Imagine going from owning 22 properties throughout the South Okanagan, 7 wineries and a distillery to receivership, liquidation and a financial loss of all your equity and then some. That is the unfortunate fate of the Holmans, the former owners of the Holman Farms, Lang Vineyards and other associated wineries. According to a March 14, 2013 article in the Penticton Herald, Battle continues over controversial foreclosure, a bank foreclosure resulted in a significant financial loss given the appraised value of various business assets that were sold to pay outstanding debt. They lost their businesses, they lost their financial growth, they lost their home.
This, of course, is a sad state of affairs that business owners do not anticipate when they nourish and grow their entrepreneurial dreams and start their business. However, the reality is that many businesses fail for various reasons. Those who own a business can learn from those who have failed despite considerable effort and planning. Keith Holman is quoted as stating “You’d better realize if you start getting the bank on you, you’d better get to [the] lawyers and be very careful about what you sign.” I would take this one step further and say that you should not wait until the bank is on you. Develop a relationship with a lawyer you trust who can act as your advisor throughout the life of your business. It may cost you some time and some of your start up funds, but these will far outweigh the potential costs you will experience if you become involved in a contractual dispute or court battle.