For small business owners on the hunt for customized money advice, finding good financial advisors may be challenging. While financial advisors may have money management experience and advice to share with clients, advising a small business owner requires specialized knowledge and expertise in investments, credit and insurance — knowledge specific to small business situations.
If you're a small business owner looking for a financial advisor, here are some tips on how to find the right professional for your situation:
Recommendations From Your Local Business Organizations
Local small business organizations are good sources of recommendations for financial advisors who work with businesses in your region. Area business networking groups, business improvement associations and the local chamber of commerce may offer a list of financial advisors who specialize in financial plans for entrepreneurs and business owners. Finding an advisor who lives and works in your region can help you save travel time and simplify booking appointments.
Ask Other Business Professionals
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get a recommendation for any professional, especially if it comes from another business owner. Reach out to the professionals you deal with on a regular basis, and ask them whom they suggest. Ask your banker, accountant or lawyer for a list of good financial advisors — people who could help you create a financial plan, suggest investments and advise on credit matters. Financial, tax, money and legal advisors often refer to each other when working for clients, so it makes sense to use an advisor known to one or more of the other professionals you depend on.
Look at Your Local Investment Community
Another way to find a financial advisor who specializes in helping small businesses is to look at your local investment community. Who's participating in local workshops or giving talks at the library or local small business events? Which financial professionals are active members of service organizations such as Rotary or Lions clubs? Which have a regular column in the local newspaper or on the area radio station? Good financial advisors often have a high profile, and if they don't specialize in small business advice, they may be able to refer you to someone who does.
Search for a Financial Planner With a Recognized Designation
With all the advertisements out there for people claiming to be financial or money experts, how can you find good financial advisors who can help you as an entrepreneur? Start by looking for someone who has relevant formal education. While a number of financial planning designations exist, two often seen are the certified financial planner (CFP) designation and the chartered financial analyst designation. Financial planners who've earned these designations must meet the education, experience, exam and ethics requirements particular to each designation.
Consider finding a good financial advisor to help you with your personal and business financial planning. Their knowledge and advice can help you develop a customized plan to achieve your business goals.
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