Hiring a financial planner may seem like an unnecessary expense for a small business, but it can actually help your business cut costs in many ways. Not only that, sound advice can lead to financial growth for your business and for you personally.
Although most financial planners cater to individuals, some focus their efforts on helping business owners with decisions about employee benefit plans, insurance, taxes and more. When hiring a financial planner, consider the following:
Get financial planning help with insuranceHMO, PPO, POS — with the myriad options available, it's tough to zero in on the best health insurance plan for your business. Some financial planners are licensed to sell insurance and may work on commission; others are paid by you and can help you choose the best plans for your business.
Sift through retirement plan optionsWhether you want to create a retirement plan for yourself as a sole proprietor, or you want a plan that will cover you and your employees, a financial planner can help.
Investment plans for you and your businessIdeally, as a business owner, you'll have profits to invest. For unbiased advice, you may wish to use a "fee-only" financial planner who isn't licensed to sell investment products.
Tax planningFinancial planners can help you identify additional tax deductions and can alert you to specific reporting requirements for your business.
Commercial real estateWhen you're contemplating buying or selling commercial real estate, get advice from your financial planner.
Check credentialsAnyone can call himself or herself a financial planner. Ensure that your financial planner has the proper education, experience and commitment to ethics by choosing a Certified Financial Planner, a Personal Financial Specialist or a Chartered Financial Consultant.
Consider compensationPlanners may receive a fee, commissions based on selling investments or insurance, or a combination of the two. Fee-only planners may charge a percentage of the assets under management, an hourly fee or a flat fee. Many believe that fee-only advisors provide the most unbiased advice since their income isn't derived from selling financial products.
- Keep in mind that many planners have minimum income and asset requirements for clients.
- Get referrals from friends and business associates.
- Be sure to meet with planner for a free consultation. You want to make sure you're comfortable with your advisor and he understands your company's needs.