I’m a Business Owner, Why do I Need a Financial Planner? 6 Reasons You May Not Have Thought Of

Phil Hendry13/10/2020

You run your own business and know your industry inside out.  You pour all your time, energy and thought into it, why would you need a financial planner?

 

Financial Planners are all about personal tax planning and stocks and shares aren’t they? Well partly yes, but there are equally important roles when it comes to you and your business….caveat being that not all financial planners are created equal!

The traditional focus from a financial planner is on “creating financial independence from your business” i.e. gradually arranging your finances so you are no longer reliant on either the business income, or a sale, to eventually slow down or stop working altogether.  Because one way or another, we are all leaving our business!

However, conversations with you as a business owner should be focused on the business as much as life after it.  It’s your baby after all, and passion, so focus should be on helping you grow it as much as the eventual exit, whenever that may be.

You might assume that a financial planner will only address some technical elements on your business and aligning your personal finances to this.  But lets consider 6 areas which are incredibly important, but would not immediately spring to mind:

Objectivity – Running a business can be quite a lonely place.  Even if you have a business partner, you aren’t necessarily always of the same mould or opinion.

Often we get stuck in our own echo chamber, and have no outside perspective, which can seriously derail those ambitions you have for your business.  You often forget why you started a business in the first place.

Having an outside perspective who understands you, your business and your personal planning issues, can bring very valuable perspective to ultimately help you in creating the best outcome.

Accountability – You the business owner know the right things to being doing.  You are an expert in your industry, and an outsider could not understand the opportunities and challenges you face as well as you do.
However, they can understand what you want from your life and business, and if you are not taking the actions that align with this, ask you why not?  We have all been guilty of knowing the right thing to do, and importantly what not to do, but doing the opposite because it was easy or more gratifying in the short term.  Being held accountable in doing what is best for you, can push you over the line to take action, and act in your own best interest.  That might be beginning budgeting for yourself or business, not buying that shiny new object which throws you off course, doing something that makes you uncomfortable but is in your interest….if you know its for the best, but not something you enjoy, having someone to answer to could be the difference.

Proactivity – Life is busy.  So much so that even our days off, or points at which we should be relaxing, seem busy.  This often means that we just don’t get to things we should.  That can be financial, but it can also be things you want to do in life.

If you have someone there who allocates time to think about these things, understand the next steps, and search out actions that would benefit you, this could be very beneficial.  It is also something that as a business owner, there is every chance you will just not get round to doing. Having someone to help anticipate both positive opportunities and challenges ahead can provide valuable insight.

Organisation – As with proactivity, life tends to get away from us, and even when we understand doing something like setting some detailed financial goals would pay off over time, we just cant get organised to do it.  Having someone to work alongside you and organise these things for you once the details and benefits are clear, can ensure that you consistently plan ahead and implement to create the best outcomes.

Education – In some cases people will be aware of all the detail / rules / statistics / legislation they need, particularly given access to information is often a click away courtesy of google.  However this may not be an option for some, or they would just not be comfortable applying what they have read.  Often the interaction of rules etc. is equally difficult to interpret.

Having someone to rely on with this can create comfort and lead to taking beneficial action.

Partnership – This is perhaps the fluffiest point!  But we have all experienced the benefit of having a partner in business or life, who understands the challenges we’re facing, and are there to enjoy the successes.
Having that partnership with someone who understands and appreciates all the nuances of the interaction between finances and life, gives you someone you can always lean on, and who provides a sense of solidarity which enhances the ups….as well as helping take the weight of the downs.

Working with a financial planner is not for everyone.  But for those who want to explore it properly, don’t obsess about unique tax planning and investment strategies, being good at these things should be a given and ultimately they are rarely as special as they are made out to be.  Focus on finding who provides these 6 qualities.  Because we are all human, and if success was purely down to access to information and the hard facts, we would all be non-smokers, in great shape, in bed by 9 and t-total….but we are not….so find someone to help navigate the behavioural nuances business and money brings, as well as the technical.