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5 Financial Tips for Serial Entrepreneurs

John Wheeler, CFP®, CPA/PFS, BCA

Director of Financial Education

Last Updated
August 25, 2022
Mature businessman standing in a co-working space

Achieving Financial Success in Business and in Life

Serial entrepreneurs face unique financial challenges. They often pour their time, effort and personal assets into incubating start-up businesses. However, being an entrepreneur also presents financial opportunities few others have access to. The following are several financial tips to help entrepreneurs and business owners find success in their professional life and greater security in long-term personal financial planning.

Tip #1 – Diversify your interests while focusing on your core business.

Serial entrepreneurs are often on the lookout for the next big idea, which is one of the characteristics that can lead them to success. While it’s a good idea to diversify your interests and invest in new opportunities, it’s also important to remain focused on your core business ownership interests that are already enjoying success today.

Your core business can provide much-needed cash flow that can be used to invest in other opportunities. Non-core investments should not be made to the detriment of what has led you to success. Be sure to continue reinvesting and nurturing your core business as you pursue other opportunities.

Tip #2 – Be boring with your personal wealth.

Be opportunistic with your business interests but be boring with your personal wealth. Establish an emergency cash reserve. Build up your retirement savings. Pay down high interest or variable interest loans. Maintain diversified and well-allocated investment accounts. Taking care of basic financial blocking and tackling in your personal life can help protect your family and wealth should something unexpected negatively impact your business interests.

Tip #3 – Be ready to move on opportunities.

One of the biggest risks of being an entrepreneur is missing out on key opportunities throughout your career. Be deliberate in how you invest your time and money. Keep up on industry trends, new technology and new ideas, and be ready to invest in opportunities that have growth potential and complement your core business. Be willing to dedicate three to seven years of time and resources to getting a new business line up and running while maintaining enough assets and resources to jump on new opportunities as they arise.

Tip #4 – Plan for retirement income.

Many serial entrepreneurs wait to fund the majority of their retirement through the sale of their business interests. If a large portion of wealth is tied to your business interests, it’s important to assess the company’s value. Hire a qualified team to conduct a business valuation, and consider reassessing that value on an annual basis. Incorporate that value with your retirement planning.

Another great way to save for your retirement while supporting the financial well-being of your employees is by establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Options include:

  • A Simplified Employee Pension plan, or SEP IRA
  • A Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, or SIMPLE IRA/401(k)
  • A 401(k) profit-sharing plan

 Tip #5 – Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.

Entrepreneurs and long-time business owners alike should have well planned business succession and contingency plans in place. Many entrepreneurs will establish a new business, grow it into a profitable company and either keep the business or sell it and move on to a new project. Long-term business owners may derive all their income from their actively owned business(es). In either case, those owners should have business planning and estate planning documents in place. The documents help when everything goes right as well as when the unexpected happens. A well thought out and documented business succession plan protects the owner’s family and loved ones, other shareholders, employees and the business itself.

At Creative Planning, we help entrepreneurs navigate a wide range of personal and professional challenges. As a nationally recognized wealth advisory firm, we deliver a team of credentialed, educated, experienced and action-oriented advisors, including Certified Financial PlannerTM professionals, attorneys, business valuation specialists and other professionals dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. For help navigating your finances as a serial entrepreneur, schedule a call with a member of our team.

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This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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