Dream big for your business while helping to protect your family

Dream big for your business while helping to protect your family

If you’re like many small business owners, your personal life and business life are hard to separate. And when it comes to building your financial future, you envision the dreams for you and your family being fulfilled through the business you’ve worked hard to build.

Perhaps that’s why owners frequently put all of their investable dollars and planning energies into their business. To them, the business is their retirement strategy, their income security, and the source of college funding for their kids.

What they may be misjudging, however, is the risk created by that strategy. For every business that is successful, many more either fail or struggle to provide the income the business owner expected.

So how can you better balance business planning with personal planning? Consider these three steps that can help you dream big for your business while protecting the needs of you and your family.

Put your personal goals (and a plan) in writing

Dedicate time to focus on the goals specific to you and your family. Identify the things that need to happen, whether or not your business succeeds – and make sure any plans you set up are designed to work toward accomplishing them under both best- and worst-case scenarios.

That might include buying life insurance to make sure your family is taken care of in your absence, or allocating a portion of your proceeds to separate retirement or college savings accounts. This doesn’t mean your business isn’t helping you accomplish your goals – it just means some things are so important to you and your family that they deserve special focus and protection.

Build a buffer

When financial opportunities or challenges arise for your business, quick access to capital is key, and it can be tempting to raid assets that were once allocated for personal and family goals. If all that's available are qualified retirement savings accounts, tapping into them early doesn't just hurt your savings progress, it is likely to trigger additional taxes and penalties that will set you back even further.

Instead, look for opportunities to build buffers in advance of your needs. Be disciplined about setting aside a portion of your business’ cash flows when they exceed your current lifestyle needs, instead of immediately reinvesting them into the business. Understand your different financing options to use debt to your advantage, and have sources of credit lined up in advance. The time to be asking for loans is not during an emergency as the interest rate will likely be higher to account for the risk in your current circumstances.

You may also want to consider adding cash value life insurance to your strategy. Not only can the cash value serve as a helpful reserve, but the policy could also be useful collateral with lenders to secure a line of credit or a lower cost of borrowing.

Find experts you trust

The "do it yourself" entrepreneurial spirit that motivated you to build your business might create a blind spot when to comes to financial planning.

Details matter — from choosing the right business structure to having the right savings and protection strategies in place for your own family.

With certain critical choices or risks, there are no "do-overs" if something goes wrong. Yes, there are costs involved to get dependable guidance, but it can make all the difference in the world as to whether your business flourishes and helps you achieve the dreams you have for you and your family.

Plus, with so many other things to focus on, the right planning partners will help you keep your strategy on track, give you solid advice when needed, and let you focus on what you do best — running your business, and spending time with those you love.


Insurance products issued by The Ohio National Life Insurance Company and Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation. Guarantees are based upon the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Product, product features and rider availability vary by state. Issuers not licensed to conduct business in NY.