Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in a phone call?
We spend up to 15 minutes discussing your main issue at hand. While we don’t give any advice in the phone meeting, we can give you a general understanding of how we work with clients and the type of guidance we provide.
Will I be pressured by some sales guy that doesn’t know anything to set up a meeting?
No, phone meetings are always scheduled with Mike, the founder and principal of the firm. Over many years in business he has found that clients who are “sold” are never happy clients. The phone call is a two-way conversation that gives both of us an opportunity to see if working together is the right fit.
Does the introductory meeting cost anything?
What will I get out of the meeting?
Our goal is to show you how we think through solutions to your issues. We do this by learning about your situation and creating a picture of where you are, where you want to be, and how we can create a plan to get you there.
What topics are we able to discuss in our meeting?
Topics are selected based on your most pressing needs. Examples of topics include:
- Review of prior returns for missed deductions;
- Tax planning for current year; Recommendation of possible tax strategies to consider;
- Business Formation
- Do you have a viable business model?
- Is it time to form your business as a corporation? (no legal advice is given)
- Creating more net income
- Reviewing financial statements
- Business strategy
- Building a bigger company
- Building client loyalty
- Retaining key employees
- Recruiting employees
- Business and Life
- Better life/work balance
- Selling your business
- Creating a business that isn’t a job
- Thinking “outside of the box”
- Need a new set of eyes to look at your business and give you ideas?
- Have a problem that you just can’t figure out?
- Want to fund or build something new?
- Sales and Marketing
- Building or expanding your client/customer base
- Finding a new sales channel
- Developing your brand
- Add your own questions (email us a questions if you want and we can tell you if this is something that we can discuss in a Business Review)
What do you believe is your firm’s core strength?
Thinking on our feet and coming up with “out of the box” ideas are our core strengths. Everyone has their core strengths and we aren’t about to say we know everything, but if you need someone to think out of the box and/or come at your business from a completely new angle, we are sure you will find this is what we do best. As a serial business entrepreneur, there is nothing that gets our founder more excited than the opportunity to look at a business and think through problems, growth models, and – in short – ways to add “bottom line” dollars.
Do you use your business consulting to later sell product?
No, we are a “Fee-Only” firm. This means that whether we are giving business advice or personal finance advice, we are NEVER compensated by anyone other than our clients. This is contrary to many consultants that are really just trying to sell you their “solution.”
Why Financial Planning and Business Planning?
Great question! After the last software company that our founder worked for was sold, he went into financial planning, not only because of his acumen for finance and his education in finance and economics, but his passion for business. During the first year of Lynch Financial Advisors, he observed that his small business owner clients had both personal finance needs and business needs, both of which he was well qualified to address. It was a natural fit for him to work with business owners on both their finances and on their business. When you think about it…don’t you want the person who is responsible for helping you plan your retirement to help you build a business that will allow you retire?
Typically business consultants charge a lot of money and we don’t see real results, how are you different?
Small business consultants typically focus only on the immediate problem at hand. The majority of CPAs are similar. They consult only from their perspective. For instance, a CPA looks at taxes only, and a sales consultant looks only at sales. The truth is no one piece of a business is exclusive. It interacts with every other piece of the business. A consultant who can take a global view of a business and understand how each piece fits together, has the best opportunity to help his client maximize the value of their company. Take a minute to set-up a meeting with us, and you will see how we are redefining what business consulting is all about.
How have you helped clients start a business?
A few years ago a client asked us to help them set the pricing for projects they were working on. We worked to understand their client base, what they found to be of value, etc. We created a pricing model that worked for each project the client worked on. They quickly went from $0 to over a million in profit. Not every client will experience the same results, however, our goal is to help every client maximize their profits.
What do you think about multi-level marketing companies?
They can provide a great income for the person who starts such a company, and for those who join the effort early on, but they lack a true business model. The largest issue is that they remove “a middle-man” and add hundreds of middlemen in the form of “down-line.” The second reason I don’t like most of them is that they are often built on false expectations. The largest problem is seen with the stay-at-home-mom. We have so many educated moms at home right now. They went to school and now feel that their life consists of picking up after the husband and kids. Then they get roped into selling a product or service with very little real potential to create a meaningful income.
What is the most important element for starting a business?
One? There are really three: 1) a good idea (it doesn’t have to be great if you are skilled), 2) a good understanding of how to manage, and 3) probably most important, two-to-three times the amount of money you believe you will need until you are profitable.
Where do you see business owners needing the most help?
It really depends on the industry. When a client has some control over pricing, then it is typical that they don’t value what they do enough. Often they will agree with this, but getting a business owner to step out beyond their “comfort” zone and charge more takes some work. When they have little control over pricing (government contracting can be very price sensitive), then we are working on costs, which means everything from taxes to toilet paper. Every dollar we squeeze out of their income statement drops to the bottom line (or into our clients’ pockets minus what the tax man takes).
I have looked through my books, done everything I think I can do to make my company more profitable. How can you help?
By the very nature of the question, you don’t appear happy with your current level of revenues. Another way of saying this is, “I hope there is more that can be done to get profit out of my business, but I don’t want to pay someone to figure this out. I should know how to figure this out myself.”
While this isn’t a typical statement from business owners, it is often the undertone during our early discussions. Let’s be straight with each other, egos are great for sales, but they aren’t good if you want to manage a successful business. After all, what is a business owner if not a manager of many departments? Even if your company has three people in it, you still have to manage all of the different departments including Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Human Resources. The idea that someone can be an expert in each area is… well crazy. There is simply too much to know!
Honest communication like this is the cornerstone of our business. If we aren’t honest with our clients, they receive little value from working with us. And as a manager, you have to be ready and willing to have experts help you build your business into the best business possible. If we start with the notion that we know it all, then we will fail to see what we don’t know and we will be destined to move at the same pace and repeat the same mistakes. It is not always easy to ask for help, but then starting a business isn’t easy either! Take the step and find out how we can be your partner in building the business you have always envisioned.
Does every client who hires you make more money?
No. The clients who don’t earn more money or maximize their current profits are most often the clients who hired us to tell them that everything they are doing is right. And when we give them a new way of looking at their business, they want to continue down their same path despite the fact they hired us to help them forge a new path. Allowing someone to come into your company can create a mix of emotions from trepidation and vulnerability to excitement, joy and even pain. It’s not easy to change. We are confident that if you are ready to maximize your income and profits, you will be happy you took that first step. Call us today to set up your first meeting.
Is the selling price of the business the most important piece of leaving?
Not really. It is what you walk away with that really matters. If you sell your business but the taxman eats up most of your hard earned profits, then it really takes away from the money on which you have to retire. What is most important is what we call your “walking money.” There are a number of different ways that we ensure a client walks with as much money as possible. We try to put the money in the hands of the person that built the business, not Uncle Sam who keeps trying to take what you’ve built.
Is there more to think about than selling price and “walking money”?
Of course. Many business owners have a huge level of identity wrapped up in their business. It could have been passed on from a family member. They could have invested their life savings in it. Or they could have bought and built it up their business, creating jobs and really enjoying their experience. There are a whole host of behavioral aspects to selling a business. This is why it is all the more important to think about how, and to whom, you are going to sell your business.
If you are looking to sell your business soon, or want to start planning for an exit someday, give us a call! We offer a one-hour complimentary consultation.
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More than 95% of our clients stay with us.
We take the time to get to know our clients at a deeper level, which allows us to provide guidance that truly impacts their lives.