When you’re an entrepreneur, every moment counts. Owners are always “on” and at CWB we completely understand that! Saving time often correlates to saving money, so we’ve asked two savvy CWB staffers for their input on how business owners can maximize their time and reap the benefits throughout 2019.
1. Build a strategy for your savings
Savings, no matter how big or small, add to your bottom line. Flexible access to funds is essential, so it’s important to understand the costs of applicable transfer fees and rates and choose the accounts you hold wisely.
“Something as simple as keeping cash in a savings account and completing ‘just enough’ daily electronic transfers to an operating account can add up to big savings every year,”
says Anh Nguyen, Account Manager, Cash Management, at CWB’s Leduc branch. Add a change in thinking, where the bulk of all incoming electronic payments from clients are directed to a savings account, and cash can quickly accumulate.
CWB’s Business Savings Account is a good example. It gives business owners the ability to save for big projects and tax payments while offering flexible access to funds for all those just-in-case situations that inevitably come up. “It’s a great option for business owners who want to view and manage funds online 24/7, while earning a market competitive interest rate,” says Trevor Palmer, CWB’s AVP of Business Development, based in south Edmonton.
2. Consider your investment options before March 1
There’s truth to the saying “pay now, play later,” especially when it comes to RRSPs and TFSAs. These investments can be a complex issue for business owners, so discussing your options with a financial advisor early can help investments grow that much faster.
For instance by investing in a TFSA, rather than leaving surplus funds within a corporation for investing, business owners can earn tax-free investment income that can mean more after-tax cash in their pockets. “Building a personal savings strategy into your business early can help to stabilize your personal income, your cash flow (both in your business and personal coffers) and it can really help to make sure the rainy day fund isn’t simply a trip to the bank to try to get additional lending,” says Trevor. “Business owners should think about not just being in the business of what their business does, but also about being in the business of growing their personal wealth, too.”
He further adds that business owners should think beyond their business being their nest egg and consider their future with the bigger picture in mind. “It’s vitally important that entrepreneurs’ business planning includes succession planning, and part of succession planning involves them knowing that they haven’t relied solely on the success of the business to fund retirement,” says Trevor. “Business owners need to be including their personal goals and plans into their business planning all along. It’s no secret that business owners look for ways to keep their business’ earned dollars in either the business or in their pockets, personally, but waiting to collect until the company is mature and being sold, or transferred to a child is, frankly, wasting time.” Trevor recommends for business owners to build a solid personal financial plan into their business plans so that they can reap the benefits of tax sheltering between their business income and personal income. “Repay that shareholder’s loan during the booms, absolutely, but maybe sock it away in a place like a TFSA or an RRSP (where there are tax implications personally) and where the money is still liquid enough to be able to be brought back into the business in bust situations,” Trevor adds.
It’s also important to avoid delaying these decisions, as the deadline for RRSP contributions for the 2018 tax season is March 1.
3. Embrace the possibilities of online tools
How long do your business banking activities take, on average? Let’s assume an employee (or even yourself) makes one trip per week to the bank to deposit funds. If your branch is a 15-20 minute one-way trip from your business, and you need to wait to speak with an advisor or teller, this can quickly add up to an hour or more each week and over 52 hours per year!
If you have not reviewed your banking processes and tools in a while, investing the time now can help save hours – and money – in the future. Consider all your options for digital and online banking.
“Leveraging cash management services like online banking and online wire service can help business owners save travel time, salary time and processing time,” says Anh. She suggests Remote Deposit Capture, which gives business owners the ability to make their daily deposits without making a trip to a bank branch. “All of these different products and services make it easier for business owners to do their banking efficiently and with greater convenience,” she continues.
4. Tell your account manager how they can help
Just like in any other relationship, communication is key. Your account manager wants to help you grow your business, so let them! The best way to build this positive relationship is to tell them your business goals, plans and challenges; be prepared to have a real heart-to-heart with your advisor, as this gives them the best base from which to help you build on your success.
Business bankers like Anh often feel and act like another member of your business’ team. A lot of owners she works with are often on tight deadlines, but she finds a way to make sure she can help them get the job done.
“It’s important for business owners to be vocal about what they need from their partners and also service providers, like their bank,” says Anh. “If a client has something go wrong, I will go to them. I will visit them at their site and walk them through all of the options we have to help.”
CWB is here to help business owners spend less time worrying about their finances and more time on growing their businesses. Speak to a CWB advisor today to see how they can help you to focus on what’s important — your growth and success.