Is your small business giving you the lifestyle you want?

Melissa Coggan - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Guest Blogger, Rob Smith-Saarinen, Milestone Financial Services, 28 June 2016

Milestone Financial Services and 360five recently ran a workshop where we discussed the need for small business owners to take a step back and assess whether their business was really giving them the lifestyle that they wanted.

The following article summarises the presentation that Rob Smith-Saarinen from Milestone Financial gave to the audience.

What do you see as success?
We meet many small business owners who have started up their business with a desire to lead a better life. They go into business because they have a passion for their industry, because they want to take back control over their working lives, or maybe just because it’s the business their family has always been in.

They see success possibly as spending more time with their families, having a greater work/life balance, having flexibility around their working hours or gaining a greater income.

But often what happens is that the business starts controlling them – actually limiting the time they have with family and causing stress in their lives.
When we ask them if they are making enough money, they automatically think we are asking if their business is making enough money – not them personally.

Small business owners do not put themselves first
For those small business people with employees, there are many obligations that need to be met. Paying at least award wages, superannuation benefits, holiday pay, sick leave and an appropriate level of hours worked.

But those same standards aren’t necessarily followed when it comes to the owners. They often work long hours, don’t pay any super for themselves and take only what is needed to get by as an income for themselves.

Start with the end in mind
When we talk to small business owners we often ask them to tell us what they want when they finish working in their business. What are their goals, dreams and aspirations? With the end in mind, we can work with them to determine whether their small business is going to allow them to achieve everything they want.

Have a Plan B
We also stress the importance of having a plan B. On a personal level this means having Income Protection insurance and Life and Total and Permanent Disability Insurance. If there is a key member of staff where the business couldn’t operate without them, we recommend Key Person insurance. And if they are in a partnership, we recommend a Buy/Sell Agreement.

It is also critically important to insurance the business, get Workers Compensation Insurance, Professional Indemnity Insurance and other specialist insurances depending on the type of business it is. We recommend that they see a specialist business insurance broker for this such as Credence Insurance in Phillip ACT.

Seek assistance from Specialists
Above all, we recommend that our small business clients seek assistance with their business from people like Ross Corcoran at 360five. Ross is a specialist when it comes to getting more out of a small business so that you can ensure your business is giving you the lifestyle that you dreamed of when you initially established the business.

Milestone Financial are respected financial planners located in Deakin, ACT. We are a goals based financial planning firm and use technology including the Goals Explorer Table to help you determine what your goals are. For more information call Rob on (02) 6102 4333 or email