Why get small business financial advice?

If you are a successful small business owner you will probably make most of the decisions on running your business yourself. However the longer you go on, the more you probably realise there is a lot you don’t know. You can turn to your accountant, solicitor or other business owners who can help to a degree. How many will be in a position to help you achieve what you really want from your business and your life?

Too many business owners make the following statements:

I’m exhausted! When am I ever going to be able to cut down on my 60+ hour working week?”

I’m trapped in this business that I’ve built. How on earth do I get out and enjoy the rest of my life?”

I feel empty. I never get to see my kids. And relationships at home are stressed to breaking point!”

I’m scared. Costs are rising. Profits are being squeezed. And competitors are grabbing the best clients. I’m not sure we’ll make through this economic crisis!”

So why can you help?

We focus on integrating business planning and coaching with life planning, tax planning, financial planning, independent financial advice and investment management to help you achieve not only what you want from your business but from your life. As a business owners, and also a financial planners, we are in a good position to help. We understand that we both wear three hats.

  1. Owning the business
  2. Running the business
  3. Working in the business

It is all about recognising how these different things affect your life, your family’s lives and the team that work for you, and most importantly how best to integrate them to produce the results you require and live a life you love.

How have you aquired such a large skill base that you can help me on all of these things?

Two of my passions are personal development and business development , which I have studied for over 10 years.

We have run my our business for over 20 years and am constantly looking to improve how we do things. We have read over 200 books on these subjects and have invested a lot of money to attend numerous business training courses.

We believe you have to continually strive to improve, we continue to read and attend at least two business training courses and several seminars every year.

We personally spend over 20% of our time working on improving our business as opposed to working in it to improve our service and profitability. Working closely with lots of succesful business owners to help them achieve what they want from their businesses means that we also pick up a lot of ideas from my clients which we then pass on to other clients.

The financial bits are obvious, except for the investment management where we work differently to nearly every other firm of advisers.

Other than helping our clients directly, we work with many other professionals – accountants, tax planners and solicitors -  and if required introduce them to our clients to produce the results they want.

What is the main thing a small business owner should focus on?

When first introduced to a potential client, one of our first questions once we get down to the “nitty gritty” is asking them to explain their exit strategy - ideally look at the written plan. It always surprises us how few business owners actually have one. If you don’t have a plan, how can you hope to obtain the maximum value from all the “blood sweat and tears” you have invested in your business over the years?

There are only 3 ways you can exit your business:

  1. Pass it on to your children
  2. Sell it to someone else – other shareholders, staff or management, or unrelated party
  3. Get carried out in a box – the value passes to your beneficiaries

In all 3 situations except maybe the first you would want to get the most you can as a valuation. Even in the first, do you really want to hand over a business that works so badly that it causes your children untold grief or possibly bankruptcy.

So how do you maximise the value of your business?

The answer is relatively simple to state but difficult to achieve:

  1. Work out a plan  to make sure that your business does not need you to work in it
  2. Start to implement that plan
  3. Regularly review and adjust the plan until point 1 is achieved

In other words you need to spend more time working on your business and less time working in your business.

Worst case, even if number 3 occurs before completion of the plan any major movement in extracting your self from the business is beneficial. If as in my case you are happy to work well into your later years, having a guiding role is easier and less stressful than a - ”This business can’t run without you role”.

How do you help and advise me to achieve that?

Most of our business owning clients understand that help to carry out a long term business exit strategy plan needs professional help and advice. However, to be most effective this plan must integrate with your own personal life plan and financial plan. Most of our clients who are business owners decide to join our “Clear Future” program with between 1-4 face to face meetings per year depending on the complexity of their business and financial planning.

Any questions on small business advice?

Please call us on 01763 232326