hiring more staff and stopped buying more technology, uncertain what might happen in the 1994 democratic elections.
And so we closed. The entire process taking two years. And then it took eight years to recover from the fallout. Judgements, foreclosures, sheriffs, attachments, and a bunch of other things that I learned about. But I learned about them too late.
Everything we know about business we read in books or we learn from people we expect to know more about business: attorneys, accountants, and bankers.
The problem is that their advice is wrong. A bigger problem is that we don't ask the right questions. And so I signed some paper at the beginning of my business career, just like you did, and eight years later that came back to haunt me. I lost my home, as most small business owners do when things go wrong. I lost my dignity, my friends, every penny I had ever earned in my life, and another 6 million Rand on top of that.
Sounds extravagant, doesn't it? It wasn't. I didn't even owe the R6 million! But when things go wrong, you're not in a place where you can defend yourself.
All of this starts when you borrow money for the first time and sign some papers authorising that overdraft.
When you complete this course you will know how to finance your business without signing personal guarantees or personal sureties. You will understand why there is no honour in signing them. You will understand why the argument that you should stand behind your business is a fallacy, and designed to protect your bank and not you.
You will know how to protect your home from creditors, and your car, and any other assets that you really want to keep. In working through each strategy in this business owner survival kit, you will become a much better business owner, able to make better business decisions, without the burden of your personal future getting in the way.
You will be more confident because you will be far more robust.
More to the point, if you don't experience all of this, you will ask for your money back and I will happily give it to you :-)
Peter Carruthers authored the best-selling book in South Africa on surviving business closure. He's guided more than 40,000 small-business owners since his first business closed unexpectedly in 1992.
All his training and consulting has been delivered through the Internet since 2003. During this time he's lived in South Africa, Spain, England, and Norway. (Yeah, he's got massive wanderlust.)