Here are seven techniques for small business owners to build real wealth:
1. You should be paid twice.
First, you should be paid for your work as an employee. Then, you should be paid from the profit of the firm as an owner. This treats the business as a business and not just as a job.
2. You should own your own shop.
“I’ve seen too many small businesses go under because their landlord raised the rent,” warns David John Marotta. Owning the building in which your business operates should provide more stability (and therefore, more profit) for your business over the long-haul. If it is more building than you need, you can rent it out as commercial real estate.
3. Tax planning is critical.
Small business owners are often pushed into higher tax brackets. Tax planning can provide as much benefit as investing well. Roth accounts and conversions put money where it will never be taxed again. Hiring your children can also push the family into lower brackets. If you pay your children, they can pay for their clothes and other expenses with money taxed at their lower rate. Plus, they might just fall in love with your business.
4. Shelter your income with a low cost retirement plan.
Every business should start a 401(k) plan, but you need to be sure you’re working with fee-only professionals to set it up. Most 401(k) plans have excessive fees and expenses. Be careful to avoid the “fee termites” that eat away at this savings.
5. Investing balances business risk.
Small business owners are entrepreneurs who are tempted to put their entire net worth into their firm. Investments provide another engine of wealth, but with liquid assets which can be tapped when needed.
6. Owners need to find a work-life fit.
The best part of owning your own business is flexibility. It allows you to live out your priorities and work your job around them. Staying focused on the important things in life helps you be successful with the rest.
7. And finally, you should have a succession plan, not a retirement plan.
Small business owners are doers. “Retirement” means to retreat and step away from the action. Instead of viewing retirement as a time in which you are not working, why not keep working to keep active but work fewer hours? If you have developed your business well, you should be able to keep your favorite part of the work and delegate the rest.
“Small business owners are some of the most interesting clients to serve,” says David John Marotta. “The complexity of their finances is ripe with wealth building opportunities. They need a fee-only firm that thinks like them and sits on their side of the table. At Marotta Wealth Management, we love having that privilege.”