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Aug 17 2009 12:00AM


I am starting a new business. When should hiring a financial planner be considered?


According to FPA member, Mike Orf, CFP®, of Orf Capital Management, it depends. A financial planner should be useful in helping you to keep what you have and maybe flesh out some concrete goals that are in the back of your mind. "It might be worthwhile to talk over your business plan with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to uncover some areas you may not have considered," he said. "You might look for a planner with a lot of experience working with entrepreneurs who can keep you from having to learn everything from scratch."

"I believe it is wise to develop a relationship with a financial planner very early in the process of starting your business," said FPA member, Bleckley Dobbs, CFP®, of Lucien, Stirling & Gray Advisory Group. "Be sure to look for a planner who has experience working with small business owners."

Most people starting a new business must carefully watch expenses. Dobbs suggests an adviser that can help with issues that arise with financing your business, managing personal and business cash flow, employee benefits (if you plan to have employees), taxes and insurance. A good planner will be sensitive to your need to keep down your expenses.

According to Dobbs, "the planner should have specific expertise in some of the areas mentioned and should be able to assist you in finding resources to help with other areas." Some of these resources may be very inexpensive or free. As your business matures and becomes more successful, the relationship with your financial planner will be invaluable as new issues arise, such as investing your profits for retirement and other goals.

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