Chapin Hill Advisors

Small Business Planning

There is no school entrepreneurs attend so small business owners are constantly learning as they build their businesses, juggling all the facets of managing an enterprise and attempting to get up to speed on everything from social media to business development. While there are many websites, books and other resources available, we find that life is so busy for the small and mid-sized business owner that they rarely take advantage of those types of resources.

Every business has a product or service it offers. Often this is a service or product that the owner offered in corporate life, it grew from a prior work experience or they fell into something that started as a hobby, a passion or a college job. There are five major components for each business. The product or service of course is key. However, there are four other overall areas of business structure each owner should have on their radar.

The four additional areas are:

Operations: this area includes anything to do with the core operating structure including what type of entity is formed, technology, location(s), website, etc.

Finance: this includes whatever bookkeeping system is being used as well as tax information, any loans, balance sheet, etc.

Human Resources: even if a business is very small, there may be need for part-time or external consultants. As the business grows, the need for assistance increases and decisions need to be made about what type of staff, responsibilities, reporting, compensation and other related issues around people management.

Business Development: all businesses need to have a sales pipeline. All too often we find the small business owner overwhelmed with execution so business development may be accidental or an after-thought. Reviewing what has worked to grow the business and implementing a plan of action to replicate the acquisition of the firm’s best clients should be part of any business plan.

Combo-Plan:

Chapin Hill Advisors recognizes that many small businesses cannot afford a wide range of outside consultants to assist them in each area of their business structure which we utilize in working with our larger clients. We have also found that business owners in general are so focused on their operations and execution that they do not spend time working on the business. They typically do not have a goal-oriented plan to build an entity large enough to help fund their personal goals, whether that is retirement or homes or college education for the children. Rarely does the small business owner know how much is enough and at what point they may exit their business and whether they can sell their enterprise.

We offer a combination plan in which we run projections for business growth, assess approximate profitability and cost of additional staff or other expenses and funnel this bottom line to the owner’s personal sets of projections. We then assist the client in determining “how much is enough” to fund their personal goals, which may include refinancing homes, funding college savings plans, retirement plans or estate planning preparations. Our team of advisors can then assist our clients in implementing solutions to mitigate some risks such as buy-sell agreements, contracts, 529 plans for college education, pension or profit sharing plans and much more.

On the business side, Chapin Hill’s president, Kathy Boyle, has a strong marketing background and often is able to provide the business owner with key ideas to boost growth rates. We work on a trial and error basis, attempting new marketing and sales strategies in small samples while measuring the success to allow the business owner to format a business development strategy. While we do assist the business owner in ideas and strategies, the owner must implement.

Our combo planning allows the business owner the opportunity to look forward several years, forecast out future growth, have a plan for both reinvesting in the business and saving for personal needs. Our expert resource network is available as well to help the business owner access specialists as needed.