Picking a Financial Advisor as a Small Business Operator
As a small business owner, finances can be difficult to navigate.
Most small business owners run on passion for their work and start off with just a dream and few bucks. If you’re driven and lucky you’ll survive the first few years and finally start to turn a profit but what then? How do you manage the business you’ve built and sort through the minefield that finances and investments can be?
If you’ve reached that point as a small business operator where you’re ready to engage a financial advisor there are a few tips that will help you choose the best person for the job.
Find a specialist
When choosing a vendor for your supplies you look for someone who specialises in your field and finding a financial advisor should be no different. There’s not much use in going to someone who primarily works with lawyers when you’re a café owner. Find someone who has experience with your industry specifically and you’ll get more value out of their advice.
As a small business owner, you’re likely involved with community groups, small business leadership groups or even just friendly with other business owners in your area. Turn to your community to get recommendations. If someone you know and trust and has found a financial advisor who has helped them, you’ll feel more comfortable and have someone else’s experience to draw off.
Check their credentials
Make sure that you engage a financial advisor who has all the necessary licenses and qualifications to provide this advice. You can check their website and reviews for more information on them and look for professional memberships that show they are professionals in their industry such as being a member with the Association of Financial Advisors Australia.
Know what you want
While you might not have a full and clear idea about what you should do with your finances (which would be why you’re engaging the services of a financial advisor), it is important to have an idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Where you want to review your budgeting and cash flow systems and the ultimate goal you’re trying to achieve by seeing the advisor.
For example, are you ready to invest? Do you want to free up more money in the budget? Are you planning to expand and invest more in the business and if you are, what outcome and timeline are you looking for?
Understanding your motivations will ensure you can get more value from your relationship with the financial advisor.
Check the fine print and fees
So, you’ve gotten some referrals from other small business owners you trust and you’ve put together a list of possible financial advisors and vetted their qualifications and associations.
Before you settle on one review their fine print and fees to confirm you’re comfortable with the cost of the services provided. You don’t want to feel that your money is not working for you, that’s why you’re seeing a financial advisor to begin with.
Organise to do an initial chat or consultation with a couple of possible candidates and get a feel for them.
Are they listening to your concerns and will they work with you to meet these concerns? If you don’t get a good feeling from them or things are getting lost in translation, they might not be the advisor for you.
Choosing a financial advisor can be difficult but armed with research, well-vetted candidates and a clear understanding of your needs you’ll be set up for success.
However, if you want to grow your own knowledge about small business finances, take a look at the Certificate IV in New Small Business or Certificate IV in Small Business Management. Both of these qualifications contain units of competency that cover finances, risk, business management, marketing and much more relating to owning a small business.
Higher Level Skills funding is even available for small business owners in QLD to complete the Certificate IV in Small Business Management.
Ask our experienced team for more information.