Almost every small business owner will be interested in creating a financial plan at some point during the life of their business. What you bring to the table can determine the success of the meeting and the plan itself. By being prepared and knowing what to expect, your meeting will go smoother and the information you receive will be more valuable. David Worrell of Fuse Financial Partners advises what to expect out of a financial planning meeting and how to best be prepared.
(Photo courtesy of David Worrell)
Check Your Books
For a variety of reasons, it is imperative that your books are easy to read and accurate. According to Worrell, “Clean, reliable accounting records will add more value to your company than you would ever believe.” He recommends keeping your books as accurate and reliable as possible so that your financial planner has a clear picture of past patterns and potential issues that could shape the plan. This is also important if you ever choose to sell. “Accurate and up to date accounting will give a buyer confidence and clarity when it’s time to sell,” Worrell says.
Get An Objective Opinion
One of the best ways to prepare for your meeting is to have someone else look at your financials. Worrell recommends turning this task over to the chief financial officer, but if you don’t have one, there are other resources. “Find someone from outside the business who can give you objective advice,” Worrell suggests. “Then, prepare for the meeting by having a clear financial statement prepared and an idea of when and what you’d like to accomplish with the meeting.”
Bounce Back From A Setback
Even if the need for a new financial plan is sprung from a financial crisis, the preceding tips still apply. However, the key to making this plan successful is to learn from your mistakes. Worrell offers the following advice to any business owner who is facing rebuilding after a financial crisis, “There’s no easy way to recover from a bad misstep, except to dust yourself off and keep plugging. Keep in mind however, that every market changes and every industry evolves. You’ve got to continuously adapt and improve in order to build a truly valuable business.”
Meetings with financial advisers can be stressful, but keeping detailed records will make it less so. As long as you’ve come prepared with comprehensive and accurate financial records, your financial planner can give you tools to “keep plugging” and help your business stay successful for the long haul.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.