Including a financial advisor in your small business plan. Where to get started?

financial advisor

Running a small business can be a big job. While it’s easy to get caught up in customer service and advertising, you’ll want to keep your eyes on your business’ lifeblood: finances. If you don’t have a firm grip on your cash flow, every other aspect of your business can suffer.

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle your finances alone. With an experienced financial advisor on your side, you can focus on other aspects of your business without feeling overwhelmed. Here’s how to get started:

Know What a Financial Advisor Can Do For You

The term “financial advisor” might sound vague or broad, so it’s important to understand what kinds of services are available.

  • Helping you set realistic financial goals is one of the most basic duties of a financial advisor. Once those goals are established, an advisor will help you develop a list of specific steps that lead to success for your small business.
  • Every business owner understands that some fiscal quarters are better than others. A financial advisor helps your prepare for the inevitable (but hopefully temporary) dips in income.
  • When you’re acquiring another business, a financial advisor can offer guidance on how to proceed.
  • On the other hand, when you’re selling your business, an advisor can assist with negotiating fair terms.
  • Advisors like those at Oak Street Investments can help you decide on the structure of your benefit programs and assess retirement options.
  • When it’s time to pass the business on to new leadership or another family member, a financial advisor can help you with the transition.

Meeting With a Financial Advisor

A formal meeting with a new advisor is always the first step in a new partnership. In fact, several meetings might be necessary for the advisor to get a complete picture of your current finances as well as your expectations. Be prepared to answer these basic questions:

  • What’s the current state of your business? Has there been a recent dip in profits, or are things looking up?
  • What are your concerns about the future? Even if your business finances are stable at the moment, do you have any nagging fears?
  • What do you expect the future to look like? Do you plan on passing your business on to a younger family member? Or is your goal to ultimately sell it to someone else?

In addition to these questions, a reliable advisor will also ask more personal questions to get to know you as a business owner. The more open and honest you are, the better an advisor can serve you.