Business Owner Financial Planning
Whether starting a new business, expanding an existing one, or selling a business, an entrepreneur needs a variety of tools and resources to make the entrepreneurship efficient, manageable, and profitable. Here are a few ideas to help you get started on maximizing your business potential while keeping your work/life balance clearly in focus.
So, you’re an expert in a particular field like baking, or patient care, or maybe manufacturing. You find a sense of purpose in your work and are laser-focused on your business. The catch with running your own business is that your specialization comes with a stack of responsibilities and, regrettably, never enough time. Being all things to your business – accountant, banker, electrician, IT wiz, and an HR manager- is nearly impossible, though on many days you might feel like you fill all of these roles.
If you are indeed capable of doing the impossible and successfully managing all the elements of your business, you probably don’t have time to think about the big picture. To thrive AND grow your business – to have time to envision a brighter future for your business – you should consider some manner of outsourcing.
Think about outsourcing this way: the time your accountant spends doing the books is the time you spend taking concrete steps to develop the vision you have for your business. While the handywoman is replacing a ceiling tile, you can focus on solving that business problem that requires your expertise.
And if finding this time to think and act strategically sounds appealing, consider a business coach. A business coach’s expertise is helping you discover how to manage it all, not do it all. We use coaching resources and highly recommend coaching for all business owners (but that’s a topic for another day!).
Keeping an Eye to Personal Finances
As financial advisors working directly with small business owners, we of course help guide them in all aspects of their business. We’ll tell you, however, that a #1 value add is focusing on the owner’s personal financial wellness.
If your personal finances are disorganized or causing constant stress, this doesn’t bode well for the business. Additional stress and attention get directed to your personal situation when, with a little oversight and planning, that effort could be transformed into positive energy that helps grow your business.
Far too often, business owners put all their money into the business rather than saving for their own retirement in any real way. This reinvestment in one’s business at the expense of long-term personal financial planning happens for various reasons, some good and some not so good.
Here are two thoughts typical of small business owners when considering retirement:
- “I can sell my business and that sale can generate income for my retirement.”
- “There just isn’t enough time. I’ll figure it out later.”
Neither of these is a great way to plan for your family’s financial security … or for your business’s.
Take a step back and look at your personal finances. What are your personal goals? Do you have extensive travel in mind for retirement? Do you want to help your college-bound children with their tuition? Is your expanding business providing resources to expand your personal investments?
Taking stock of your personal aspirations is an excellent way to frame your business planning. Instead of compartmentalizing (one box for personal, one box for family, another for business), use the different aspects of your life and vision to complement and support each other.
At Erickson Advisors, we take a holistic approach to financial planning. By helping you look at your finances this way, we can serve as the backbone of your outsourced team. Let us help bring together your professional team – CPA, attorney, insurance agent, bookkeeper, and maybe other experts who can improve your business and your quality of life (did I hear someone say “on-site massage therapist?”).
I love speaking to business owners about our NOW Financial Planning Program which incorporates our Business Circle – a flat-fee planning relationship that can be categorized as a business expense because it focuses on strategic planning for your business but can also help you make big strides in your personal financial planning. Dreams can become reality with planning and intentionality… and maybe a little luck.
Let the luck have a solid place to land!
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change with or without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors cannot invest directly in indexes. The performance of any index is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not take into account the effects of inflation and the fees and expenses associated with investing
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.