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Business owners have faced challenging times lately, especially since COVID-19 caused such huge disruption from 2020. Keeping your company finances on-track is crucial to help maintain profitability, promote staff productivity and move towards your business goals. Here, a financial planner can be very helpful to help you keep financial stability and hit your targets. Below, our team at Cedar House outlines some of the concrete ways a financial planner can help business owners in 2022. We hope this content is useful to you.
If you want to discuss your own financial plan with us, please contact our team for more information or to access personalised financial advice:
020 8366 4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Key person protection
Losing a key worker can be hugely detrimental to your business (e.g, a lead salesperson or a company director). Without appropriate financial protection in place, this can lead to plunging profits as you struggle to find a replacement. Key person protection can help tide you over in such times. This policy provides a much-needed lump sum when you suddenly lose a “key person” (e.g. to ill health), which could help cover recruitment costs as you find a replacement.
Another related policy to consider (for limited companies) is shareholder protection. This sets up an agreement between the business and a shareholder, providing a lump sum for the former to buy the latter’s stake from their estate should they die. Without this, the estate’s beneficiaries can end up with the shares and possibly show little interest/competence in their management of them. Shareholder protection can help prevent this outcome.
In any case, a financial planner can help you discern which key people may need covering with financial protection – and where to find the best policies for your needs.
A financial planner can help directors reduce needless tax liability – not only for the company, but also for themselves. For instance, Business Relief (or “Business Property Relief”) can reduce – or even eliminate – a future inheritance tax (IHT) bill with careful planning. Examples include unquoted shares in a company (100% relief) and control holdings of quoted shares in a company. In the 2021/22 tax year, the IHT threshold is £325,000 (the “nil rate band”), after which 40% IHT applies to an estate upon the owner’s death. As such, strategies which can help lower the liability can help you leave a more meaningful legacy to your loved ones.
Financial planning can also help reduce taxes in the short/medium term. Perhaps increasing the company’s pension contributions could not only save on corporation tax, but also provide a tax efficient income for directors in retirement.
The number of corporate scams – particularly cybercrime – has risen considerably since the 2020 pandemic. Last year alone, businesses lost £59.2 million to fraud. Small businesses are often particularly vulnerable, since they are less able to absorb financial losses. A financial planner will be well-versed in the kinds of scams deployed by modern hackers – showing ways to reduce your risk exposure and put preventative measures in place.
Cybersecurity is a particularly important area to address, and here a financial planner can be surprisingly helpful. He/she can identify “weak spots” in your payments handling, for instance, and offer suggestions to make things more secure for both the business and customers. It may be that certain other digital infrastructure needs tightening up, such as fragile integrations between different software that handles sensitive financial information (e.g. your CRM and your other back office systems).
Loans are typically an important part of getting a business off the ground. However, debts can quickly spiral out of control without careful management, leading to erdod profits and – in worst cases – business failure. It is not always clear when to take out a loan, how much you need and which lenders are most appropriate for your needs.
Here, again, a financial planner can be a huge help for owners considering their various options. In particular, it is usually a good idea to take out cover for business loans – yet only about 20% of owners use it. This is very risky, since if the business can no longer repay its debts, the owner(s) may need to sell some of their own assets (e.g. their home) to cover the liability.
A financial planner can boost your protection.
Of course, owners want their business to not just survive, but thrive. Quite often, growth is held back by poorly-arranged company structures, systems and practices. Identifying and changing these is not always easy, however. Sometimes getting an objective, outside pair of eyes to look over things can provide clarity on areas that can be optimised and streamlined – reducing high expenses and increasing margins. This, in turn, releases more revenue to be reinvested into the business and improve future growth prospects. A financial planner could be just the person you need to provide this focus and insight to make better business decisions.
Interested in discussing your financial plan with an experienced financial adviser? Get in touch today to discuss your financial plan with a member of our team here at Cedar House via a free, no-commitment consultation:
020 8366 4400 or email@example.com