Does this sound like you? Your days are consumed with managing, sustaining, and growing your small business, and your nights are spent sleeplessly analyzing all the details no one else thinks about. Your energy and focus are spent on the day-to-day, leaving you little time to consider the big picture of your small business’ financial wellness.
This is the reality for many small business owners. When you’re grinding day after day to keep your business well-positioned, it’s a challenge to find the time to monitor the overall health of your business or plan for its financial future in a meaningful way. Below we’ll share a five-step guide of our suggestions to help you put intentional focus on key elements we find integral to your company’s financial health.
Step 1: Review Your Legal Structure
Many small business owners choose to operate as a sole proprietorship or a simple partnership in the early years of the business. This is common, but these structures may no longer serve you as your business grows and your needs evolve. Revisit your legal structure and determine whether you need a more formal business structure now, such as an LLC, a corporation, or certain partnerships. These types of legal structures are valuable in protecting your assets from creditors, and they may also help you secure financing from potential lenders if you need additional funds in order to grow.
Step 2: Maximize Employee Retention
It’s important to ask yourself whether you’re a competitive employer. This is a key element in retaining your employees long-term because competition is inherent in business. Review the benefits you’re offering and make sure they’re the right mix for what your employees need and want. A good health plan, disability benefits, and group life insurance are all valuable places to start and added benefits like retirement plans and long-term care benefits show your team you are committed to them for the long haul. Remember that while benefits packages are practical, they can also boost employee morale by making people feel valued. Employees who feel valued by an employer are more likely to remain engaged in doing great work and building the business alongside you.
You should also think about the key employees who you can’t do without – those who could make or break the success of your business. It may benefit you to offer special benefits to them, like additional life insurance or a deferred compensation plan.
Step 3: Revisit Your Insurance
Failing to maintain the proper insurance coverage can prove disastrous for your small business – and for your personal finances, too. That’s why we suggest an annual review of coverage, as well as any time there is a significant change in your operations. As business needs evolve, so should insurance coverage. Since the topic can be overwhelming, it may benefit you to work with a trusted financial advisor who can help you identify gaps in your coverage to ensure that you and your business remain protected.
Step 4: Plan with the End in Mind
Most small business owners are fueled by a passion for the work they do, which makes it difficult to think about that inevitable time in the future when you will leave your business. Whether it happens by choice or necessity, we suggest having a thoughtful plan. What you put into place now will affect how your exit plays out in the future. A business succession plan can help ensure a tax-efficient, smooth transition for your business – and help to shape your legacy, too. Your plan could include details like a properly funded buy-sell agreement or ensure you’ll have cash available to purchase your shares of the company when you retire.
Step 5: Work with a Financial Advisor
It is common for small business owners to operate with a go-it-alone mentality – and this can absolutely help entrepreneurs to be successful. However, there comes a point when you have to acknowledge that you cannot continue juggling all of the demands of the business by yourself, especially if you also have personal and family needs to attend to. Partnering with a professional financial advisor might feel uncomfortable at first, but it can help you find balance between the needs of your business and your personal goals.
At Aviance Capital Partners, we are dedicated to offering wealth advice that fits our clients’ unique needs. Our dedicated team of professionals offers friendly, personalized service to help you meet your goals. If you’re ready to start a conversation, book a meeting with us today <hyperlink to web form>. We look forward to hearing from you!
Aviance Capital Partners, LLC (“ACP”) is an SEC registered investment adviser located in Naples, Florida. Registration as an investment adviser is not an endorsement by securities regulators and does not imply that ACP has attained a certain level of skill, training, or ability. While information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, ACP does not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. The tax and estate planning information provided is general in nature, which should not be construed as specific financial planning or tax advice tailored to an individual reader. ACP suggests that readers consult a financial professional, attorney or tax advisory professional about their specific financial, legal or tax situation. Past investment performance does not guarantee future results. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss, and different investments and types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. There can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including those undertaken or recommended by ACP, will be profitable or equal any historical performance level. Additional information about ACP, including its Form ADV Part 2A describing its services, fees, and applicable conflicts of interest and its Form CRS is available upon request and at https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/firm/summary/146597.