COVID-19 giving us time to reflect.
One thing about isolation is that you have more time to yourself. In that time, you can really think about your future and what you want.
For many of us it is just to get back to the life we had before the virus caused so much disruption. Unfortunately, in many cases this is not going to happen. Large numbers of businesses are run on a very tight budget. This means that contingency funds are kept at a minimum. The shut down which looks more like 4 – 6 months is going to spend these contingency funds. The result is that business owners are going to have stark choices when the lights are switched back on.
There are 2 main choices that you can consider.
Spend personal funds to reinvest in getting your business restarted or borrow money to get up and running. For many business owners these options are both unpalatable. If you felt your business was hard to maintain before the shutdown it will feel even harder going back to the beginning or having the new burden of debt.
Do not get me wrong I believe business owners are a brilliant and very resilient group. They deal with adversity and continue to fight for survival and success.
I believe that if you are going to get back in the fight a good thing to do now is to write a business plan as if you are starting from scratch. The benefit of this exercise is that you will write the plan with more knowledge and experience. You will have made many of the original mistakes and have the chance to do things the way you would have done if given your time again. You can focus on what will be important and hopefully come back better and stronger.
Make sure in your new plan that you consider how you are personally taken care of. You are the main force of the business and need to ensure that your efforts are rewarded and protected.
Also make sure that your plan includes an end game or exit plan. These often take 10 years to be fully effective. Who is going to take the business on after you? Will you be looking to sell the business? Have you put enough aside to have a good income in retirement?
Some business owners will feel that the return to normal is going to be too tough. You are fearful that you are not able to stop work because you cannot afford too. The proceeds from a business sale where going to form a large part of your retirement assets. The only way to deal with this fear is to talk to someone who can take an objective view of your financial circumstances. You need them to provide you with an understanding of what is achievable with the assets you have. This individual is a Certified Financial Planner professional.
The planner will look at all your assets, income and expenditure as well as the provisions you have already made to generate an income in retirement. They will listen to the lifestyle choices you want to make and help you understand what is possible and what might be out of reach. They will then come up with a strategy you can follow to either stop working or continue to work if you have too. The main thing is that you will be basing your decision on a plan. A written document that will form a framework for your decision making. In this way you will be able to prevent your emotions from clouding your choices.
Foundation Stone Financial Planning is a fee based financial planning service. We charge for the time spent in preparing a fully comprehensive financial plan. The plan is based on a detailed discussion of your future goals, objectives and lifestyle ambitions as well as a thorough examination of your current financial circumstances. This information is then collated and analysed to determine if you can meet your goals and objectives. A written report will be produced that will give a clear picture of where you are today, where you are likely to get to against your goals and objectives and any changes that we would advise you make to deliver the financial resources to meet your lifestyle ambitions.
Foundation Stone Financial Planning Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
The Company’s Registration Number is 644914
The Registered Office is at 22 Stephen Street, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny. R95TYC3
To be clear the comprehensive financial plan we will provide for you is clear and practical financial advice that will develop your vision of the future and help you design a strategy to guide you to your goals. It is not prepared with a sale in mind. You will be free to transact our recommendations with another provider if you decide not to use Foundation Stone Financial Planning Limited for other services. If you choose us to implement portions of the plan, we will offset the cost of your plan production by any fees or commissions paid to the us by an investment or insurance provider.
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