“Why Do I Need a Financial Planner?”

Phil Hendry13/10/2020

You run your own business…
The industry? You know it – inside and out.
Blood, sweat and tears. Time, energy and thought.
All went into it.
So why would you need a financial planner?

Financial Planners?

They’re all about taxes or stocks and shares aren’t they?
Well, that is partly true, but there are equally important subjects we can help you to plan for. When it comes to you, your business and your money, remember that not all financial planners are created equal!

The traditional focus for a financial planner is to ‘create financial independence’ for clients. A business financial planner helps clients become independent from their business i.e. gradually arranging finances so that the client is no longer reliant on either the business income, or a sale, to eventually slow down or stop working altogether. One way or another, we are all leaving our business one day!

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

financial planner

Plotting to rule the world? Best to get some advice on the costs first(!)

You might assume that a financial planner will only address some technical elements of your business and adjust your personal finances to this.
But when choosing a financial planner, there’s more to it.

Let’s consider six 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 may have different personalities. Meaning of course you won’t see eye to eye all the time(!)
We often get stuck in our own little bubble, and have no outside perspective. This can seriously derail those ambitions you have for your business. You might even forget why you started a business in the first place!
Having an outside perspective, someone independent from the business. Someone who understands you and your personal planning issues, can bring a very valuable perspective to help you create the best outcome.

Accountability

You, the business owner, know the right things to get the job done. An outsider probably could not understand the opportunities and challenges you face as well as you do.
However, if they can understand what you want from your life and business, and if you are not on track to achieving these goals – ask yourself why not?
We’ve all been guilty of knowing what’s right and what not to do. We’ve all done the opposite because maybe it was easier or more enjoyable 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.
This might be by starting to budget for yourself or your business. Or doing something that makes you uncomfortable but is in your interest (such as not buying that shiny new work toy which distracts you)
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, when we should be relaxing, seem busy. This often means that we don’t get to do the things we should. That can be financial, but it can also be the little moments in life.
Having 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 proactive as you can be, life tends to get away from us. Even when we understand that doing something like setting financial goals would pay off over time, we just can’t get organised to do it!
Getting 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 to create the best outcomes.

Education

You could be the smartest person in the room.
You may be aware of all the details, rules, statistics and key legislation. Particularly given that access to information is often a click away c/o The Internet.
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 are equally difficult to interpret.
Having someone to rely on with this can create comfort and lead you to taking beneficial action.

Partnership

Hopefully, we’ll all enjoy the benefit of having a partner in life or business, who understands the challenges we’re facing, and are there to enjoy success with us.
Having that partnership with someone who understands and appreciates all interactions between finances and life. Someone you can lean on, and who provides a sense of solidarity which enhances the ups….as well as helping take the weight of the downs.

Remember…

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.
Your focus should be on finding one who provides these six qualities.
Because we’re all human. If success was purely down to information access or the hard facts, we would all be non-smokers, in great shape, getting enough sleep and teetotal. But we’re not!
So find someone to help you navigate the behavioural changes that business and money bring, as well as the technical.