If you’re running your own business, you likely know that a financial advisor can help you plan for taxes, provide benefits for your employees, and protect you and your loved ones with insurance. But did you know that they can also help you with succession planning?
“When I meet with business owners, the first thing I ask is if they have a plan for retirement,” says Sarb Sangha, Wealth Management Specialist at Prospera Credit Union. “In my experience, many business owners don’t think about this stuff until they’re ready to retire, as opposed to 10 years in advance, and then it’s almost too late.”
In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says that nearly three quarters of small business owners plan to exit their business within the next 10 years, and 51 per cent of them have no plan at all for their business when they retire.
As the owner of a small business you’re very busy, but it pays to step back and plan for your financial future. Take the time to forecast, plan, and budget. The more successful the business, the more planning needs it has.
“A lot of times there are situations where a business is doing so good, the owners aren’t thinking about succession planning or protecting their wealth,” says Sarb. “Planning ahead is important, and a few ways you can do that are by: funding an insurance policy in advance, understanding your tax options and sitting down with a Wealth Management Specialist to build a financial roadmap.”
A good succession plan will help the transfer of your business go smoothly and allow you to maintain the good relationships you have with your employees and partners. According to the Government of Canada, it also helps you:
- Protect your legacy
- Build value for your business
- Deal with unexpected events
At Prospera, advisors take a collaborative approach, bringing in specialists for different situations. “My role in this is to help orchestrate a succession plan,” says Bryan Ference, Prospera’s Family & Business Insurance Specialist. “What are your income goals after retirement? Do you have someone lined up to buy your business? The key here is to work towards your goal and not wait for someone to show up with an offer.”
You worked hard on building your business from the ground up, so take the time to ensure you have a plan and are set for the future. Whether your plans are to transfer ownership or sell your business before retirement, you will have decisions to make; plan for the transition today.