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Financial Guidance For Those Self Employed

Learn more about key financial decisions, financial planning, and more.

Financial Guidance for the Self Employed Business Owner - Darren Robinson

Key Decisions Self-Employed Business Owners Would Do Differently When Starting or Running a new Business

Entrepreneurs were found to do specific things differently according to the 2016 Small Business Owner Study, conducted by Environics Research Group. This study was performed in order to find out what the business owners would do differently if they had the chance to start over.

The study concluded that Strategic Planning, Marketing, Sales, Networking and Training were the top 5 areas in question.

In looking through the answers, it was shown there are actually 10 top items that owners would do differently today:

  1. Take the time, slow down and make choices with purpose and strategic outcomes.
  2. Ask for input from other professionals such as financial advisors or lawyers.
  3. Utilize networking and professional training more.
  4. Plan and research more in depth.
  5. Keep moving forward with the plan even when difficulties arise.
  6. Make sure you are financially equipped to start up a business. Invest in the company for long term.
  7. Trust yourself more, while being transparent and realistic about your goals.
  8. Be more involved in your work while working smarter.
  9. Surround yourself with solid partnerships and dedicated employees.
  10. Don’t over-complicate things, keep it simple.

Finally, all entrepreneurs surveyed agreed that seeking out professional advice from industry experts/mentors would have been a huge benefit when starting their business up.

Small Business and the Need for Travel Insurance

If your company needs you to work outside of Canada, the magnitude of “what-ifs” can be quite the risk without travel insurance. While your bigger competitors can absorb these obstacles, most small companies can not. Follow these simple rules to keep you on track and help be a better traveler.

  1. Protect Your Employees: Buying travel insurance for your staff not only tells them you care about their wellbeing, but it also gives you comfort knowing if anything should happen, your employees are taken care of.
  2. Protect Your Business: You have a duty to protect your workers and your company. We all know medical bills can add up substantially.
  3. Protect Your Goods: We all know someone who lost their luggage on a trip. Having insurance in case you need to replace clothes, personal items and the like is a great comfort to get back on track.
  4. Reduce Financial Hindrances: Getting cancellation insurance is the smartest way to avoid financial troubles should you need to cancel your trip say, due to bad weather. One less worry and you’re protected from the elements.

Practicing these four tips will help you be a more confident and successful traveler.

Simple Financial Planning Tips for the Business Owner

So you own your own business! Congratulations! You’re not alone. Did you know there are approximately one million small businesses currently operating with fewer than 100 employees? Here’s how to reap rewards for financial success for your company.

First, you must target the best talent. In order to get and retain the best employees, you should offer steady work, good wages along with an employee benefits package. That benefit package can give you an edge over your competitors.

Second, make sure your money works for you. Look around for banking solutions that help reduce your borrowing costs. You want to make sure your business can earn the highest possible return.

Third, verify tax efficiencies. Understanding and addressing tax implications for business transactions can make a huge difference to your growth. Make sure you understand the pitfalls.

Fourth, think about getting “Key Person Insurance”. Quite often small businesses have at least one or two employees who are crucial to the operation of the business. If there was a loss or injury to those key players, there could have devastating effects on your companies survival.

Fifth, keep your eye on the future. For many business owners, their business is a means to fund their retirement. It is smart to combine succession planning with retirement planning so you get a clear picture of your financial security after you’re gone. Be that selling your business or passing it on.

Finally, make sure you have protection for yourself and your family. If there is ever a critical illness or a life-changing disability, or even a death, the impact on your family and savings could be momentous. Ensuring you Life Benefits insurance can help reduce the impact.

Stress Relievers for Work and Life Balance

Canadian business owners are under a lot of demands what with their business, personal and family all needing your attention. If you follow the tips suggested below, you might find yourself in a better position to reduce your stress.

10-Minute Breaks

Every couple of hours, make a point to have a 10 minute break. Get up from your desk and move around, check in with co-workers, go for a walk. Taking a short breather now and again during your day will definitely help keep you productive and avoid “burn-out”.

Give Yourself Some Time In-between

Your commute home can be used as a cushion between the day and your home life.  If you don’t have a commute, you can feel refreshed by doing some simple stretches, or listening to the radio to get reconnected with local news. You need some downtime between work and home so you can transition more easily.

Don’t Try To Do It All

Although you think it’s best if you do “it” yourself, productive business owners must try to identify tasks that they can delegate to others. You have the support of your team so ask them for help. Maybe there are tasks at home as well you can remove from your list and give to someone else to handle.

Meet the Financial Worries Head-On

Canadian business owners have 2sets of finances to worry about – their business and at home. 37% of Canadians find money is the number one cause of stress. To break it down into simpler terms, create a budget that can keep spending patterns on track. Ensure you manage your health and dental insurance policy costs. Consider getting a workplace retirement savings plan to ease the worry about saving for your future retirement.

Always Have a Plan “B”

Having a Plan “B” is having a Back-Up Plan if you can’t work – be that something simple like the flu or something more serious requiring disability. Knowing you have a plan for the “just in case” stressors, will help you cope when you need some time to take care of your health. Having a Line of Credit or an “Emergency Fund” set aside will ease the stress should something happen and cause a pause to cash flow. Next, having Insurance to cover you should you become disabled or have a critical illness is key to your level of security when something goes array. Lastly, the other Insurance well worth investing in is the Buy-Sell Life Insurance and the Buy-Sell Disability Insurance. These not only protect your business but they protect your partners as well.

Always speak to your financial advisor about accessing resources they can provide you which help you succeed in your business, as well as keep your work/life balance in check.

Before Launching Your Business, Consider These Important Factors First

According to a 2016 Small Business Owner Study, there are 3 main reasons Canadian business owners start their own companies.

First and foremost, 60% say they want to be their own boss. 42% said they seek financial independence, and lastly, 29% are wanting self-fulfillment. While owning your own business can be fulfilling, it can also come with its own stress. 

Canadian entrepreneurs felt personally satisfied with their company, but according to the study, nearly half said they had more stress once they started their own business. To ensure you’re ready, let’s review these 7 tips from other existing business owners:

  1. Seek financial advice to be better prepared and make more informed decisions.
  2. Create and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Interestingly enough, more than  ¾’s of owners surveyed said they work more than 40 hours per week.
  3. Biggest challenge, according to more than 3 in 10 owners, was cash flow.
  4. Make a significant investment in the business before it was launched.
  5. Finding and keeping great talent was a significant challenge for more than 8 out of 10 business owners.
  6. Make decisions for the business in order to retain talent (HR specialist, Group Benefits, etc.) usually occurred soon after the first year.
  7. Work with a financial advisor to help run the business was noted by6 out of 10 small business owners.

To help you be better equipped to start your business, think about the following points:

  1. Prepare your financial plan
  2. Although the temptation will be to work long hours, try to keep a work/life balance routine.
  3. Save where and when you can to help your cash flow.
  4. Invest in yourself and your business.
  5. Bring the right people onboard and treat them well to retain them.
  6. Human resources challenges usually happen after your first year.

Work with a financial advisor to help you make financial decisions for the betterment of the business.

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