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The Expertise Gap for Business Owners in Financial Planning

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Strategic Financial Planning for Successful Business Owners: Getting the Knowledge and the Advice You Can Use 

Listen to These Podcasts for Great Ideas on How You Can Lead, Grow, and Prosper

Plus: The Expertise Gap: Why as Business Owners You Often Don’t Get the Strategic Financial Planning Advice You Deserve and What to Do About

As a successful business owner, are you trying to accelerate your growth and profitability? If you are running a successful business, then you probably have a long list of business books you want to read. But it can be hard to find the time to read. 

And in addition to running your business, are you trying to get your advisors to think proactively about financial planning and tax planning, including issues like compensation, succession, and estate planning? And does the responsibility to pull everything together fall back on your shoulders? You, the business owner, the one whose time for financial planning already is scarce.

For actionable knowledge for business owners on the fly, good podcasts can be a great resource. And for getting the proactive financial planning you need, a closer look at the advice process may uncover a better approach.


Especially if you’re a business owner, podcasts are a great way to keep learning during those pockets of the day when your hands are busy, but you have the bandwidth to listen. Here are 12 business podcasts to get you started with ideas on how to lead, grow, and prosper:

1. HBR IdeaCast by Harvard Business Review

HBR IdeaCast is hosted by senior editors at Harvard Business Review. The podcast covers as many topics as the print publication by bringing in leading thinkers in all areas of business and management for each episode.

2. How I Built This

How I Built This is focused on the early stages and history of leading companies. Guy Raz is the host. Because the focus is the early stages, there’s a lot that’s actionable by business owners and entrepreneurs.

3. Masters of Scale

Masters of Scale is a podcast about high-growth companies and how they went from an original concept to a large-scale enterprise. Reid Hoffman, a founder of LinkedIn, hosts the podcast. Episodes feature leading entrepreneurs exploring the hows and whys of hyper-growth.

4. The Tim Ferriss Show

The "4-Hour Workweek" author Tim Ferriss hosts this podcast about productivity and optimizing your time.

5. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders grew out of the Stanford Speakers Series. The episodes focus on startups and entrepreneurs who gave talks at Stanford about how they founded and grew their businesses.

6. Startups for the Rest of Us

Startups for the Rest of Us has a software focus. The podcast features stories about software startups and how they did it.

7. Business Wars

Former Marketplace anchor David Brown hosts the Business Wars podcast about the great rivalries of business. Each podcast is an analysis of the “war” between market leaders. Episodes include Hasbro vs. Mattel, Instagram vs. TikTok, and Netflix vs. HBO.

8. Entrepreneurs on Fire

Hosted by John Dumas, Entrepreneurs on Fire is hugely popular. The focus is on young entrepreneurs with an emphasis on education and every type of business topic and entrepreneurial guest imaginable. There are a lot of great real-life stories. If you check out the list of episodes, you’re bound to find some topics relevant to you as a business owner.

9. Youpreneur

A podcast for when you, the business owner, and the company is basically one and the same. Youpreneur explores issues like personal branding and establishing credibility in the marketplace.

10. As Told By Nomads

Hosted by digital marketing specialist Tayo Rockson, As Told By Nomads shares a variety of insights for entrepreneurs looking to leverage digital marketing to really make an impact in the business world. If you're in need of some creative inspiration and out-of-the-box digital marketing ideas, this is a podcast to add to your listen-to list.

11. The Mind Your Business Podcast

The Mind Your Business Podcast tilts toward the motivational. James Wedmore interviews top executives and thought leaders about entrepreneurship, with a heavy emphasis on grit and resilience and the imperative of entrepreneurs believing in themselves.

12. Mixergy

Mixergy is hosted by Andrew Warner and is oriented to solutions and problem-solving. Episodes feature discussions on everything from overcoming entrepreneurial stagnation to monetizing empty retail space.


The Expertise Gap: Why As Business Owners You Often Don’t Get the Strategic Financial Planning Advice You Deserve

If you’re a successful business owner and you believe that your financial planning isn’t well aligned with your unique mix of wealth, complexity, and risk, one or more of the following three factors may be part of the problem.

First, financial advisors are not often trained to get too deeply into tax planning. And financial planning training focuses on personal finances. It’s pretty good for the “millionaire next door,” but the intersection of a unique business and wealth management often takes thorough financial planning into unfamiliar territory. When the issues are a one-of-a-kind mix of things like key-employees compensation, growth opportunities, succession, estate planning, and increasing tax liabilities, financial planning solutions require many types of expertise. And financial advisors are hard-pressed to master all of it.

Second, business owners may rely on a number of advisors and experts, but many of these specialists work directly with the business owner alone, without collaboration or insight from the other advisors. This makes comprehensive financial planning a challenge because it leaves a lot resting on the owner’s shoulders, an owner who usually is already pressed for time. Too often, the cross-expert teamwork that advanced financial planning requires just doesn’t happen.

Third, business owners and their financial advisors may be thinking about capital allocation in starkly different ways. Financial advisors may be thinking about how to allocate capital in terms of marketable securities like stocks and bonds and exchange-traded funds; maybe alternative investments, too.

In contrast, a successful business owner can potentially earn much higher returns on the capital being invested in the successful business. That’s a radically different approach to capital allocation, and the returns are potentially much higher – although, at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with an element of diversification, with reallocating some profits to somewhat lessen the concentration of risk inherent in a privately-owned business. 

There are often also financial planning and tax planning opportunities within the business or within a set of related businesses, where lower tax rates and much higher after-tax returns may be possible.

Financial planning needs to be focused on the unique opportunities and risks created by the business. Collaboration and creating unique teams of experts can overcome all three of these challenges, but that requires an understanding that effective financial planning for business owners may require a markedly different perspective.

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