4 Financial Planning Hacks for Small Business Owners

By: Jeremy Pugliese, CExP, WMCP

Small business owners have a lot on their plate. If you are an SBO, you know this all too well. Whether it’s day-to-day operations, maintaining morale, or business-as-usual expenses, short-term considerations can get in the way of a long-term vision. While this is understandable, it’s ill-advised, especially when it comes to financial and investment planning. Having a financial professional at the ready to get into the weeds of a financial plan can be an invaluable business resource. For small business owners who don’t have a financial professional, here are four financial hacks that can offer short-term and long-term benefits:

Mitigate Concentration Risk

Most business owners suffer from asset concentration risk, which occurs when investors put most or all of their asset eggs into one investment or portfolio basket. While you might not view concentration risk as problematic, it can leave you with an imbalanced financial plan leaving you unnecessarily vulnerable to sharp market value fluctuations. In short: Better Balance = Better Protection. This is another area in which a financial professional can prove helpful; by evaluating an investment portfolio, a financial advisor can highlight potential risk exposure, and work toward developing a concentration risk mitigation plan.

Keep Continuity Top of Mind

What would happen to your business if you could no longer steer the ship? It’s an important question, one that might behoove you to answer in writing. Let’s say you are a business owner or key person who gets disconnected from the business. It’s critical for the sustainability of the business that everyone knows what their “Marching Orders” are now and in the future. Who will handle staff and customer matters? Who will be responsible for supplier and partner relationships? Who will keep processes up to date and locations running smoothly? Who will do what you can no longer do? Invest in formally prepared, written, and funded business continuity instructions. You’ve put your financial and sweat equity into the business. A continuity plan will help protect it for years to come.

Hire a Business Coach

World-class athletes rely on coaches to keep them motivated and attuned to growth opportunities they may not have otherwise identified. A similar line of thinking applies to the business coach and small business owner relationship. A business coach can offer an objective and mentor-based perspective recommending a strategic path forward for the business as well as guiding you with leadership, organizing, and communicating best practices. Perhaps most importantly, the coach can be a mental and emotional source of support, a person for idea-sharing or venting.

Make the IRS Your Friend

Don’t be wary of Uncle Sam. On the contrary, take steps to learn how to use the Internal Revenue Code so it works in your favor.  This can be done with proper retirement plan designs that are aligned with your ownership objectives. Have a conversation with a tax professional – and ideally a financial professional – to come up with an optimal approach for your business.

Mitigating concentration risk, having a continuity plan, leveraging a business coach, and educating yourself on tax-advantaged approaches for your small businesses are four financial planning tactics that can provide immediate and future benefits. These are by no means the only financial planning tips that can aid small business owners. Consider having a conversation with a financial professional to address these and other planning action items.

Jeremy Pugliese is a Financial Advisor with International Planning Alliance, a financial services firm in Shrewsbury, NJ. Jeremy welcomes the opportunity to discuss these issues and other financial planning topics. Access his calendar here.


Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only. International Planning Alliance LLC is an Agency of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. Securities products and advisory services offered through Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), member FINRA, SIPC. OSJ: 1040 Broad Street Suite 202, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702. PAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. This firm is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS.

Jeremy Pugliese is a Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS). Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®
(Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. International Planning Alliance, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. California License #0L01672 Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services, and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.

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