When considering a business sale, consulting with a financial planner, alongside other professionals, can help guide business owners through a successful sale and beyond into their desired retirement.
To help business owners determine their financial goals, manage their tax liabilities and plan for the future, a financial planner will use a cashflow modelling tool. This provides a detailed illustration of assets, investments, debts, income and expenditure which is projected forward year by year, using assumed rates of growth, income, inflation and interest rates. The cashflow model is then regularly reviewed to ensure that any situational changes that could impact on the assumptions made in the initial illustration are taken into account.
How does it work?
Cashflow modelling is used by financial planners to forecast a business owner’s future finances. It shows in real time how much money they could have in the future and whether they are on track to achieve their goals.
After collecting details about monthly income and outgoings, savings and other assets, a financial planner will analyse this information, alongside future goals and requirements, whilst considering life events such as retirement and one-off expenses like gifts to children.
They will then use cashflow modelling to run through many different scenarios to see how these might affect the business owner’s finances, such as bringing the retirement age forward, changing the expected return on investments or simulating a fall in the market. The model can also detail how taking income from different sources could affect their tax bill – and overall finances – over time. For additional peace of mind, it can also factor in future care home fees and a legacy for family members should the business owner die unexpectedly.
A financial planner will then use this information to create a long-term projection of the business owner’s finances showing future requirements alongside any increase or decrease in their assets, helping to identify any potential surplus or shortfall.
How can cashflow modelling help business owners?
For business owners considering sale, cashflow modelling can help them make an informed decision about their future, especially when considered alongside the following key questions:
Pre-sale – Will I be able to make my money last?
A primary concern of most business owners is losing their main source of income. Many are also concerned about the size of their pension pot, with research last year suggesting that 45% of small business owners are expecting to outlive their retirement funds.
It’s therefore essential to understand how much money from the sale is needed to achieve all their plans, especially if they are relying on this to fund their retirement. Cashflow modelling forms an integral part of this process, as it can help business owners understand where they are and better visualise the future.
Post-sale – Can I take care of my loved ones and live the kind of retirement I would like?
Cashflow modelling will again support this part of the journey, as it is at this point that the now ex-business owner can start considering gifting, as well as securing their own future needs. Ongoing financial advice is also important at this stage as there may be changes in circumstances, legislation, and investment markets, which must be considered year on year.
It is important to review your cashflow model with your financial planner on a regular basis to ensure it is up to date and reflects any circumstantial changes, however minor, as they can make a huge difference in the longer term.
Selling a business can be an emotive and complicated experience for business owners. However, by working collaboratively with other professionals, and by utilising cashflow modelling to forecast and test multiple scenarios, a financial planner can help provide clarity for business owners through a successful sale and beyond.