Sponsored by The Shobe Financial Group
Women are pros at multitasking. But one challenge many professional women face is striking a balance between their commitment to loved ones and putting in the hours it takes to pursue a successful career. Meeting all those needs requires that one be adept juggling an often complicated schedule and, at times, foregoing self-care. Some women find opportunity in this challenge, recognizing the need for flexibility in their career and turning that necessity into a company of their own.
A decision to start your own business requires careful consideration and sound advice from people you can trust. The financial side of a business endeavor is only part of the equation. We checked in with someone who knows, Jason Windham, president of The Shobe Financial Group, and he shared some tips to help these nouveau pioneer women ask the right questions.
START AT THE BEGINNING
While some of this will depend on the type of product or service you plan to offer, there are some commonalities when starting any new business. To begin, you will want to:
- Define what you will provide and to whom. Actually write out your business concept, taking into consideration a realistic assessment of the time you can commit to this endeavor.
- Establish your financial backing or seed money. A strong banking relationship will be important throughout the life of your business. Consider using borrowed money first and not your savings. It is harder to borrow later if you’ve used up your personal reserves.
- Determine the business structure that works best for you, whether it be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, C corporation, S corporation, or other option.
- Replace your income AND benefits. As a full-time employee, you likely have a compensation package that includes your salary plus a suite of company-provided benefits such as medical insurance, a retirement plan, disability insurance, and so on. What will replace these critical aspects of your financial plan?
- Consider necessary business insurances (errors & omissions, malpractice, product liability, etc.) and personal insurances (property & casualty, umbrella, etc.), which also means identifying your areas of risk.
- Set your timeline. You want to outline what you need to do and when in order to get the business launched.
“With a strong plan in place to manage these areas and a solid business proposition, you can continue to build your career while having the flexibility to provide care and support to your family.”
—Jason Windham, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CIMA®, AIF®
President, The Shobe Financial Group
WHAT NOT TO DO
There are also some pitfalls to avoid when starting your own business, including:
- Don’t underestimate your financial requirements. Establish the amount of money you think it will require to start your business and add at least 20%. Starting a business almost always takes more money than is expected. For instance, the cost of employees (salary, benefits, time off) can take a chunk out of your budget. That said, building a top-notch team is critical to your business and your sanity.
- Don’t under- or overestimate the value of your product or service. Evaluate your competition and establish the value proposition of your offering to determine your price.
- Don’t forget to factor in the impact of taxes on your business. Mark the deadlines on your annual calendar to plan for those payments.
- Don’t do it all on your own. Many try to manage every aspect of the business, but no one is an expert at everything. Delegate what you can to stay focused on staying in business—revenue production and doing what you do best.
Self-employment and the autonomy that comes with it can bring about new challenges and build self-confidence. Flying solo and being your own boss as an entrepreneur is an incredibly liberating feeling. Click here to learn more and connect with Jason’s team of advisors.
The Shobe Financial Group | One Oak Square | 8280 YMCA Plaza Drive, Bldg. 4
Baton Rouge, LA | 70810 | (225) 763-7010
The Shobe Financial Group and Shobe & Associates, Inc.are not registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services offered through Shobe & Associates, Inc. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member, FINRA/SIPC. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.