Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A practical Guide to Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners

You have put your heart, soul and most of your money into your startup, and nothing you envision could make you walk away from its success. But, no matter how much you love your company, no matter how passionate you are about your products or services; there will come a time when the prospect of retirement begins to look really attractive. Unlike your employees, you may not have given much thought to retirement planning. In fact, a recent survey showed that as many as 70% of self-employed individuals aren’t adequately saving for retirement, and 28% have no retirement plan at all. No matter how lucrative your company becomes, it’s on you to come up with a retirement nest-egg for yourself as a hedge against an unknown economic future.

Retirement Plans for Business Owners

Unless you have fewer than five employees, you should have set up some sort of retirement fund that they can buy into (there are tax advantages for your business, and it will help you attract and retain a better caliber of workers), which you can also benefit from as an employee of your business who’s drawing a salary. If you’re a self-employed service provider, and you’re the only employee of your business, there are still quite a few options for building a retirement fund. Here are a few of the better ones.

1. Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)

SEP is similar to a traditional IRA, but it’s designed especially for self-employed individuals. Under this plan, you can up to 25% of your current income or use the IRS maximum contribution, whichever is lower. You simply need to find a bank that offers this option and fill out the IRS form 5305-SEP to set it up. There are no tax filing requirements with this plan, and it costs next to nothing to administer.

2. Profit-Sharing

Profit sharing is an often overlooked option when it comes to the self-employed. If you have enough employees to benefit from establishing a profit-sharing plan, you can also take advantage of the set-aside as an employee of the company. The difference between this and the dividend you would receive as a traditional employee is that you would base it on a percentage of your company’s earnings instead of your individual income. It would still require setup and administration through a bank or other financial institution, but it would force you to set-aside a larger share for your retirement, as well as keeping your employees personally invested in the success of your business.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Poor Financial Management can Hurt New Business

For most people, running a business is to do with the freedom of being their own boss and the opportunity to make good money, with the potential to make a lot of money in the future.

That means you need to get the financial side of your business in the best shape you can, because if you don’t, then the chances are it will drag you down.

In the beginning

Your initial business plan should examine all your finance options, from the capital you will need to get premises and equipment, to the revenue streams necessary for the business to run smoothly. Starting up is exciting, but you need to be clear about where your initial finance is coming from, and then how you plan to sustain the company’s income so that you can pay bills, rent if appropriate, employees, and, of course, yourself.

You should plan everything in from the beginning because if you don’t, you could find yourself in early trouble with the business going under.

Factor in employees’ pay and benefits, and the costs of any loans for equipment – ensure you have the right technology from the start – and you are in a strong position to produce good sales and results for your company.

Running the finances

It’s important to decide who will be responsible for dealing with the financial side of the company. You may be a hotshot with bookkeeping and accounts, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have the time to devote to finance when you’re working to increase sales and production and manage your employees. If you stretch yourself too thinly, something may fall through the cracks. A better solution is to outsource non essential tasks.