The fourth quarter is a very important time of year for many small businesses - while the retailers and restaurants are focused on holiday season sales numbers, other businesses from manufacturers and distributors to professional services and doctors are honing in on year-end goals and starting to plan for 2024. For many, it can be the critical weeks that determine whether the year, and perhaps the business as a whole, is successful, which is one of the reasons that Small Business Saturday was started. On November 25, consumers will have a chance to support their communities through purposeful purchases from their favorite small businesses. As a wealth management firm that focuses on small business owners, we take it one step further.
We deeply enjoy the work of designing strategies to support entrepreneurs for many reasons, not the least of which is their passion for their companies, their team, and their products and processes. They love it so much, in fact, that they sometimes overlook the importance of a financial plan to support their company and their own financial goals. Their constant focus on maintaining and growing the business leaves little room for concentrating on the role that their company should play in their lives, and the effect it will have on their income, taxes, and capacity to spend and save.
A financial plan and a business plan are two different plans for a small business owner. A business plan is a document defining how you run and succeed with your business, and will include important details like your mission statement, analysis about your risks and opportunities, information about your team, and important metrics for revenue and expenses.
A financial plan is a blueprint for how entrepreneurs can maximize the benefits of small business ownership in their lives, while setting boundaries for the risk that the company can pose to its owner financially. We understand small business owners not only because we are a small business, but also because we work with successful families who need personalized strategies to maximize their wealth.
Our process for a small business plan acknowledges what we know from experience - business owners are smart, and they have many demands on their time and energy. They also tend to have some shared challenges:
- The business represents both an outsized reward and an outsized risk in your financial plan.
- Company cash flow needs to support both your business and your lifestyle. With a high level of fluctuation, there is a need for constant cash management.
- You have significant tax strategies available – if you know about them and use them well.
We have developed a distinct small business financial planning process that we tailor to each of our clients’ unique set of goals, resources, and risks. To learn more about how we guide our entrepreneur clients on everything from their risk stack to their exit plan, download our 8-step guide for small business owners here.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.