The Lifestyle Protector Process™
Small Business Financial Planning in DC, Maryland and Virginia
You are a successful business owner, so it is clear that you know how to generate income.
One day you run into your long-time buddy. The two of you started your businesses about the same time, and both of you have done quite well. He starts to tell you about all the additional income he has generated using a small business financial planning approach.
As he talks, you realize the implications of not having done this for your own business. You’ve been content with the income generated by the business alone – and, truth be told, you just didn’t want to take the time.
If you don’t have the time, expertise or confidence necessary to grow and protect the wealth that your income creates, we do.
If you haven’t put all of your financial matters under a goals umbrella that provides you with the peace of mind, simplicity and flexibility you need to make your dreams a reality, we can.
A (Very) Little History
Several years ago, Patrick Carroll, CFP® designed The Lifestyle Protector Process™ to help business owners create and maintain financial plans for one purpose: protect and grow wealth so they can enjoy life to the fullest.
What Are The Benefits To You?
First, with a small business financial plan in place that is aligned with your life goals, you know which financial decisions move you closer to your goals and which take you further from them. You also have a standard against which you can assess the pros and cons of your options.
Second, when you have a plan, you are not powerless. You know where you’re going and why you’re going there.
Third, when something in your financial situation or the general economy suddenly changes—and it will–you can respond.
Fourth, we will identify any roadblocks standing between your goals and design strategies to overcome them.
We Start With Your Goals
At Obsidian Business Planning Solutions, we find that the best approach to creating a small business financial plan is to begin by helping people discover and claim the most important goals in their lives rather than with arbitrary financial amounts. That’s why we begin by asking you about your goals.
- What do you most enjoy about your life now?
- What are your most important personal and financial goals?
- What are your greatest concerns in achieving those goals?
- What are you trying to accomplish with your financial assets?
- What do you want to do in your retirement?
- What do you want to do for your family and community?
- What legacy do you want to leave?
Once you set them, we organize and prioritize your goals and create a roadmap that outlines the steps you can take to reach them. Your plan includes deadlines and gives you the ability to monitor your progress. We will review your written plan periodically, assess your progress and make adjustments as necessary.
Getting The Big Picture
We find that many people can put more time into thinking about their wealth than they do contemplating their life goals. People walk into our office, typically armed with all of their pertinent financial numbers, and sometimes a preconceived idea of what they should do with their wealth. They’re looking for validation – or they have a list of critical questions and assume that we’ll tell them what they need to do to make the numbers line up correctly. But before we move in that direction, we broaden the picture.
Gideon was one of those people: successful and driven. He brought with him his past three years’ tax returns. “Before we begin” I suggested, “let me ask you a question.” With his consent, I continued, “Imagine that you and I are sitting at this same table three years from now. Tell me, what has to happen, financially and personally, over those three years to make you happy with your progress?”
Gideon looked left, and then right. Silence. Then came the “aha” moment and he mentioned three things that would bring him a sense of happiness and fulfillment in life. “I will have spent more time visiting my children, taken that trip to Europe we have been talking about for so many years, and transferred the business to my employees.”
With goals on the table, we ask additional questions in order to zero-in on what really matters to you as you look into the future. If, for example, you mention getting out of your business, our first question is not, “How much money do you think you will need from that transfer?” Of course, that is an important consideration, but before raising it we ask, “What do you want to do when you no longer run your company?” If you tell us that you want to travel, we will ask where – and what you hope to see and do there. Our purpose is to fully grasp what your goals entail and why they matter to you.
Small Business Financial Planning and The Lifestyle Protector Process™
With your goals as our starting point, we will ask you to complete our Lifestyle Protector Process Scorecard™. I share it with you here.
We’ll be sharing more insight on the Lifestyle Protector Process and what it might have to do with small business financial planning soon!