Business Owners

There is an absolute need to keep your personal and business financial planning and management separate.

The reasons extend far beyond IRS reporting; the goals, aspirations, needs, and approaches are completely different. And so are the planning steps needed to get you to where you want to be.

With that stated, it also makes intrinsic sense to use the same financial advisor for your business and personal life. The two are intertwined in many respects and each is impacted by the other. Hamilton Financial Planning has the expertise to plan, guide, and manage the investment and wealth accrual processes of both.

As a business owner, the core financial planning questions you are faced with include:

How to Provide Savings Plans for Employees

Helping employees to save for their future is possibly the least onerous and most cost effective step you can take to retain talent.

  • Should you utilize 401K’s?
    • 401Ks are the most common type of defined contribution employee savings plan. Contributions are made via payroll deductions and serves to lower the employee’s annual taxable income. Both contributions and investment profits grow tax-deferred until the funds are withdrawn.
  • Are there other and perhaps better options? This somewhat depends on the employee’s intrinsic value to the business as most include some form of vesting schedules for pay-outs.
    • These plans offer company stock options, usually at a discounted rate.
    • Non-qualified deferred compensation plans, although less common, are another way for highly compensated employees to save for retirement or other financial goals. These plans allow participants the opportunity to make pre-tax contributions up to 100% of their annual compensation. They are typically reserved for a limited number of high-earning employees within a company. These plans offer greater flexibility than defined contribution plans in terms of withdrawals for college or other non-retirement goals - but do not carry the same protections as qualified plans.

How to Manage Cash Flow While Concurrently Maximizing Tax Deductions

Addressing this means determining if your business is best served by approaching planning from a profit or a profit margin perspective. Does it make sense to try and reduce the business’s operating cost? Reducing costs or increasing revenue can add to the bottom line – the net profit figure – but it might not improve the company’s profit margin.

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Now let’s move on to tax deductions. There are two basic types.

Capital expenditures generally refer to the purchase of assets whose value to the company exceeds a 12 month period. Equipment, facilities, and vehicles are the most common. These depreciate – and your tax break is assessed based on that depreciation value – not on the cost of purchase.

Operational expenses are for assets that are expected to be purchased and fully utilized within the same fiscal year. Office supplies and wages are operational expenses. These are fully deductible for the year in which they were used.

Whoa! You run a business – not a tax planning firm!
This is exactly why your business requires a financial planner.

How to Provide Health Care for Employees

A comprehensive and quality health care package is nearly as important to potential and current employees as their remuneration package. From the business owner’s perspective – a healthy work force is a must but how to offer solid coverage to employees at a reasonable cost is becoming more and more difficult as the political pros and cons continue to be debated.

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Would an HMO or PPO – or combination of both – work best for you and your staff?

Health care costs can be drastically lowered by placing corporate emphasis on health and well-being maintenance. Something as simple as gym memberships or an onsite gym facility can cut health costs and increase employee productivity.

How to Manage Continuity Planning

Your Continuity Planning is what keeps your business alive when a crises hits.

No matter what the disruption is due to – every business, regardless of size, must remain competitive; this is even truer in the face of an adversarial event. Every business needs an effective business continuity plan that outlines procedures and instructions the organization must follow in the face of such disasters. The plan covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more. And, like everything else, as your business grows and changes – so will your continuity plan. Hence the terminology: “Managing Continuity Planning”.

To plan effectively, you need to know all the current key elements and processes … and all the nuances as well. The disaster recovery portion of your continuity plan is what most staff members know. Your Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is also part of your plan. It should identify the impact of a sudden loss of business functions, usually quantified in a cost. Such analysis will help you to evaluate whether outsourcing non-core activities makes sense. Your Business Impact Analysis will essentially enable you to look at your entire organization's processes and determine which are most important.

As the business owner, you know all the parts; putting this information into a larger proactive picture benefits from an outside and financially trained perspective.

How to Plan for and Manage Your Exit Strategy

When it is time to sell your company to investors or to valued employees, you want the business to continue thriving. And you want recompense for all your past efforts. This is where planning and managing your exit strategy comes into play. Planning your exit strategy in advance helps to ensure the company continues on an upward path.

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With Hamilton Financial Planning as your business financial, investment, and wealth planner, we know and understand your values, concerns, obligations, and dreams. Our client-centric process provides a structured fiduciary approach which allows for careful customization as your unique business needs and situations dictate.

Hamilton Financial Planning, with offices in Austin and Houston, TX and Charleston, SC, is Fee-Only; this means you know in advance what your quarterly bill will be. We never charge a commission or sell you products so there are no hidden costs to surprise you.

Every penny you earn from your investments made through Hamilton Financial Planning goes directly to you and bringing your goals and dreams closer to reality.

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If you’re unsure if you have enough saved to retire; when you can afford to retire, or how much more wealth you need to build in order to retire, we should talk. HFP is offering a no obligation 30 minute planning session designed to provide you with a high-level view of your financial forecast to answer these key questions.

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to find out if HFP is a good fit for helping you meet your goals.