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Financial Planning for First-time Entrepreneurs A little prudence and planning at the start of your journey, will go a long way in ensuring the continued success of your business

By Lalit Keshre

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If you are a first-time entrepreneur who has just started his or her business or someone looking to launch your startup, financial planning becomes even more important for you. Your 100% focus should be on building the company. Here are a few suggestions that can help you get your finances on track before you begin your entrepreneurial journey.

Park Your Savings in Debt Funds for High Liquidity and Returns

The first step would be to park your savings in such a way that your money is easily accessible to you. Often times we have enough savings but at the time of need, the money is locked in instruments that do not allow easy availability of money. Parking your money in liquid funds here can come to your rescue. Liquid funds offer a reasonably high level of security as well as very high liquidity. The returns are slightly higher than that of FD. There is no exit load associated with the withdrawal of money as well as many mutual fund schemes offer instant redemption. It typically takes 1 business day for the redeemed money to reach your account.

Create an Emergency Fund

Depending on the nature of your business, and the funding status, it is possible that it may take a few months for you to be able to draw a salary. In such a case you must have an emergency fund to cushion yourself against sudden financial blows. Before you start your business, make sure you have 2 years worth of expenses as a reserve to sustain when you launch your startup. This money also accounts for the premiums you need to pay for your insurance policies. It is wise to park this money in avenues that offer you high liquidity and better capital appreciation. You can park the corpus in liquid funds or " Smart Save" options to get higher returns.

Buy A Good Health Insurance Policy

The health care costs are increasing day by day and hence the need for a good health insurance policy cannot be ignored. While earlier you may have been receiving medical reimbursement benefits from your employers, having personal health insurance, if you don't have one already, becomes all the more important now. A good health insurance will cover the medical expenses and allow you to channelize your money to long term investments. You can also opt for a family floater health insurance policy so that your dependents are insured as well.

Get Term Insurance

If you have dependents, term insurance can provide financial security to them in case something unfortunate happens to you. The term insurance cover serves as an income replacement for your dependents and makes sure their quality of life is not compromised. Make sure you opt for a policy that gives you adequate cover factoring in your existing loans and liabilities, existing investments, your children's education needs, etc.

Stay Away From Highly Volatile Investments

As an entrepreneur, you would be required to single-mindedly focus on the growth of your business. At this stage, it is wise to stay away from high-risk investments. If you are invested in high-risk products, your mind would always be diverted towards the market's ups and downs and its impact on your investments. Since you already have a high stake in your business, it is better to invest your savings in moderate to low-risk avenues for better capital protection.

Plan Your Taxes Properly

One of the crucial aspects of financial planning is tax planning. As an entrepreneur, your tax planning strategy will drastically differ from that of a salaried individual. While as a salaried person filing your taxes might have been pretty straightforward, filing your taxes as a business owner can be complex. Thankfully, the Government of India is very encouraging of entrepreneurs and there are many tax benefits of launching your business. Make sure you educate yourself about the various tax benefits you can claim as a business owner. Seek professional help from a tax consultant who can provide you with practical recommendations on how to maximize your deductions and reduce your tax liabilities. Appropriate tax planning can save you a considerable amount in taxes each year.

To sum up, starting your own business can be a very rewarding and exhilarating experience, and money concerns shouldn't hold you back. There are many wealth management apps and platforms that can help you streamline your finances. Employ these tools so that you can manage your money smartly and save your time. Similarly integrate tech in other aspects as your life as well to become a savvy, hands-on entrepreneur.

Lalit Keshre

Co-founder & CEO, Groww

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