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Top Financial Planning Tips (From our small business experts)

October 13, 2020 | Entrepreneurship
Financial planning

Wondering where to begin with financial planning for your small business?  The task can be overwhelming.  To help provide focus and actionable steps, our expert Business Advising Team is sharing their top financial planning tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

In uncertain times like this, financial planning can be easily pushed aside. However, to create long-term success, it is very important to pay attention to your financials and have current data so you can pivot as needed. 

Having helped over 12,000 small businesses throughout the years, we see time and time again that having a plan and a road map makes a huge difference for a business’s growth and success. It allows you to assess your business goals and lays out how you will achieve them.

Take a moment to review these tips from our team of experts and keep financial planning top of mind for your small business. 

Financial Planning expert

Chuck Sinks, Director, Small Business Advising

KNOW YOUR FIXED COSTS

It’s critical to know what your monthly fixed costs are first. Then you can work your budget around your fixed costs and have a more accurate financial picture.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Actively checking your credit score allows you to make sense of where you stand. Once you know where your credit score lies, you will be able to determine the different types of credit that are available to you and at what interest rate. Plus, if your FICO score is in the moderate-to-high end (i.e., 650+), it may make sense for you to consolidate your debts under a single low-interest account. Click here to learn about the 5 C’s of Credit.

 

Small business expert

Eddie Landeros, Senior Business Adviser

THINK LONG TERM + CONSERVATIVELY

Cash is king. Always work on a budget and forecast what your cash flow is going to look like in the next 12 months. Business owners that survive recessions are those that have liquidity, good credit, access to capital and have been conservative with their money by not spending on unnecessary things and by thinking long term and conservatively.

 

financial expert

Marsel Watts, Senior Business Adviser

REASSESS

Due to COVID-19, it is smart to produce interim financials to see where the business stands financially. In addition, perform an analysis of the profit and loss statement to see where the business is generating the most revenue and expenses and make adjustments as needed. It is important to reassess what is needed to operate and sustain the business. Based on the information, consider making operational changes.

 

Financial Planning expert

Ray Hivoral, Senior Business Adviser

MOVE FORWARD DURING THE PANDEMIC

If your business received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, get the forgivable loan documents ready to submit with your forgiveness application. Prepare an operating budget for your Post Covid Business Plan.  Take time to identify what you learned during Covid, and what you need to adjust in your business model going forward.

KNOW WHAT’S TAX DEDUCTIBLE

Many small business owners in 2020 applied for an SBA or Non-SBA backed loan, check with your CPA on what fees may be tax-deductible.

 

financial business advisor

Rich Kraus, Senior Business Advisor

TAKE TIME TO NEGOTIATE

Rent

In many cases, rent is the largest fixed expense for a small business. If a small business meets their obligation and pays the rent it may preclude them from making payroll or paying other critical expenses. As a result, it’s wise to have a conversation with the landlord in an effort to come to a meeting of the minds. If the landlord is a large REIT they may be able to get by with a significantly reduced rent in order to help the business stay solvent. If the landlord is an individual or small partnership it may be possible to negotiate a rent that allows them to cover their mortgage and insurance while significantly reducing the amount of rent paid.

Vendors

Reach out to suppliers to get the best prices and terms.   When possible stay out of long-term agreements.


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