5 things every business owner should consider.
So you’ve started your own business like you’ve always dreamed. No one said it was going to be easy, but like anything in this life, it may look a little different to how you imagined.
Here at Kearney Group, we understand that owning a business is a complex game with highs, lows, ebbs and flows. That’s why our truly integrated approach to financial services is deliberately designed with business-owning households in mind.
I recently sat down with Paul Kearney – our founder, CEO and pioneer of our Integrated Advice Model – to talk about running your own business whilst keeping your family happy, healthy and onboard.
Before we’d even really kicked off, he said something that stuck out to me: “every business serves a household – not the other way around”.
Explaining things a bit further, Paul goes on to describe that “businesses and their connected households are intrinsically linked and both carry emotional weight. The problem with most business advice, though, is that typically an accountant will sit down with business owners to discuss the operational and financial goals of their business, without really considering the needs of the connected household or households. And this, to be frank, is what causes so many of the tensions we see between business owners, and between owners and their respective families.”
When you run your own business, the boundaries between work and home become blurred – often, non-existent. Solving the pressures felt by both… addressing the needs of both… ensuring the success of both… That’s where having an Integrated Advice Team can make the difference between surviving and thriving.
If you’re a business-owning household, here are five important questions to ask yourself.
1. Where’s all your money?
In a household with no associated businesses, it is relatively easy to know where you stand financially. You can just look at your bank accounts, assets and employment income to get a picture of where you’re at.
“This becomes a lot harder when you’re a business owner,” Paul tells us. “Often, it’s not clear where the money actually is. This causes enormous stress both at work and at home.”
At Kearney Group, our business advisers and commercial bookkeepers do the work to help you understand exactly where your business is at, in real-time. They’ll also keep you on the straight and narrow, and avoid the mistakes so many small business owners make when they try to handle everything themselves.
With cloud accounting software and a team of advisers to coach and help you interpret the story behind the numbers, you’re able to make data-driven decisions and confidently begin planning for your future.
2. Does your business strategy include household goals?
Businesses don’t run themselves. A successful business needs a strategy and checks in place to ensure you’re on the right path. Our business advisors will help you find out how to get from here to where you want to be, and how to stick to your plan.
Our Integrated Advice Team’s approach to planning ensures your business strategy reflects our multidisciplinary understanding of where you’re at. It also focuses on the wellbeing of the people behind your business – your family, your leaders and team members.
Services like our Ko-Lab Strategy Program have been designed to help small businesses professionalise their operations and scale quickly. Ko-Lab also helps you manage the pressure that running a business creates for your household, and visa versa. You know; those classic push-pull time, money and emotional stressors?
“Kearney Group is set apart from your traditional advice firm in our capability to really support you at the intersection of your household and business,” says Paul. “With expertise across accounting, tax, business advisory, bookkeeping, financial planning, investments, insurance and lending – we can really ensure your strategy has you fully covered.”
Moreover, because we work in multidisciplinary teams, we’re able to create truly interconnected budgets and reporting that ensures both your home and business thrive, simultaneously – and certainly not at the expense of the other.
3. Have you got a plan to reach your personal goals?
Beyond our business aspirations, we all have personal hopes and dreams for the future. If you ask, most business owners will tell you they’re working towards something beyond building their business itself; their business is a conduit, an enabler and not the end game.
Maybe you’re saving for a trip of a lifetime or for that house on your favourite street. Perhaps you’re looking for a lifestyle change or wanting to do good for your community, the planet and our future.
Whatever your personal goals are, our Private Wealth team will work with you to create a strategy that helps you achieve your dreams.
Your Integrated Advice Team will work together to create a holistic plan that also takes into account the ups and downs of running your own business. We’ll show you how to harness the power of your commercial endeavours, to build the life you’ve imagined. Because isn’t that what all this work is for after all?
4. How’s your debt situation feeling?
The fact is, unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll likely have some sort of debt, at some point in your life. This is especially true when you’re launching a new business or in growth phases.
It is easy to feel out of control and at the mercy of banks when debt piles up, but it doesn’t actually have to be like this.
“Unfortunately,” Paul tells me, “more often than not, people have the wrong loans for their needs, and their debt structured incorrectly.”
That’s because even the most helpful mortgage broker doesn’t have the training or ability to really understand how the product they’re recommending affects your overarching financial position. And, if you walk into your local ANZ, their lender is never going to say “hey, have you had a look at this new product from Commonwealth? It’s probably better for your situation than what we have at the moment.” Not. Going. To. Happen.
However, our Strategic Lending team works to understand exactly what you and your business needs. And then we go to market to find the loan that’s best suited, without allegiance to any particular lender or institution.
Then we structure it up to ensure it works well, doesn’t add any additional pressure and fits into your overarching financial plans. Best of all – we do this at no charge to you and we’ll even fill in all the forms.
That’s it. No more bad debt, at no extra cost or effort.
5. Are you giving time and energy to the things you love?
If you’ve been working with a traditional adviser or advice practice, you’ll already be used to being the coordinator of your financial affairs; the decipherer of mixed messages; the juggler of time and spender of energy.
In traditional models of advice, there is little-to-no communication between advisers, divisions and disciplines. And, of course, this causes massive gaps in your business and household affairs. It also puts an enormous dent in your day planner.
In early 2020, we started an experiment to solve this with truly Integrated Advice Teams. First, we began by breaking down the walls between our divisions. Then, we formally restructured our firm in smaller, multidisciplinary teams designed around the needs of each client.
With regular meetings and open lines of communication between all disciplines, your Integrated Advice Team is across your affairs, and with you every step of the way. No more repeating yourself. No more sending piles of paperwork between divisions or firms that don’t or won’t collaborate on your behalf. Now you have a whole team that works for you, around you, in one place, at your pace.
And this all means you can get back to what you really love – and we know, we know… it’s not doing the books.