It’s one thing to be a corporate executive with a heavy load of responsibility and leadership for an established company. But it’s quite another to be an entrepreneurial executive launching out with a new endeavor and planning the future of your business. Being a business owner gives you the freedom to pursue your own passions, be your own boss, and impact your community. But like any venture, acting as CEO of your own enterprise comes with its fair share of risks. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within 18 months of starting their venture. (1) In a world with no guarantees, is it possible to increase your chances of success? Here are some common mistakes entrepreneurial executives make and solutions to avoid them.
1. Not Creating Boundaries
When you are your own boss, running a business born out of your passion and energy, it can be next to impossible to draw the line between work and your personal life. It’s easier to be “on” and available all the time, always thinking, planning, and worrying about your company, than to create a realistic work-life balance. You may always be busier than that person who works a 9-5 office job, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to prioritize the most important things in your life, like your family, friends, and health.
2. Neglecting To Plan For Employees
Approximately 48% of America’s private workforce is employed by small businesses. (2) Even if you start your company with no employees, your growth and expansion plans may require hiring on others. When you are starting from the ground up, the people you add to your team could make or break your company’s mission. Successful companies are made up of quality people who are passionate about what they do, so you want to ensure that you have the right people on your team and that they are well taken care of. Between insurance options, benefits packages, and retirement plans, there’s a lot to consider. Which plan works best for you and your employees? How much will it cost you? Instead of coming up with solutions on the fly, work with a financial professional to map out a strategy to attract, retain, and provide for your employees.
3. Rushing Into Big Decisions
As an entrepreneurial executive, you make important decisions every day. Whether these decisions have to do with systems, inventory, employees, or finances, you need to be armed with all the information necessary to make the wisest decisions. When you have so much on your plate, it might be tempting to make quick choices just to move on to the next task, but every choice you make has potential consequences. Take your time, look at alternatives, and rely on an unbiased advisor to give you different perspectives and valuable resources.
4. Putting Off Retirement Planning
When you start a new venture and invest a significant amount of your personal assets, retirement probably seems a long way off. But one day you will want to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you don’t plan for retirement now, will you be able to afford to retire down the road? Even if your business is profitable and you plan to retire off the proceeds when you sell it, you still need to save and plan.
Planning early and adjusting often is the best strategy, especially for business owners who have a lot of their net worth tied up in their companies. Don’t put retirement planning off until it’s too late. Work with a financial professional to create a sound retirement plan, and diversify your net worth so it isn’t all tied up in one place.
What You Can Do
Even if it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders alone, remember that you can rely on others to help you build your company and achieve your goals. Rather than handling the headaches on your own, why not invest in a team of people that can help speak to some of the specific challenges you face? At Newbridge Wealth Management, we offer expertise and advice to address a range of your most complex entrepreneurial business and planning issues. If you are ready to take the next steps to avoid these common mistakes, email us at email@example.com or call 610.727.3960 to schedule a meeting.
Vincent R. Barbera, CFP®, MSFS is a managing partner and co-founder of Newbridge Wealth Management, a private financial counseling firm located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Believing in a patient, disciplined approach to investment management that delivers value and peace of mind, he utilizes a process-driven approach to financial planning that provides comfort and clarity to his clients’ long-term goals. Along with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business, he has a master’s degree in business and financial planning and Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Learn more by connecting with Vincent on LinkedIn, or send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.